Payments Views

Allen Weinberg

Listening to Chris Dodd’s Keynote at the ETA Annual Meeting

Former Sen. Chris Dodd, ex-Chair of Senate Banking Committee, probably needs no introduction to anyone in payments. In his keynote address to the annual meeting of the ETA this morning, he commented on the Durbin Amendment:

  • Excluded interchange from original bill because it was so complicated. “Almost impossible … to draft something that struck a balance”
  • Stunned by how low the original number (12 cents) was
  • Thinks Fed will move number up
  • Doesn’t think Testor Amendment will get adopted
  • Very few in Congress have any ability to understand the payments business

It was interesting to note how negative the questions were from the audience re the Durbin Amendment – coming from a large group of acquirers and ISOs. The sentiment seemed to be one of concern about the amendment being the first of a continuing stream of regulation/intervention from politicians who don’t understand the industry.

Just reporting the Durbin nuggets — was part of a much longer, VERY fascinating speech on financial system regulation in the past few years!