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The Restoring American Financial Stability Act passed the Senate on July 15 and was signed into law by President Obama on July 21. Attached to this sweeping legislation is an interchange amendment largely unchanged from the Senate bill passed on May 13 that will probably necessitate credit unions accept lower interchange rates on their debit and credit cards, to the tune of $30 per card per year by one estimate.

This is truly a setback for credit union members, as the legislation empowers merchants to place multiple restrictions on acceptance of cards. At the same time, there is no promise on the part of merchants to pass their savings onto consumers. An unintended consequence may be that credit unions will need to assess fees on debit card transactions in order to cover their costs.

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Peter Westerman


Credit Union Times

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