Digital Transactions Covers CardX Panel Appearance at NEAA

“In New York, the ruling likely means merchants that surcharge will have to post two prices, one for the no-surcharge price and other with the surcharge, Razi says. ‘When you think of the real-world perspective, my prediction is that retailers, especially larger ones, will consider it burdensome to post prices two times,’ he says.

There may be some merchants, however, that could adopt surcharging, such as those in professional services, like lawyers and consulting services, Razi says. It’s not that challenging to issue an invoice with a surcharge price when paying with a credit card and a price for using other payment types. The card brands’ rules provide guidelines for merchants on surcharging. Merchants cannot apply surcharges to debit card transactions.

Merchants adopting a surcharging program, however, should be aware of an Oct. 18, 2018, Visa Inc. bulletin that stipulates adding a fee ‘on top of the normal price of items being purchased, then giv[ing] an immediate discount of that fee at the register if the customer pays with cash or debit card, [is] NOT [emphasis Visa’s] compliant with the Visa Rules and may subject the acquirer to non-compliance action.’

The bulletin signals that Visa is serious about enforcing its surcharging rules, says David Leppek, a payment consultant. When Visa is alerted to an infraction it tells the bank sponsor, which then follows up with the merchant, he says.

‘As this becomes bigger and bigger in the market,’ says Razi, ‘there will be more enforcement if people cross the line.’”

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