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New Assault Launched On Card Interchange Changes

WASHINGTON-A Senate subcommittee endorsed a bill that would cap interchange fees charged to federal government entities for taxes and other services at the lowest market rate, continuing efforts to lower interchange fees charged by credit unions and banks.

The effort comes even as the ink is drying on the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Bill, which set up the federal government as arbiter of interchange rates on debit card transactions.

The new interchange amendment was inserted in one of a dozen appropriations bills that must be passed by the Congress at the behest of the chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Financial Services and Government, Richard Durbin of Illinois, the senator responsible for the interchange amendment in the Dodd-Frank bill. Durbin's latest amendment would cap interchange rates charged on transactions with federal government entities at the lowest current market rate, which generally is reserved for supermarket transactions. The lower rate charged for government transactions eventually could be used as a benchmark for the Fed's determination on debit card rates.

 

No Sure Thing, But Gambling Bill Now Headed To House

WASHINGTON -The House Financial Services Committee voted 41-21 to send H.R. 2267, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act, on to the full House last week for a vote. The legislation would allow the U.S. Treasury to license internet gambling operators and would permit approved operators to accept bets from U.S. citizens. Credit unions have lobbied in favor of the bill, including CUNA CEO Bill Cheney, who testified that the legislation would help CUs bogged down in complying with the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA).

 

GWLN Recognizes Stan Hollen

LAS VEGAS-Stan Hollen, president and CEO of CO-OP Financial Services, has received the inaugural Global Women's Leadership Award from the Global Women's Leadership Network. Hollen was recognized for his ongoing support not only of individual U.S. women CU leaders, but also of the Global Women's Leadership Network. "Stan Hollen... believes in developing future leaders-especially women leaders-throughout the credit union movement," said Susan Mitchell, chair of the GWLN and CEO of Mitchell, Stankovic & Associates, Boulder City, Nev.

 

DuTrac Offers Special Flood Loan

DUBUQUE, Iowa.-The $465-million DuTrac Community Credit Union has begun offering a personal Water Damage Loan Program to members affected by severe flooding in the state. The loan carries a 7% APR, with terms to 36 months and loan amounts to $10,000. The loans are to help with any damages not covered by insurance settlements.

 

BECU Cracks Card Skimming Ring

SEATTLE-A worker at a local Wendy's restaurant was arrested, along with two alleged accomplices, and charged with identity theft after she allegedly used a "skimmer" to steal credit card information from as many as 135 customers.

The investigation was initiated by the King County Sheriff's office after evidence was brought to it by a fraud investigator at BECU, who had linked violations to several member accounts to the Tukwila Wendy's restaurant on International Boulevard.

The Wendy's worker was identified as 33-year-old Maria DeHoyos-Ortiz. During the nine-month investigation that followed, King County detectives came to believe DeHoyos-Ortiz was lifting credit card information using a handheld skimmer and then transferred the data to forged cards.

A search of DeHoyos-Ortiz's home and car uncovered 14 Playstation 3 machines, as well as several skimmers, a credit card encoder and credit card stock, according to charging documents. Prosecutors said she had a skimmer on her person when she was arrested July 21 at the Wendy's restaurant.

 

MHVFCU Extends 24/7 Teller Service

KINGSTON, N.Y.-Mid-Hudson Valley FCU is expanding its 24/7 Personal Teller Service (PTS) to two more branches next week. The PTS, developed by uGenius Technology, gives members the option to conduct their daily banking any time, any day of the week, including most holidays when financial institutions are usually closed for service. The PTS allows members to speak to a live teller through a two-way video portal, just as they would during regular business hours.

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