U.S. Supreme Court agrees to hear no-surcharge case

The U.S. Supreme Court Thursday agreed to hear Hair Design v. Schneiderman, a case in which retailers are challenging a New York statute that prohibits merchants from imposing a surcharge for using a payment card but does not prohibit cash discounts. The case has potential impact on a number of surcharge-related cases around the country, including several that CUNA is involved in.

CUNA has filed amicus briefs in similar cases in California, Texas and Florida. In the briefs, CUNA argues that allowing surcharging shifts the costs of using electronic payments to consumers and financial institutions, while allowing merchants to continue to receive the benefits of participating in the system.

In Texas, the 5th Circuit rendered an opinion favorable to credit unions, reversing a ruling to allow surcharges in the former and upholding the no-surcharge law in the latter state. However, in the Florida case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit struck down Florida’s no-surcharge law in November of 2015.

Credit unions also saw a victory in a similar case in New York, where the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that an anti-surcharging law was not a violation of free speech.

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