The fees charged to merchants for accepting credit card purchases may soon be limited in one state, which might allow for some debt relief for consumers and small businesses alike.
New Hampshire lawmakers are currently considering a bill that would limit what banks can charge for processing credit card purchases to just 1 percent of a transaction's value, according to a report from the Nashua Telegraph. Currently, merchants pay an average of about 1.75 percent of a purchase price but fees range anywhere from 0.67 percent to 4.76 percent, a price the merchant typically doesn't learn until after they've been charged by banks.
This limit would be applied in addition to the new federal cap on debit swipe fees for major banks, the report said. That imposed a limit of just 21 cents per purchase regardless of its size, down from the previous average of 44 cents, based on a percentage of the transaction's value.
The law could help consumers keep credit card debt under control because oftentimes, swipe fees are built into businesses' prices as a way of passing them on to the consumer. If the bill were to pass, some companies may be in a position to reduce their prices