Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Vermont Setting to Legalize Minimum Credit Card Purchases

The State Senate approved a bill allowing Vermont retailers to have a minimum charge on credit card purchases. Although many small retailers currenlty request a $10 minimum for purchases with credit cards, it is actually against their merchant account contract with Visa and Matercard. The Senate bill was actually altered from it's original version to allow for quicker passage through the House. The original version would also have allowed retailers to refuse credit cards that are assoicted with higher fees to the merchant i.e. reward and corporate cards. If the bill passes the house, it will  need  the Governor's signature to become law. Last year, 7-Eleven stores delivered 1.66 million customer signatures from a petition campaign urging Congress to stop unfair credit card fees. It was the most signatures ever delivered to Congress on a policy issue in American history. There has been a constant struggle between Visa/ Mastercard and merchants regarding interchange fees. The merchants claiming that these fees are simply raising their products pricing while the banks claim to providing a service and that the merchants are smply looking for more profit that customers will never see.

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