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Credit Card Settlement & Local Business

July 20, 2012, 9:50 PM by Angela Kennecke

Credit Card Settlement & Local Business

Retailers will be getting a break from those hefty credit card swipe fees for every time someone uses a credit or debit card in their stores. 

The largest anti-trust lawsuit was settled for more than $7 billion with Visa and MasterCard. The deal also allows retailers to tack on a surcharge to consumers when they pay with plastic. 

Ninety-five percent of the sales made at Play It Again Sports are with a debit or credit card.  And for every transaction, owner Dave Rust pays out between 1.5 and three percent to the credit card company.

"A regular card is upwards of a little over two percent," Rust said. "A lot of people probably don't know this, but for any rewards cards, that's a higher percent.  A lot of people think the card company is paying for their rewards, it's actually the retailers."

The $7.5 billion antitrust settlement retailers reached with Visa and MasterCard includes an agreement to reduce swipe fees for eight months and it allows merchants to assess a surcharge for credit card transactions. 

But Rust doesn't plan to pass along his expense to his customers. 

"If I was a consumer I wouldn't like it.  I guess you put yourself in their position," Rust said.

Consumers like the convenience of plastic and question the idea of paying more for it. 

"I just don't think people carry that much cash these days.  Everybody has debit card or credit cards and don't deal with cash at all hardly sometimes," customer Jay Bentz said.

"I'd probably much rather use cash if I knew I was going to get charged more with my card," customer Zac Turbes said.

While Rust doesn't know just how much this settlement with the card companies will save him, he's glad to get some help with the bottom line.

"The credit card companies had a free reign. It keeps them in check a little bit," Rust said.

The settlement must still be approved by a judge.  The national grocery chain Kroger and a few other retailers are considering charging one price for credit purchases and another for cash.

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