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CU System
CUNAs Hampel explains interchange impact in IN.Y. TimesI
NEW YORK (6/28/10)--Some retailers may discriminate against small debit-card issuers, including credit unions, when new interchange provisions, which are part of the overall federal financial regulatory reform package, potentially go into effect, Bill Hampel, chief economist for the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), told The New York Times Friday. Both houses of Congress are slated to vote on the financial reform bill in the next few days, wrote Rob Lieber and Tara Siegel Bernard in an article titled, “From Card Fees to Mortgages, a New Day for Consumers”--a rundown of the financial reform bill. Because cards from small issuers such as credit unions do not provide retailers with as much interchange income, retailers could be less inclined to accept them, the Times noted. “It is not clear what the Fed will do or how the big banks and Visa and MasterCard will react,” said the Times. “This could take a few years to play out, or many years if lawsuits start flying. Some merchants may try to play fast and loose with the rules too.” Hampel told the Times that small retailers might happily accept debit cards with the names of big banks that they recognize and then ask shoppers with cards from no-name institutions to use cash or some other card. To read the article, use the link.
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