New Surcharge Law for New York State

By Zena Tsarfin for Merchant Advocate

On February 11, New York became the latest state to institute guidelines and regulations regarding surcharging programs which pass the cost of credit card acceptance to consumers. In a nutshell, the new law essentially restricts businesses from imposing credit card surcharges that are higher than the actual transaction cost. But how that amount is calculated and how to ensure compliancy can be confusing.

For example, while it is still legal to charge different prices for cash versus credit transactions in New York, the highest price that a consumer might pay for a good or service must be clearly posted. This means businesses will need to adjust POS systems for two-tier pricing, as well as train employees about the new mandates.

In addition, merchants must now accommodate for a bevy of new signage that clearly “and conspicuously” displays two sets of prices, one for cash and debit cards, and the other for credit card purchases. Failure to do so can cost businesses a hefty fine of $500 for each and every violation!

More specific examples of dos and don’ts can be found on the state of New York’s website.

If you are still unsure of how this might affect your business and would like to speak to one of our experts, please contact Merchant Advocate.

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