The biggest anti-trust settlement ever could have consumers paying more with every swipe of their credit card.
Visa and MasterCard agreed to pay billions of dollars to settle allegations of overcharging merchants to process transactions.
The agreement lets retailers collectively bargain on future swipe fees and creates the possibility for retailers to pass the fees onto their customers, through an added surcharge for credit card transactions.
Stores could charge an additional 1.5 percent to 3 percent for using a credit card at the checkout, although they would have to disclose the charges to consumers in clear, concise language.
Sandy Schimmel Whitmore, owner of Ruth's Keystone Cafe, said 90 percent of her customers whip out their credit cards instead of cash.
But, she said with stiff competition among credit companies, there's no need to charge her customers more.
"So, now what used to be a three- to seven-day turnaround on your money going into the bank, it's a 24-hour turnaround," Schimmel Whitmore told RTV6's Stacia Matthews. "So, as long as they're taking their fees and improving their business, just like the rest of us do, I don't see any reason to pass that on."
Schimmel Whitmore added that customers tend to buy more when using plastic, so she doesn't want to discourage the use of credit cards.
Still, some retailers will slap a surcharge on their customers to make up for some of the costs.
"I'm aware there are fees already when we use our credit cards, but it sounds like it's going to change a little bit," said consumer Steve Braddner.
For Braddner, a surcharge to use his credit card could change his spending habits.
"I'd probably use more cash," he said.
Any new swipe fees wouldn't apply to debit cards.
The National Retail Federation said consumers shouldnt panic about the possible fees, because most retailers will likely find a way to avoid passing on the charge.
The agreement still needs court approval. If approved, it will take effect Jan. 1.
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