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Michigan Credit Union League Home » Information Services » Publications » News Articles  

CUNA Joins Effort to Increase Debit Interchange Fraud Prevention Per Transaction Fee   (Misc News: October 3, 2011)

CUNA has joined several other associations representing financial institutions asking the Federal Reserve to increase the amount of per transaction fees that debit card issuers receive to cover costs associated with fraud prevention.

CUNA News Now reported that though the Fed's approach to add the fraud coverage charge is a positive development, the association joined the other groups in a joint comment letter that the Fed allow four or five cents per transaction for fraud rather than the one cent that the agency proposed.

The increased fraud prevention adjustment would also help protect smaller issuers whose fraud prevention costs often represent a larger portion of their total debt card program costs.

The current level of one cent "acts as a disincentive for all issuers to develop and apply new technologies that require significant costs upfront but have the potential for substantial long-term reductions in fraud losses, because there is no guarantee that the [Fed] will later revise the adjustment amount or permit compensation for past expenditures," the letter added.

The letter was cosigned by CUNA, the American Bankers Association, the Consumer Bankers Association, the Financial Services Roundtable, the Independent Community Bankers of America, the National Association of Federal Credit Unions, the Midsize Bank Coalition of America, the Clearing House Association, and the Clearing House Payments Company.

It was sent to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, National Credit Union Administration Chair Debbie Matz, and several other leaders of federal finance agencies.

The Fed's final interchange rule, which became effective over the weekend, sets a debit interchange fee cap of 21 cents and allows an additional five basis points of the value of the transaction to cover fraud losses. An extra penny may be charged by financial institutions that are in compliance with Fed-established fraud prevention standards.

Credit unions and other institutions with under $10 billion in assets are exempt from the rate cap provisions of the rule.

Click here to read the story at CUNA News Now. The story includes a link to the full letter.

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