Small businesses are the backbone of New Jersey’s economy. New Jersey’s more than 952,000  small businesses employ 1.9 million New Jersey residents – nearly 49 percent of the state’s private sector workforce. Small businesses in New Jersey rely on credit cards and rewards to lower operating costs, re-invest in their businesses and employees, manage cash flow, and give customers more choice, security, and convenience in how they pay. In fact, a survey conducted by the Federal Reserve found that small businesses that start accepting credit card  payments see a 10% – 15% increase in the size of average transactions. The modern, safe, and secure payments ecosystem is critical to the success of small businesses throughout New Jersey. 

Bill Sponsors Push for Hearing on New Credit Card Mandates Impacting Small  Business 

The Durbin-Marshall credit card bill was introduced last year in Congress as the “Credit Card  Competition Act” (CCCA), and the bill’s sponsors are now pushing to hold a hearing. The  proposed legislation is a direct threat to the electronic payments and rewards system and  would have a major negative impact on local businesses, entrepreneurs, and tradespeople  who use credit cards and rewards to run their businesses. It would circumvent the  competitive market with a government “routing mandate” that dictates which processing  networks banks can accept, without regard to security or quality.  

Small Businesses Rely on Credit Cards 

Credit card payments provide small businesses with many critical benefits: they enable  customer convenience, enhance transaction security, and provide billions in rewards that  small businesses can reinvest in their operations. From facilitating quick and easy purchases  to bolstering consumer confidence with robust security measures, credit cards are integral to  the modern small business ecosystem. Rewards programs often serve as a crucial financial  lifeline, helping to offset operational costs and maintain cash flow. 

Durbin-Marshall: Unintended Consequences of Bad Policy 

The Durbin-Marshall credit card bill would be a windfall for corporate mega stores, with  benefits focused on only a few corporations. The new mandates would dramatically reduce  credit card rewards; compromise fraud protection and cybersecurity; and reduce access to  capital and credit for many small businesses. 

Interchange Mandates Didn’t Work the Last Time They Tried It 

You don’t have to look far for historical evidence of how Durbin-Marshall will negatively impact  small businesses. In 2010, Congress passed a similar provision that forced price controls on 

debit card processing. That legislation only increased big box retailer revenue, while studies  show little to no cost savings were passed on to consumers or small businesses. Because  many alternative payment processors charge a flat fee, savings never made their way to small  businesses. Instead, small businesses and consumers saw reduced availability of free  checking, higher monthly fees and minimum account balances – and the disappearance of  debit card rewards programs. 


The Durbin-Marshall credit card bill would not benefit competition in a meaningful way, as  only corporate mega stores with huge volumes of transactions would benefit from this  proposal. With this drastic shift in the credit card market, rewards programs would be  decimated and there would be an increased risk of fraud for local businesses, entrepreneurs,  and consumers alike. Small businesses in Delaware shouldn’t be forced to pay for a  Washington giveaway to corporate mega stores.