The implementation of a new law in New York has brought significant changes to how businesses inform customers about credit card surcharges, aiming to enhance transparency and prevent unexpected costs at the register.
Effective from this past weekend, businesses are now mandated to disclose the total cost of goods or services when paid for with a credit card, inclusive of any associated surcharges, before customers complete their transactions. This requirement offers consumers clarity regarding the true cost of their purchases, helping them make informed decisions at the point of sale.
Under the new law, businesses have two options for compliance: they can either display the total price, incorporating the credit card surcharge, or provide separate pricing for credit card payments versus cash transactions. This flexibility allows proprietors to adapt to the requirements while ensuring transparency in their pricing practices.
Furthermore, the law stipulates that any surcharge imposed on customers using credit cards must accurately reflect the amount charged by credit card companies. This provision ensures that consumers are not subjected to arbitrary or excessive surcharges, fostering trust and confidence in the purchasing process.
Governor Kathy Hochul, who signed the bill into law in December, emphasized the importance of transparency in building trust between businesses and consumers. By empowering individuals to budget accordingly and avoid unexpected surcharges, the law seeks to promote fair and honest transactions in the marketplace.
To assist businesses in complying with the new regulations, the state department has provided guidance on permissible signage. For instance, businesses are prohibited from displaying only the percentage added for credit card usage and requiring customers to calculate the total amount themselves. Instead, signage must clearly indicate the all-inclusive price, ensuring transparency and ease of understanding for consumers.
It’s worth noting that the new rule specifically applies to credit card transactions and does not extend to debit card payments. While the law focuses on enhancing transparency in credit card transactions, it underscores the importance of consumer protection and fair business practices in the retail sector.