Details About New Rules on Credit Card Surcharges

Beginning January 27, 2013, merchants in the United States and U.S. Territories will be permitted to impose a surcharge on consumers when they use a credit card. Consumers will pay an additional fee when they use their credit card at retailers that decide to surcharge. Currently this is on Visa and MasterCard Credit Cards if the merchant decides to issue the surcharge.

What This Means for Consumers:

  • There are limits on the amount that can be charged.
  • Surcharges can be imposed only on credit card transactions, not on purchases made with debit cards.
  • Merchants must disclose the credit card surcharge very clearly—at the store entry and at the point-of-sale, or on the homepage if the merchant does business on the Internet.
  • The disclosure must include the amount of the surcharge, the fact that the fee is being charged by the merchant the fee is being charged by the merchant (as opposed to the card issuer), and that the fee does not exceed the merchant’s cost to accept credit cards.
  • The dollar amount of the surcharge must appear on the transaction receipt.
  • Surcharging isn’t allowed everywhere. Currently, there are laws limiting surcharging in: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma and Texas.

This allowance was made possible by a settlement won last year by retailers opposed to paying interchange fees to cover the cost of credit card transactions. The settlement allowed merchants to pass along the cost of those interchange fees to consumers.

Customers cannot use a credit card as a debit card. A credit card allows individuals to make a purchase as a loan, whereas a debit card draws the individual’s money directly from that person’s bank account.

It’s uncertain when or if retailers will implement a surcharge on credit card transactions. It’s also unclear if retailers will add a surcharge to debit card transactions processed as “credit.”

We encourage our customers to pay close attention to their in-store and online credit card transactions in the coming weeks and months to watch for any surcharges.

Shelby County State Bank will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates as new information becomes available.

Shelby County State Bank receives Community Betterment Award from Iowa Bankers Association

Shelby County State Bank was recently honored by the Iowa Bankers Association (IBA) as a 2012 Community Betterment Award recipient. The award was presented to Kevin Campbell, President & CEO and Janet Buman, Marketing Officer during the IBA’s annual convention on Sept. 18 in Des Moines.

Shelby County State Bank was honored for its Economic Development entry per fund-raising efforts for the Petersen FamilyWellness Center. The bank sponsored an employee fund drive to build the wellness center whose namesakes are past SCSB President H.Rand Petersen and his wife Mary Louise. The bank pledged $115,000 to the facility and provided matching funds for employee donations over $6700.

Shelby County State Bank was one of three banks selected as 2012 IBA Community Betterment Award winners. Banks across the state had the opportunity to submit their community-based projects to be reviewed by a panel of judges. The winning banks were honored by the IBA for demonstrating a high level of commitment to the communities they serve.

“Banks across the state of Iowa are making a difference in their local communities every day,” said IBA President and CEO John Sorensen. “Shelby County State Bank’s commitment to the wellness center is a shining example of how Iowa banks are making a positive impact in the communities they serve.”