The credit union movement received better-than-expected news on June 29 when the Federal Reserve Board announced its rules to implement the Durbin amendment concerning debit card interchange. For credit unions under $10 billion in total assets, interchange rates will show little or no decline in 2011, and this will probably be true in the first half of 2012 as well. It appears that all networks will implement a two-tier system keeping rates near the 44 cents per transaction average for exempted credit unions during this time.

Government intervention has created a confusing regulatory environment, and yet, there is a clear marketing opportunity for credit unions. All the large banks have either re-priced their checking accounts or will shortly. There is a window of competitive advantage for credit unions under $10 billion to move market share. It won’t last forever, so take advantage of it. Carpe Diem – now is the time for credit union marketers to seize the day.

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