Credit card swipe fees could cost shoppers more

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by KREM.com & Honora Swanson

KREM.com

Posted on January 30, 2013 at 12:14 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 30 at 12:21 AM

SPOKANE -- Buying things with a credit card could start costing shoppers more.

A new law went into affect this week which gives stores the option of charging customers up to 4 percent to cover the cost of processing a transaction.

At stores like Dodson’s Jewelry in Downtown Spokane, that can be a big chunk of change.

Co-owner Debra Schultz said half of the customers who shop at Dodson’s buy their purchases with a credit card.

Schultz said her store decided against passing the fee along to customers because doing so could drive customers away. Instead the 125-year-old family-owned business will continue to absorb the cost themselves.

“It's a juggling act, but it would be very hard for us to say to somebody ‘if you're going to use your credit cards I'm going to tack on 4% or 5%,” Schultz explained.

Stores that do choose to pass the surcharge on to their customers are required to make that clear at the register.

Shoppers can avoid the fee by using a debit card.

There are laws prohibiting these surcharges in 10 states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma and Texas.
 

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