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CBA Statement on Flawed Credit Card Routing Bill
Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) President and CEO Lindsey Johnson issued the followed statement in anticipation of the re-introduction of legislation that would establish an unnecessary and unsafe federally-mandated payment network at the expense of fraud prevention, security measures, and popular rewards programs that are currently in place with existing payment networks:
“Don’t let the name of this legislation fool you. The Credit Card Competition Act will dramatically hinder the most competitive credit card marketplace in the world, and hardworking families will pay the price while big box retailers reap the rewards.
“This legislation will increase the cost of owning a credit card and threaten popular rewards programs millions of consumers and small businesses value. Security and data privacy safeguards will take second place to profits on the newly created network operated by merchants. This is not the safe, effective, and competitive financial framework consumers have depended on banks to deliver for decades, and it should not be the financial framework policymakers impose on their constituents by supporting this deeply flawed proposal.
“This measure did not pass last Congress because members of the House and Senate understood the harmful impacts this proposal would have on the very people we are all working to serve. We urge policymakers not to change course now.”
In 2010, merchants promised Congress they would save consumers millions of dollars after the original Durbin Amendment passed, but as the Federal Reserve of Richmond has confirmed, those promises never became reality.
More than a decade after the Durbin Amendment, consumers lost popular rewards programs on their debit cards. In addition, retailers enjoyed a significant increase in profits with no savings to the consumer, indicating a significant transfer of money to the largest retailers. The Credit Card Competition Act seeks to continue that trend.
That’s why CBA has urged Congress to reject consideration of this proposal since it was first introduced. While some policymakers in Washington remain intent on advancing flawed legislation that would prioritize big box retailers over consumers, CBA will continue to underscore how this harmful legislation will alter the current credit routing system and deprive consumers of the safety, reliability, and rewards they’ve come to expect while using their credit card.