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Latest on Big Box Bill: EPC Debunks Myths, CUs Urged to Contact Congress

The MD|DC Credit Union Association has been working with stakeholders, including the Electronic Payments Coalition (EPC), to oppose the Credit Card Competition Act. The EPC recently released data that it says debunks the two biggest myths being pushed by retail and merchant lobbying groups about the bill.

EPC Debunks Myths
According to the EPC, the narrative that merchant interchange fees continue to increase leaves out the critical fact that it is impossible for “swipe fees” to increase if sales do not increase. The rate of interchange has remained flat for the past 7 years, as sales have grown substantially.

graph on credit card fees

The EPC also asserts that despite merchant group claims, data shows that credit card interchange fees are NOT a small business’ 2nd or 3rd highest expense.

graph on small business expenses

The EPC says credit interchange costs for a typical small business is only ~1% of their expenses.
The coalition cites a 2020 study by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), that shows the top problems for small businesses (associated with expenses) include cost of health insurance, federal taxes on business income, property taxes, state taxes on business income, cost of supplies/inventories, and cost/availability of liability insurance. View the entire EPC report here.

Credit Unions Urged to Contact Congress
As efforts by Senators Marshall and Durbin to force action on the Credit Card Competition Act heat up in the U.S. Senate, credit unions are being urged to weigh in again with federal lawmakers.

Senator Roger Marshall is attempting to attach the Big Box interchange bill to a draft package to fund the federal government past September 30. Marshall says he will oppose all legislation on the chamber floor that does not include the interchange bill language. It’s anticipated he will attempt to attach the interchange bill language to future bills.

Credit union Leagues and CUNA are urging credit unions to contact their senators to oppose these efforts. Use CUNA’s Grassroots Action Center to take action today.

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