Credit Card Customers Could See New Charges on Purchases - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Credit Card Customers Could See New Charges on Purchases



BLUEFIELD (WVVA) - Credit cards have been the preferred method of payment for customers for the past decade, and the fee for using them is nothing new to retailers.

"These credit card swipe fees have been in place for years and years and years," business owner Michael Dye said.

According to the National Retail Federation, Visa and Mastercard rake in $30 billion dollars from these charges a year.

While this is nothing sup rising to retailers here, there is news for credit card customers. Shoppers who use plastic could now be responsible for these "swipe fees" charged to retailers.

Starting this week, retailers can charge you a fee when you use your credit card to buy goods; up to four percent of your purchase cost. This practice is banned in ten states, but unfortunately the two-Virginias isn't among that list.

The added "checkout fee" tacked on to your bill may be one you don't notice.


While the law now states that this practice is okay for local retailers, the good news is it's not mandatory. Whether or not the business passes those fees is completely up to the retailer.

Michael Dye says he advises against charging customers, and says his business, Corner Stone Gifts in Bluefield will not ever charge their customers.

"Any retail outlet that tries to impose a fee on credit card usage is committing suicide in the business industry," Dye said.

Retailers who choose to charge customers the fee must post signs on their business.

Dye says because of strong local ties, most small retailers will choose not to charge their customers.

"Because a small business is truly face to face with that customer everyday, they are not going to put another burden on that customer," Dye said.

According to the Electronic Payments Coalition, retailers can only charge a fee equal to what they pay to accept the card. Typically this is between 1.5 percent and 3 percent of the entire purchase. The law states that charges cannot go above four percent.

The coalition advises customers to express their views to retailers. They say knowing your rights is important.

Retailers cannot apply the fee to debit and pre-paid purchases.


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