Changes to the credit routing system would come at a steep cost to consumers
Washington, D.C. — American Bankers Association, Bank Policy Institute, Consumer Bankers Association, Credit Union National Association, Electronic Payments Coalition, Independent Community Bankers of America, and National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions sent a letter today to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy warning the interchange bill introduced by Reps. Lance Gooden (R-TX) and Peter Welch (D-VT) would reduce access to credit, increase security risks associated with credit card use, and limit credit card rewards programs. The eight leading financial services trade associations issued the following joint statement:
“Quite simply, credit cards make life work. Consumers have come to rely on their credit card of choice to pay for gas, groceries, and unexpected emergencies. This is especially true as consumers leverage their credit card rewards to deal with rising costs.
“It’s disappointing that the Gooden-Welch bill prioritizes big box retailers’ profits over consumers at a time when consumers can least afford it. The Gooden-Welch bill would allow merchants to choose the cheapest routing networks – which may not offer the same robust security as trusted, established payment networks. This creates additional risks for financial services providers that are extending credit to consumers for everyday purchases, big and small.
“That’s an important distinction that retailers are trying to overlook; financial institutions cover the costs for replacement cards and fraudulent purchases, making them more sensitive to changes in the payments system than merchants.
“We are particularly concerned that changes to the current routing system would disproportionately harm credit unions and community banks that serve underbanked areas. We’ve witnessed how the 2010 Durbin Amendment, which was adopted as part of the Dodd-Frank Act, capped debit card fees, leading to a decrease in free checking accounts and low-cost banking services for consumers. We are determined not to repeat the past – and, as such, we oppose the Gooden-Welch bill.”
About Bank Policy Institute.
The Bank Policy Institute (BPI) is a nonpartisan public policy, research and advocacy group, representing the nation’s leading banks and their customers. Our members include universal banks, regional banks and the major foreign banks doing business in the United States. Collectively, they employ almost 2 million Americans, make nearly half of the nation’s small business loans, and are an engine for financial innovation and economic growth.