Business

Patients Could See New Credit Card Checkout Fee

If you’re someone who pays for purchases at your doctors office (or anything else for that matter) with your credit card, you may have some things to consider the next time you swipe.

Starting January 27th, 2013, businesses nationwide can now add an additional charge if you pay by credit instead other methods (cash or debit card). The consumer advocacy group Consumer Action said to keep an eye on you credit for these “checkout fees.”

You may not notice the difference on smaller items. Businesses are limited with their extra fee. This could be anywhere from 1.5% – 3% added to your purchase.

Not all states and not all credit card companies are involved in the new credit card surcharge changes. The credit card surcharge does include Visa/Mastercard but not American Express. Some states have protection laws for customers regarding credit card fees and surcharges including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma, and Texas.

However, as with most laws, whether the credit card protection law in each one of those 10 states is being followed or not is a different story.

These fees are equal to the amount businesses pay the credit card companies for each swipe they accept. It is up to each business (or doctor’s office) to decide whether or not to include this extra charge to their patients using a credit card.

If you are a medical practice owner in one of the states which now allows this new checkout fee, do you plan to add this fee to your customer’s bills?

Source: http://www.consumer-action.org/popular/checkout_fees.html; http://www.electronicpaymentscoalition.org/settlement-consumers/

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