23 October 2017
Find out more

Retailers say US Supreme Court should vote in favour of free speech on credit card fees

10 January 2017  |  2377 views  |  0 Source: National Retail Federation

The National Retail Federation today called on the U.S. Supreme Court to allow merchants to freely and accurately show customers the added costs that come with paying by credit card rather than cash.

“Retailers have no interest in surcharging their customers for using credit cards,” NRF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Mallory Duncan said. “That would be the opposite of our goal to bring credit card swipe fees under control. But merchants do want to be able to show customers the cost of using a credit card without running afoul of the law.”

“This case isn’t about surcharging,” Duncan said. “It’s about giving retailers freedom of speech when they try to give their customers a break for paying by cash. Some states allow cash discounts but prohibit credit card surcharges. A gas station owner shouldn’t be hauled into court for saying gas is $2.90 a gallon cash and $3 credit rather than saying $3 credit and $2.90 cash.”

Justices are hearing arguments today in a case challenging laws in 10 states that prohibit merchants from imposing a surcharge when customers use a credit card. The laws, which were passed at the urging of the card industry, can be traps for merchants who give a cash discount. The lawsuit before the court argues that the laws violate merchants’ free speech rights under the First Amendment and are unconstitutionally vague under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment.

Banks charge merchants a fee averaging about 2 percent of the transaction amount each time a credit card is used, and a fee of at least 21 cents when debit cards are used. The fees total more than $50 billion a year and drive up costs for consumers because card industry rules effectively require them to be built into the price of merchandise.

Comments: (0)

Comment on this story (membership required)

Related blogs

Create a blog about this story (membership required)
visit www.niceactimize.comvisit www.vasco.com

Top topics

Most viewed Most shared
Mastercard to roll out blockchain APIMastercard to roll out blockchain API
18318 views comments | 24 tweets | 36 linkedin
HSBC partners Bud for open banking trialHSBC partners Bud for open banking trial
14860 views comments | 23 tweets | 31 linkedin
Sibos 2017: API or the highwaySibos 2017: API or the highway
10773 views comments | 12 tweets | 23 linkedin
satelliteGates Foundation backs Ripple collaboratio...
10229 views comments | 13 tweets | 10 linkedin

Featured job

Find your next job