Statement Regarding Passage of Durbin Interchange Amendment

May 13, 2010 at 7:41 PM EDT

“We are disappointed that Senator Durbin has decided to force unrelated legislation into the financial reform package at the eleventh hour without a hearing or debate.

“Thursday’s vote is another step in a lengthy legislative process. We’re hopeful that when the issue is fully reviewed by members of Congress during the next phase of negotiations, they will conclude the amendment harms consumers, credit unions and community banks and should be eliminated from the bill.

“Visa will continue to work with policymakers to educate them about this flawed legislation that imposes price controls on debit products and allows retailers to dictate which payment card is used by consumers at the point of sale.

“Debit products deliver significant incremental value over cash and check, including guaranteed payment to merchants, greater security and increased sales, all of which the Durbin amendment ignores.

“At the direction of Congress, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has twice examined the potential impact of proposed interchange legislation, and confirmed that there is little evidence to suggest that consumers would benefit. In Australia, where price controls have been implemented, consumers have not seen a reduction in retail prices, and instead have experienced reduced consumer benefits and increased costs.

“We hope Congress sees today’s amendment for what it is – an attempt by retailers to increase their profits at the expense of consumers.”

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Contact: Denise Dunckel, Visa Inc., 202.419.4113 or