Visa MasterCard Surcharge Settlement Update

UPDATE: Visa MasterCard Surcharge Settlement & Implementation

The Visa MasterCard surcharge update is as follows. The proposed U.S. credit card interchange settlement agreement between merchant plaintiffs and Visa and MasterCard and a number of bank defendants is subject to a number of approvals and conditions. Last last year, the settlement received preliminary approval from the Federal court overseeing the case. As part of the settlement, subject to approvals and conditions, it is intended to result in several actions including a lifting of the credit card surcharging prohibition.

Per the proposed Visa MasterCard settlement, the networks agreed to change their operating rules to allow merchants to impose credit card surcharges under certain conditions.  The proposed settlement does not cover debit card transactions, and does not supersede state laws the prohibit payment card surcharges. To date, 10 large states currently have laws the prohibit surcharges on credit card transaction. An additional 18 states have introduced bills to prohibit surcharging.

For a variety of factors, including the number of states currently looking to prohibit surcharging, as well as the complexity to implement the infrastructure across various acquiring platforms and POS environments, Metro Merchant Services processing partner First Data has decided not to implement support for this enhancement. First Data is a global payment processing partner and this decision will impact Merchant Services Providers across the nation, not just Metro Merchant Services.

First Data will continue to review and evaluate future support based on industry changes, including merchant interest, regulatory, and legislative. Metro Merchant Services is committed to proving merchants as well as franchise operators updates on this situation, please stay posted.

Also it should be noted that MasterCard has revised the standards for handling disputes when a Surcharge is applied to a transaction. Just the beginning of changes and restrictions we believe will put off merchants even more to surcharging their clients.