On Thursday, New Jersey’s Assembly passed a bill which could prevent merchants from implementing surcharges when customers make a purchase with a credit card. The card networks only recently began allowing surcharging as part of Visa and MasterCard’s antitrust settlement (In re: Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation, 05-md-01720, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York). Merchants had the option to surcharge as of Jan. 27th 2013.
New Jersey isn’t the only state that wants to protect consumers from surcharging. According to the Visa website, 10 states have already enacted laws to limit surcharging. If several other states decide to ban surcharging, merchants will lose one of benefits contained in the antitrust settlement, which several retail associations believe was already unfairly one-sided.
Click here to read more about New Jersey’s decision. Read Patricia Hewitt’s Perspective about the credit surcharge.