Buried by Letters, the Fed Delays Issuing Its Debit Card Rules

From: Digital Transactions

Overwhelmed by the volume of comments it received, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben S. Bernanke on Tuesday said in letters to Congress the Fed would miss Congress’s April 21 deadline to have issued final debit card interchange and network regulations. Bernanke, however, said the Fed still plans to meet the July 21 deadlines for when the rules are supposed to take effect.


Conference to Examine Impact of Fed’s Proposed Debit Card Regulations

What:         A half-day conference will examine the potential impact of proposed Federal Reserve Board regulations on debit card interchange fees. Under the proposed regulations, bank debit card fees charged to merchants for debit card transactions would drop by some 80%. Banks have expressed dismay over what would be a massive revenue loss, while merchants applaud the proposal. The conference will examine what the rules ultimately could mean for consumers, banks and economic efficiency. A final decision by the Fed is expected on April 21, 2011, unless Congress passes legislation to postpone the deadline to allow for further study.


Interchange regulation ultimately injures consumers

From: The Hill

By Frank Keating

The Federal Reserve’s proposed debit card interchange rule has generated a lot of buzz lately. And with all the voices vying to be heard, it is more important than ever to be clear about the real harm the Fed’s proposal will cause to consumers, the financial institutions that serve them, and the broader economy.

When Congress passed an amendment directing the Fed to assess reasonable and proportional fees on debit interchange – the penny or two that retailers pay every time they choose to accept debit cards for payment – it did so at the 11th hour, without hearings, committee action or informed debate on the amendment. 


Trades Want to File Amicus on Interchange Lawsuit

From: Credit Union Times

By Claude R. Marx

CUNA, NAFCU and several bank groups are asking a federal judge if they can file a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of a bank that is challenging the constitutionality of the law, giving the Federal Reserve the power to regulate interchange.

The groups asked a federal judge in South Dakota for permission to file an amicus curia brief in the lawsuit against the Federal Reserve filed by TCF National Bank, based in Wayzata, Minn.

The groups filed the request on Friday and hope to hear back this week.


“It is not reasonable for our credit union to effectively offer a debit card program at 12 cents per transaction, let alone a safe harbor at seven cents.”

Finance Center Federal Credit Union, a community chartered credit union in Indianapolis, explained to the Federal Reserve some of the crucial failings in their proposed debit interchange rule.  Of particular note, the credit union provided important recommendations that the Board could adopt to improve the rule including adding additional essential processing costs, such as charge back and employee costs, to the price cap.

Finance Center Federal Credit Union’s complete comments may be found here: