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Georgia Delegation Stands Up for Transaction Processing Industry
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Senators join House colleagues by signing on to industry priority while Congressman Bishop challenges nation’s top economic official to consider potential costs of burdensome regulation
ATLANTA (March 16, 2015)—Georgia’s two senators have joined their House of Representative Colleagues in a bipartisan challenge to proposed regulations which could overly burden the state’s transaction processing industry. Their action comes as another member of Georgia’s delegation grilled the nation’s top economic official on the significant compliance costs to both industry and governments of the proposed regulations.
The 870-page proposed regulation by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is a top priority for the American Transaction Processors Coalition (ATPC), which argues the rule could significantly impact the predominately Georgia-based prepaid card industry. The ATPC and its member companies have worked to educate the CFPB and Congress on the potential unintended consequences of the proposed regulation.
U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson and David Perdue joined the effort last week, writing a letter asking the CFPB to extend a comment period on the rule by 60 days. The senators wrote that the proposed rule “may go too far” and “will likely create numerous unintended consequences.”
“The transaction processing industry is critically important to the economic health of the State of Georgia,” the senators wrote. “Based on our conversations with our constituents, we are not convinced that the CFPB has struck the proper balance in the Proposed Rule."
“[W]e owe it to consumers and the thousands that work in this industry to ‘get it right,’” the House members wrote. The CFPB has not yet replied to the request.
Separately, Congressman Sanford Bishop, a senior Democrat representing Georgia’s Second District, challenged U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew to review the high potential costs associated with the proposed rule.
Commenting at a hearing for the Subcommittee on Appropriations for Financial Services, the congressman noted the CFPB’s proposed rule has the potential of imposing “significant” compliance costs to both the prepaid card industry and customers, including state and local governments that use prepaid cards to disburse benefits. Congressman Bishop told Secretary Lew that governments are the largest users of prepaid products because they are a far more cost-efficient payment option than paper checks, according to a Department of Treasury analysis.
The congressman also emphasized the importance of the payments industry to Georgia’s economy, noting that payments firms based in the state form “the center of gravity for the entire payments industry across the globe.”
In response to the Congressman’s questions, Secretary Lew said, “I agree with you that prepaid cards are more efficient in many cases for government transactions,” adding “I very much understand the value.”
Secretary Lew committed to Congressman Bishop that he would follow up with the CFPB to determine whether a cost/benefit analysis has been conducted to evaluate the impact of the proposed rule.
“This show of support is the fulfillment of our founding vision to build awareness among Georgia’s Congressional delegation about the important role that transaction processing companies play to the state’s and nation’s prestige, and economic competitiveness in an increasingly digital and global payment economy,” said ATPC Executive Director H. West Richards. “We thank Georgia’s delegation for stepping in to ask critical questions, and we will continue to educate Congress and the CFPB on the potential consequences of the regulation.”
About the American Transaction Processors Coalition
The ATPC was created to protect, promote and preserve the interests of this critical Georgia industry through proactive public relations and government affairs activities. Member companies include: Worldpay US; Elavon; FIS; InComm; Merchant e-Solutions (a Cielo Company); Ingenico; Bluefin; and Vesta. Sponsors include: Hunton & Williams (Founding sponsor); VCE; and Brightwell Payments. Learn more at www.atpcoalition.org.