The number of states considering bans on imposing a surcharge on credit/debit cards is gaining momentum. At least 18 states are considering such proposals, with one measure reaching a governor’s desk. That’s in addition to 10 states with laws already on their books.
The Credit Union National Association and state leagues continue to monitor the bills, introduced since a $7.2 billion antitrust lawsuit settlement that merchants negotiated with Visa, MasterCard and banks. The settlement allows merchants to charge a checkout fee equal to what the merchant pays to accept the card–typically 1.5% to 3% in the U.S. and not to exceed 4%. The surcharge provision became effective Jan. 27, and does not affect debit cards (News Now Feb. 11).
CUNA’s state legislative staff is tracking the state developments, saying that any surcharge on card transactions would have an impact on all financial institutions, including credit unions, as well as their members.
If the state proposals should become law in the states, surcharges would be banned in 28 states. Ten states already had laws on the books when the settlement occurred. Since News Now’s Feb. 11 story, seven states introduced or began drafting bills banning merchants from charging “checkout” fees on card transactions.continue reading »