More States Look to Ban New Credit Card Surcharge Fee

It started on January 27th, 2013: merchants in 40 states were allowed to start charging a fee to customers who use credit cards to make purchases. Ten states had already determined this was illegal and now more states are starting to jump on the bandwagon. Mississippi, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, West Virginia, New Jersey, and Illinois are also reportedly looking at ways to ban the new “checkout fee.”

Not only do the states not like it, but merchants apparently don’t either. Although the ability to charge this fee was a concession in a lawsuit against Visa-MasterCard and what retailers consider “outrageous card swipe fees” many merchants are not going to use it in the fear of losing customers. Many merchants just want the cost of credit card processing fees to be lessened. Smaller retailers say they don’t have the time and expense to go through the process of being able to charge the fee (they must notify Visa/MasterCard, have their receipts print a separate line showing the credit card surcharge, and they have to had adequate signage in the store).

It’s interesting to note that other countries have fought to be able to charge credit card customers an additional fee and when the right was granted to them, most merchants don’t go through with it.

Americans to Spend More and Save More in 2013

Isn’t this kind of an oxymoron, Americans are both going to spend and save? Hmmm. That must be a good sign then, that people in thie country are once again having the money to both. American Express did a survey and people are more confident in the economy now than they were at this time last year.

The survey also asked where people were going to increase their spending, as follows:

  • Clothes & accessories: 26% (up 4% from last year)
  • Home decor: 24% (up 1% from last year)
  • Entertainment & dining out: 19% (up 5% from last year)

Survey respondents also reported that they are going to spend more this year on TVs, tablets, and ebooks.

file0001174273310Entrepreneurs should take off and run with this information. Now is the time to build that online business and start selling goods. Don’t let big players like Amazon scare you; find a niche and go with it. Get your website built, get your internet merchant account set up to you can accept credit card payments¬†on your website¬†(you can do so here), source some products and give it a go. There are still opportunities out there for people who want to break away from the rat race and be the boss of their own business. Not many barriers stand in your way.