RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (7/29/10)--CO-OP Financial Services, which operates the CO-OP Network for credit unions, said it is actively monitoring a clause included in the regulatory reform bill that could affect debit exclusivity. Specifically, the provision states that an issuer or network cannot restrict the number of payment card networks on which a transaction can be processed to one or more networks that are owned, controlled or operated by affiliated networks. Some financial services companies, including Discover Financial Services, told American Banker (July 28) that the provision could boost their business, while others said the changes could impact financial institutions’ debit programs. American Banker said most executives it talked to interpret the rule to mean debit cards must be connected to at least one network other than those operated by Visa and MasterCard. CO-OP Financial Services, whose CO-OP Network has more than 160 million transactions per month, told News Now the “clause is of great interest to us.” “For now, we are monitoring to see how it is interpreted in the rule-writing process,” said Caroline Lane, CO-OP senior vice president of business development and marketing. “It is our hope that financial institutions will retain their [current] competitive choices.” CO-OP offers more than 28,000 surcharge-free ATMs and 4,000 shared branch locations for credit unions.