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Payment Systems Worldwide, Inc., Credit Card � Merchant Services, Bakersfield, CA

Visa and MasterCard to Allow Credit Card Surcharging


In a recent Federal Multi-District Interchange Settlement Agreement, as of January 27, 2013, both Visa and MasterCard have updated their operating regulations to allow merchants the option to impose a surcharge at the point of sale if a customer uses a credit card to make a purchase. Specific details of the rules are as follows:


- States that currently have laws prohibiting merchant surcharging are: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma and Texas


- Debit cards, both pin-based and signature-based, are not allowed to be surcharged. Only credit cards may be surcharged


- Merchants must clearly disclose surcharging practices to consumers at both point-of-entry and at the point-of-sale


- Merchants must include a line item on the receipt with the actual surcharge amount


- Merchants who wish to implement a surcharge must notify both Visa and MasterCard 30 days prior to surcharging


- Surcharging can be done at either the brand level (i.e., MasterCard or Visa) or product level (i.e., Visa Rewards, MasterCard World Card, etc.)


- Merchants will be allowed to surcharge 1.50% to 4.00% percent of the total purchase, depending on their average discount rate, enough to cover their processing costs.


Updates are currently being made to credit card processing systems, and we anticipate that merchants will have the ability to surcharge by mid to late 2013. Merchants that plan to implement a surcharge can expect to incur costs with updating their POS solution.


For more information, please contact Payment Systems Worldwide at 866-727-8677.