WASHINGTON — The Electronic Payments Coalition has come out strongly in opposition to H.R. 5546, a bill the coalition said would mandate price controls on interchange and deprive consumers of some of the things they most like about their credit card programs.

"The Electronic Payments Coalition strongly opposes the price control legislation that was introduced today in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Rep. Chris Cannon (R-Utah)," the coalition, a group including banks, banking associations, CUSOs and credit union association, said in a prepared statement. "This legislation would establish a government rate-setting board that would impose price controls on the electronic payments system — despite these groups' years of denials that price controls were their ultimate goal."

The coalition pointed out that similar attempts in other countries to address card interchange had not wound up benefiting consumers — the basis upon which the interchange laws were advanced. Instead, the laws resulted in "dramatic reductions" in the rewards and benefits that consumers see from their credit and debit cards, the coalition alleged.

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