House Panel Sets Hearing on Debit Card Fees

From: WSJ

By Victoria McGrane

For weeks, lobbyists for banks both large and small have been pounding the hallways of the Capitol to complain about a plan to limit the debit card transaction fees banks can charge retailers. They want lawmakers to repeal the provision in the financial law that directed the Fed to write the rule in the first place.

The worn shoe leather is paying off. House Financial Services Chairman Spencer Bachus (R., Ala.) announced Tuesday that his panel will hold a hearing Feb. 17 on the proposal. Before that, liberal Democrat Barney Frank of Massachusetts, for whom the bill is partly named, had announced he wants to work with Republicans on a legislative fix.


EBay’s PayPal Tries to Duck Debit-Fee Cap as Fed Decision Looms

From: Bloomberg

By Peter Eichenbaum and Joseph Galante – Jan 19, 2011

PayPal Inc., the fastest-growing unit at online marketplace EBay Inc., said the Federal Reserve shouldn’t subject the company to a cap on debit-card transaction fees, a move that could threaten most of its U.S. revenue.

The Fed is seeking public comment about whether limits passed by Congress should apply to “non-traditional” payment systems such as PayPal that are vying for part of the $4 trillion U.S. market dominated by Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. PayPal’s business would be damaged if it’s regulated like payment-card networks, according to Patricia Hewitt, a director at consulting firm Mercator Advisory Group.


Unclear if MasterCard Will Follow Visa Lead on Interchange

From: Credit Union Times

  • By David Morrison 


CUNA Urges Congress to Hold Hearings on Interchange Rule

From: Credit Union Times

  • By Claude R. Marx

Saying that the Federal Reserve’s proposed interchange rule could have “tragic consequences” for credit unions, their members and any debit card user, CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney today asked the leaders of the House Financial Services Committee to hold hearings. 

Cheney noted that the amendment giving the Fed the power to regulate interchange was passed without any hearings having been held. He said CUNA’s objections center on the fact that there is “no assurance in the law or the proposal that any savings for merchants as a result of the government-set interchange fee caps and other provisions will be shared with consumers; however, the Board’s proposal ensures that interchange fees will be lower than the cost of providing payment services.  This means that credit unions and other issuers will have to find other ways to recover these losses.‘’