Mountain America Credit Union Opposes Senator Durbin’s Credit Card Competition Act
Mountain America has “zero confidence” the current bill offers protection or savings to credit card consumers
SALT LAKE CITY, July 26, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — In June of 2023, Senators Dick Durbin, Roger Marshall, Peter Welch, and JD Vance re-introduced the previously failed legislation now renamed to the Credit Card Competition Act (CCCA). Mountain America Credit Union once again opposes this bill, believing that it is not about competition, but more of a “Big Box Bailout Bill” that will, if passed, ultimately give the edge to retailers over consumers.
In July of 2022, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS) introduced legislation that would enact harmful credit card routing mandates, establishing a back-door price control on the credit card system. It did not advance through committee. In June of 2023, Senators Dick Durbin, Roger Marshall, Peter Welch, and JD Vance reintroduced the same legislation with a different name, hoping to reframe the discussion.
“Mountain America members rely on credit cards to build credit and access funds, from paying for groceries to covering emergencies,” said Sterling Nielsen, president and chief executive officer at Mountain America Credit Union. “We have zero confidence the current bill will offer protection or savings to credit card consumers. Please join us in opposing this bill by reaching out to your local representative to say ‘no’ to the Credit Card Competition Act. This action will protect consumers from legislation that would enact harmful credit card routing mandates.”
The CCCA will allow big box retailers to process credit card transactions based solely on the networks and providers that are cheapest for them without regard to the value that consumers derive from rewards and many other benefits they have become accustomed to through credit card programs. It would also add billions of dollars to the bottom lines of mega-retailers every year while reducing access to credit, eliminating almost all funding that goes towards credit card cybersecurity protections and rewards programs.
When similar legislation by Senator Durbin passed in 2010, retail lobbyists claimed the debit card restrictions would lead to cost savings for consumers and small businesses. Research from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond found that, rather than cut prices in response to lower debit interchange costs, 98.8% of merchants did not decrease prices and in fact, 21.6% implemented price increases.
Experience with the original Durbin amendment has shown that even setting an exemption for small financial institutions (those under $100 billion in assets) offers no protection. A similar exemption in the original Durbin amendment failed to prevent small financial institutions from being negatively impacted.
“This bill is no less than a bailout in disguise for big box retailers, creating government intervention in a free market and establishing a back-door price control on the credit card system, increasing their profits at the expense of consumers and financial institutions,” Nielsen continued. “We call it the Big Box Bailout Bill because there are so many issues contained in this legislation that would negatively impact consumers while benefitting retailers, including giving retailers total control over payment networks, taking away consumers’ choice in processing their credit transactions, increasing privacy and security risks, and passing higher credit card costs to consumers, to name a few.”
For more information about the Big Box Bailout Bill, Mountain America’s position and to find your local representative to oppose this bill, please click HERE.
About Mountain America Credit Union
With more than 1 million members and $17 billion in assets, Mountain America Credit Union helps its members define and achieve their financial dreams. Mountain America provides consumers and businesses with a variety of convenient, flexible products and services, as well as sound, timely advice. Members enjoy access to secure, cutting-edge mobile-banking technology, over 100 branches across six states, and more than 50,000 surcharge-free ATMs. Mountain America—guiding you forward. Learn more at macu.com.
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