Willard: Interchange bill puts retailer profits before data security

The big box interchange bill would make everyday purchases riskier for American consumers while padding the bottom lines of the country’s largest retailers, Cornerstone League President/CEO and CUNA Board Vice Chair Caroline Willard wrote in The Washington Times.

“The misnamed Credit Card Competition Act would regulate the nominal fees merchants pay each time they accept a credit card. These interchange and network fees are set by the networks that process transactions — think Visa or Mastercard. They underwrite the infrastructure that handles hundreds of billions of credit card transactions each year,” she wrote. “Retailers would, of course, prefer not to pay this cost of doing business.”

Willard noted that fraud prevention costs continue to rise, with $12 billion lost in credit card fraud in 2021 alone. Losses are expected to hit $19 billion by 2031.

“Interchange fees help shield customers from those costs. If the Senate gives retailers the right to opt for low-cost, insecure payment networks, then fraud could become even more prevalent. Consumers could end up paying significantly more for all kinds of financial services, from credit cards to checking accounts,” Willard wrote.


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