I want to make you aware of pending legislation that, if enacted, would almost assuredly spell the end of the benefits you enjoy with this account. The legislation is an amendment to the “Restoring America Financial Stability Act of 2010” introduced by Senator Durbin (D-IL) that would limit debit card interchange fees that retail merchants pay for using payment networks. The Senate amendment (S.3217), if agreed to by the House, would allow the government to set price controls on debit interchange fees. Debit card interchange fees are what credit unions receive from merchants when goods and services are paid for using the VISA payment system.
How This Will Impact You
These fees help us pay for the tremendous benefits you receive on your High Yield Checking account, and help us pay for all the administrative costs we incur by offering a debit card program to our members. The merchants have, in essence, successfully persuaded the Senate to reduce the interchange fees credit unions receive for debit card-based purchases. They have also persuaded the Senate to not include wording in the amendment that would require the retail merchant to pay for the costs associated with running a plastic card program. And since the amendment does not require that the merchant pass on this additional money to the consumer, the end result will be a win for the merchant and a loss for the consumer. Credit unions will receive a greatly reduced amount of interchange fee income from their members’ debit card usage but will still bear the costs of providing a debit card program to their members. The anticipated effect of this legislation on credit unions is that they will have no choice but to cut benefits to and raise fees on their members due to decreased revenue. Programs such as CapEd’s High Yield Checking, and debit cards in general, could suffer from the fallout of this poorly conceived legislation.
Credit unions across Idaho are making their voices heard in Congress, pointing out that the Durbin interchange amendment to the pending regulatory reform legislation is not in the best interest of consumers. I am asking you to help us by contacting your Idaho Representatives Minnick and Simpson and ask them to exclude this harmful amendment from the financial reform bill. Please take a moment to visit the following Credit Union National Association website http://capwiz.com/cuna/home/ and click the “Take Action” button or call toll free 877-223-5275 to make your voice heard on this important issue.
I sincerely thank you for your time,