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Table of Contents

Lead Story

Holiday season warrants new pursuits

News

Industry Update

Congress gives interchange reformers luke warm reception

VeriFone addresses PCI enforcement confusion

First Data STARs with PayPal

Visa prefers data-field encryption

Encryption debate heads to court

Payments a strong presence at the AFP

Features

A virtual RDC roundup

Research Rundown

Selling Prepaid

Prepaid in brief

What is stored-value?

New alternative takes flight

Top 15 tips for gift card success

Views

War of words over interchange heats up

Patti Murphy
The Takoma Group

Education

Street SmartsSM:
Don't let distractions hobble your business

Jon Perry and Vanessa Lang
888QuikRate.com

Complexities of multicurrency processing

Caroline Hometh
Payvision

Tips for new sales executives

Jeffrey I. Shavitz
Charge Card Systems Inc.

Cloud security, a weighty issue

Dale S. Laszig
DSL Direct LLC

Look ahead, prospect and prosper

Bob Schoenbauer
Capitol Payment Systems Inc.

Conducting effective meetings

Vicki M. Daughdrill
Small Business Resources LLC

Company Profile

Whitehall Capital Advisors LLC

New Products

Beefed up RDC

Tellerscan 240
Digital Check Corp.

Fortifying e-commerce with signatures

SignatureLink
SignatureLink Inc.

Inspiration

Get real with expectations

Departments

Forum

Resource Guide

Datebook

Skyscraper Ad

The Green Sheet Online Edition

October 26, 2009  •  Issue 09:10:02

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Congress gives interchange reformers luke warm reception

Opponents of the interchange status quo had another shot at grabbing congressional support Oct. 8, 2009, with a hearing before the U.S. House Financial Services Committee. The hearing was called to accept testimony on H.R. 2382, the Credit Card Interchange Fees Act of 2009, and H.R. 3639, the Expedited CARD Reform for Consumers Act of 2009. In terms of H.R. 2382, the hearing appeared to be more a formality than a serious attempt to address interchange legislation.

Committee Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., made it clear during the hearing that he was most interested in enacting legislation that would move up the implementation date on provisions of the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (Credit CARD Act of 2009).

The Credit CARD Act, signed into law in May 2009, established strict limits on how and when banks can increase rates on credit cardholders. Those limits are set to take hold in February 2010, but Frank and several other members of the panel want to move up implementation to December 2009 because, they said, too many banks are hiking rates for no obvious reason other than to get out in front of the CARD Act caps.

Legislation under consideration

As for interchange, Frank has said he's still trying to get his arms around the issue and that testimony given on H.R. 2382 is part of that process. But some Washington insiders suggested Frank might have been sending a message to opponents of financial regulatory reform legislation he and other key Democrats are attempting to push through Congress.

H.R. 2382 was introduced by Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., who appeared before the House Financial Services Committee last week to urge consideration of "the plight of the small retailer." Joining Welch at the witness table was Kathy Miller, a constituent who runs a country store in Elmore, Vt., and who complained to the panel that she often loses money on small purchases because of interchange fees.

"[W]e just can't keep absorbing these fees and survive in these tough economic times," the Vermont store owner insisted.

The Credit Card Interchange Fees Act, as drafted by Welch and co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of 13 other House members, would allow merchants to impose minimum purchase amounts for card payments, prohibit Visa Inc. and MasterCard Worldwide from charging different interchange rates for transactions that use rewards cards, require public disclosure of merchant agreements and empower the Federal Trade Commission with oversight authority for the merchant acquiring space.

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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