A new New York law that brought transparency to credit card fees charged by businesses went into effect Sunday, requiring companies to disclose the total cost of goods and services to customers before they make payment.
The legislation, signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul in December, mandates that cashiers and business owners either show customers the total price, including the credit card surcharge, or list the separate prices for paying with a credit card versus cash.
Law Requires Equal Surcharges
“New Yorkers should never have to deal with hidden credit card costs, and this law will ensure that people can trust that their purchases will not result in surprise surcharges,” Hochul said when announcing the measure late last year. “Transparency is crucial to building trust between businesses and communities, and now sponsors can budget accordingly.”
In addition to upfront disclosure, the law requires that any credit card fees passed on to customers match the rates charged by the card companies. Debit cards are exempt from the new rules.
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State Posts Compliance Guidelines
The New York State Department of State has posted guidance on its website, including a video detailing proper signage under the new standard. Signs can no longer state the percentage surcharge that will be added to credit card transactions without spelling out the total cost to customers.
Instead, signs must prominently advertise the total price using various payment methods.
The law aims to eliminate shoppers being surprised at checkout by extra fees meant to offset the cost of credit card processing. Customers can factor those costs into their purchasing decisions by providing complete transparency about additional charges added to credit card purchases.