The financial landscape evolves fast, with banks and credit unions constantly seeking ways to enhance their services, stay competitive, and comply with laws and regulations. One significant challenge they face is the conversion of their card processors – a complex and mission-critical task that can benefit from the expertise of a consulting partner.
It’s not every day that a phrase as vague and slanted as “junk fees” becomes an actual legislative term, but here we are. In various statements, the White House and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) have defined junk fees as “hidden or unexpected fees” and “increasingly sophisticated tools to disguise the true price consumers face.”
Although President Biden highlighted hotel resort fees, concert ticket services, and airline surcharges in his State of the Union address, the CFPB has also pushed to lower the cap for most credit card late fees from roughly $30 to $8. Limiting or eliminating NSF/overdraft fees is also high on the agency’s agenda.
Banks and credit unions interested in offering Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) services should be pleased with the latest report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Many FIs have been reluctant to dive into the popular consumer offering, largely due to uncertainty over the regulatory environment. SRM asserted in a recent report that banks and credit unions have the experience and tools necessary to handle regulatory scrutiny.
Ever since the Durbin Amendment upended the debit card industry in 2010, insiders have speculated that Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) would eventually pursue similar changes to the credit card industry.
Sen. Durbin made it known during a May 2022 Senate Judiciary Committee meeting that credit card reform was in his crosshairs. As inflation rose, he found a bipartisan partner in Sen. Roger Marshal (R-Kan.) and introduced bill S.4674, the Credit Card Competition Action of 2022.
This bill reflects many principles Reg II applied to routing, intending to increase competition and reduce merchant costs. If this bill becomes law, it will have significant consequences for issuers and consumers, potentially completely upending credit access as we know it today. It could also lead some issuers to dial back rewards and benefits.
Banks and credit unions must prepare for some consumer payments and credit quality turbulence.
Consumer prices rose by an astounding 9.1% by June from a year earlier – a 41-year high – causing the average American to spend roughly $460 more per month than they did a year ago, according to Moody’s Analytics Senior Economist Ryan Sweet.
Inflation has led the Federal Reserve to get aggressive with interest rates, including a 75-basis-point hike earlier this month. There is talk the Fed could opt for an unprecedented 100-basis-point increase in light of the June data.
Rising rates could deal another blow to consumers already facing higher costs for goods.