Before Dictating Interchange, Merchants Should Face Cost

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NAFCU has finally come out with a creative and refreshing "idea" to interject into the interchange debate — that merchants should be financially accountable for debit and credit card security, bearing the costs of breaches that financial institutions have been saddled with (and presumably paid for) under the old interchange scheme.

Now, if only NAFCU would extend that creativity and perhaps recommend that merchants either pay for or waive "guaranteed payments," pay for consumer card fraud at point of sale (with penalty if a Customer Identification Program is not in force verifying ID with second form of identification), and insure (bond) all employees with access to consumer card data.

If merchants want all the rights and privileges of consumer card usage, they should sit at the same table of responsibility the issuers do. And, if Mom & Pop's or Michaels Stores cannot afford paying for these responsibilities, then they can opt in to the issuers covering them with higher (than pre-Fed) Interchange.

As the Marketing Guy, this is something I could sell to our members as being cooperative and to their individual and mutual financial benefit. Hell, I could even sell this to the knuckleheads at CUNA who could then do the dance they so enjoy on Capitol Hill. And we would at least, finally, be "for something" instead of against the inevitable — change and progress.

Mike Dillon, Director of Marketing
South Division CU, Evergreen Park, Ill.

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