I am sure that all of us in credit union land often hear the question, what’s the difference between a bank and a credit union? A recent occurrence in regards to plastic cards confirmed once again, at least for us, that there truly is a big difference. As issuers of Visa debit cards we were obviously very pleased to hear the announcement that Visa would be making a very lucrative initial stock offering. Our debit cards are issued through the Instant Cash network, which at the time was owned by Wells Fargo Bank. Naturally, our first inclination was to call Wells Fargo to get an idea of how much our share would be from this windfall. After the laughter subsided from the other side of the telephone, we were told that since we did not own the bin number, we would receive nothing. It was further explained that even though we had thousands of cards in the marketplace earning interchange income, our reward was that we did not have to suffer undue potential liability over all these years.

Our Visa credit cards are issued through PSCU Financial Services. Lo and behold, without a telephone call being made, Craig Esrael, chairman of PSCU, has just announced that all of the monies that PSCU received from Visa’s offering will be given to its member-owners. Those who generated the income will receive the reward. Sounds logical enough. Too logical for the banks, where once again, greed rules. Thank you, PSCU.


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