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Credit unions not making key debit changes, expert says

Credit unions are not making a recommended key change to their debit programs consultants have called for, a consultant with a leading card association announced this week.

Credit unions are not opting to evaluate their POS networks or to reduce their number to the minimum two networks that the Durbin Amendment requires them to have, Bill Lehman, a portfolio consultant with Card Services for Credit Unions, told CUTimes.com.

Debit card issuing credit unions, under Durbin Amendment regulations, are required to carry relationships with at least two unaffiliated debit POS networks. The Durbin Amendment also changed how merchants could route their debit transactions, which means that credit unions with more than two POS networks are at risk of undermining their interchange income.

Lehman and other consultants, in response to these changes, have called for credit unions to examine their POS networks and lower their numbers to two, though few credit unions have reportedly done this.

“The feeling I am getting from a number of them is that they are saying 'OK, we're compliant so we don't have to make any more changes,'” Lehman said, CUTimes.com reports. “When really, they need to do that.”

The coming changes in the industry, Lehman warned, will force credit unions to adapt. He called for credit unions to defend their interchange income by making the necessary changes.
 

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