What to know about new NY law on how businesses display credit card prices

A new state law that took effect Sunday changes rules for New York businesses about how they display prices for credit card purchases to customers.

The law requires businesses to display the total prices for items or services, including any credit card surcharges, before consumers check out, according to Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office.

The businesses can also display a two-tiered pricing option if they offer a cash discount. In those cases, the businesses can display the credit card price, alongside the price for using cash.

If businesses do offer a cash discount, they’re not required to display the lower price. They could just display the higher, credit card price and inform customers through signage that they’ll get a discount for using cash, the state said.

Either way, if there’s a higher price for using a credit card, it has to be shown explicitly to customers before they check out.

Companies can’t just display signs or notices stating they charge a certain additional percentage for using credit cards, according to the state. They also can’t just post a blanket statement informing customers they charge a fee for cards.

The new law mandates that businesses display the actual credit card prices for each item they sell or service they provide. Businesses could also just use a single price for cash and cards and display that.

The idea is that customers will always see that highest possible price they’ll end up paying, not a lower one that could increase later through a fee for using a card.

The law also limits credit card surcharges to the amount charged to the business by credit card companies, Hochul’s office said.

The new law does not apply to debit cards, according to the state.

“New Yorkers should never have to deal with hidden credit card costs, and this law will ensure individuals can trust that their purchases will not result in surprise surcharges,” Hochul said in a news release. “Transparency is crucial in building trust between businesses and communities and now patrons will be empowered to budget accordingly.

Youssef Mubarez, the director of public relations for the Yemeni American Merchants Association, told The New York Times that the law creates more work for small businesses owners who are already stressed.

“They’re making the merchants look like the enemies by calling it ‘hidden fees’ when they’re not,” Mubarez said, according to the Times. “The only thing they’re trying to do is save money so they can keep their business alive.”

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