Another Win For Retailers From Supreme Court

by MR Magazine Staff

Retailers may soon have a voice when it comes to disclosing surcharges related to card payments. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday, March 29, that First Amendment free speech rights should be considered when determining how merchants disclose to their shoppers that credit card swipe fees can drive up the price of merchandise. A long-standing law in New York state — as well as those in nine other states — implied that retailers may not advertise or disclose that credit or debit card purchases were subject to a 2% to 3% surcharge. Justices concluded that this “surcharge ban” — which was often support-ed by the credit card industry — violates “free speech” and retailers’ First Amendment rights. “Today’s ruling is a clear stand in favor of the free speech protections of the First Amendment,” the National Retail Federation’s senior VP and General Counsel Mallory Duncan said. “The nation’s highest court has recognized that whether a merchant chooses to communicate credit card fees through a surcharge or through a cash discount is a matter of speech.” Read more at Chain Store Age.