By WBA President and CEO Rose Oswald Poels
There is a significant effort underway from the large retailers, merchants, convenience stores, and others to get the Credit Card Competition Act (CCCA) included as an amendment to any other legislation that is moving between now and the end of the calendar year. The banking industry needs to remain diligent and active in voicing our repeated opposition to any inclusion of this language in any other legislation.
Please contact your member of Congress, most importantly our two U.S. Senators, today expressing your strong opposition to any inclusion of the Credit Card Competition Act in other legislation. As Congress debates the “mini-bus” appropriations bill, that is one potential opportunity for this language to be included since this legislation will be acted upon. There will be other similar pieces of legislation that need to move before year-end so we could ask for your grassroots advocacy again as the year progresses.
An easy way to send a message is through both the ABA and ICBA websites. As they have stated in their e-publications, bankers are encouraged to voice strong opposition to renewed efforts by Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) to force Senate consideration of legislation to advance credit card routing restrictions.
Since our focus right now is on the Senate, you may also send a message through the contact pages on each Senator’s respective websites at the following links:
The substance of your message could include the following text:
“As a Wisconsin banker, I am writing to express my strong opposition to any inclusion of the Credit Card Competition Act (CCCA) in any other legislation including the “mini-bus” appropriations package currently being considered in the Senate. This legislation is anti-consumer and anti-competitive. The CCCA will raise costs on consumers, imperil payment system security, reduce access to important card benefits, and harm financial institutions. This bill is not about making the payment system more competitive, but rather an attempt by the largest retailers, merchants, convenience stores, and others to obtain a subsidy for themselves at the expense of smaller competitors and consumers. These savings will not be passed on to consumers as is evident in the now decade-long experience we have with the Durbin Amendment. Costs have skyrocketed for consumers at these various merchants, while the Federal Reserve found that banks and credit unions with assets under $10 billion are now making do with 25% less per-transaction debit card interchange following the Durbin Amendment. This legislation would double down on the harm already caused by the Durbin Amendment. In fact, a recent GAO report found that the Durbin Amendment was “among the top five laws and regulations most cited… as having significantly affected the cost and availability of basic banking services.”
A credit card transaction is an extension of the bank’s own funds to its customer. Therefore, it’s critical that banks be allowed to carefully and deliberately select the network over which their own funds flow to the merchant. On behalf of my bank and our customers, I ask that you commit to actively opposing any inclusion of the Marshall-Durbin-Gooden-Welch Credit Card Competition Act bill in any other legislation.“
Thank you for taking time to advocate on this critically important issue for the banking industry!