Visa and Mastercard Users a New Law Goes Into Effect

Recently I was on-line and saw that there is a new law going into effect on January 27, 2013 which will allow Visa and Mastercard merchants to pass along the fee that they pay to Visa and Mastercard on to shoppers.    According to the law, stores most prominently display that this charge is going to be passed on to you as the consumer or on the homepage of the website you are shopping from, typically ranging from 1.5%-3% (although 4% is the maximum allowed).  If you use your Visa and Mastercard as a credit card, please make sure to look for those signs in-store.  If you use your Visa and Mastercard as a debit card, this law does not apply to debit transactions.

From Teachers Credit Union:

Beginning January 27, 2013, Visa® and MasterCard® will allow merchants to pass along their payment processing costs to consumers who pay with a credit card. This would mean that a merchant who chooses to exercise this new right could impose a surcharge, sometimes referred to as a “checkout fee,” that could increase your credit card purchase amount by as much as 4% (maximum allowed).

Under the settlement:
• The surcharge cannot exceed the amount that the merchant actually pays to accept credit cards – normally between 1.5% and 3% of the transaction amount.
• Surcharges can only be imposed on credit card transactions only, not on purchases made with debit cards or prepaid cards.
• Merchants must disclose the credit card surcharge clearly – at the store entrance and the point of sale or on the homepage if the merchant does business on the Internet.
• The disclosure must include the amount of the surcharge, the fact that the fee is being charged by the merchant, and that the fee does not exceed the merchant’s cost to accept credit cards.
• The dollar amount of the surcharge must appear on the transaction receipt.
Merchants are not allowed to impose a credit card surcharge in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma, or Texas, where such fees are prohibited under state law.
For more information go to www.knowyourcard.org

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