Increased fees and rate hikes have fueled public perception of credit card companies as the enemy. And that's on top of a growing tide of anger against interchange rates from the merchant community. With the provisions of the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act expected to take effect in 2010, the whipsawed industry is bracing for their impact.

Card issuers have an opportunity to repeat old habits or forge a new path with both merchants and consumers.

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