Now that Alabama's largest credit union, the $2.6 billion Redstone Federal is officially a CUNA member once again, Joseph H. Newberry, its president/CEO, was doing his part in the interchange fight by rounding up local CU support to lobby Congressmen.
Newberry told Credit Union Times that he, like other CEOs, worries now about the mechanics of a two-tiered Visa and Mastercard pricing system involving retailer deals as consumers end up paying the long-run cost in higher fees.
"Look what happened after the Card Act went into effect," said Newberry. "Did consumers really benefit by getting lower rates?"
Newberry expressed concern at how the interchange plans would be implemented nationally and said at RFCU the loss could be in six figures per month citing CUNA's $20-$30 per debit card estimate.
Newberry made his interchange comments as the League of Southeastern Credit Unions and CUNA heralded Redstone's re-affiliation with the trade groups after a seven year hiatus. Redstone officials have said for months they were looking to put aside past personal and political schisms of prior management to consider "the importance of the industry speaking with one voice."
Indeed, Newberry said the challenges to CUs have become immense requiring greater solidarity making it urgent the Huntsville CU rejoin CUNA and the LSCU. RFCU had originally been a CUNA holdout since 1994 rejoining CUNA for a brief period and then leaving again.
On interchange, earlier this week Newberry said he helped organize a gathering of six Alabama CEOS "for a breakfast on what we could do in supporting the CUNA/NAFCU campaign and how we would arrange visits with our Congressmen."