As part of a settlement reached this past summer between merchants and Visa/MasterCard, consumers may now be charged more when paying with a credit card. The change went into effect this week and will only apply in cases where a credit card is used. Those using debit cards will not be affected.
States That Still Prohibit Checkout Fees For Credit Card Users
California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma, Texas
How Much Will It Cost You?
The amount that can be added to your bill can not be more than what the merchant is actually paying for processing the transaction. This means the checkout fee would range from about 1.5% to 3% in most cases. Remember, this is at the option of the merchant. There is no rule that says that they are required to hit you with a checkout fee. Another variation on this is to raise prices by 2 to 3 percent and then offer a 'discount' to those paying cash.
Where You May See The New Fee First
One of the first places you are likely to see the fee is at your local gas station. I remember as a young person that it was commonplace for gas stations to have a 'cash' and a 'credit' price. Gas stations work off of very small margins and fuel prices are very competitive, so it would only make sense that many will jump on this option.
Another place you will likely see such fees would be at your grocery store. Again, another business working from razor thin margins. Many following this story also believe that restaurants will jump on board and start adding checkout fees as well.
The Likely Result Of The New Fee
Look for debit cards to become the new normal at checkout. Most people already have a debit card in their wallet and will simply avoid using credit cards with merchants that apply a checkout fee. The growing problem with debit cards is compromised PINs, allowing criminals to gain direct access to bank accounts.
PayPal Checkout Contining To Expand Cashless Checkout Nationwide
If you have a PayPal account you may now have the option to checkout by simply typing in your cell phone number and PIN and you won't even need to present a credit or debit card. I personally did this just last week at a Dollar General.
Other retailers now accepting PayPal include Abercrombie & Fitch, Advance Auto Parts, Aéropostale, American Eagle Outfitters, Barnes & Noble, Foot Locker, Guitar Center, Jamba Juice, JC Penney, Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, Nine West, Office Depot, Rooms to Go, Tiger Direct, Toys “R” Us.
Checkout With Your Cell Phone
Another checkout option that will begin to roll out this year is the option to pay with your cell phone. Through NFC (near field communication), you will be able to authorize payment with a wireless connection at the checkout stand.
Cashless Transactions And The Mark Of The Beast
As a Christian, the growing idea of a 'cashless society' has more implications than just a question of convenience. For those interested, we track the race toward the coming Mark Of The Beast on our other blog - Bible Prophecy And Survival Blog.
Helping you make the most of God's money!