Some consumers in the state of California may have recently gotten an unpleasant surprise when they attempted to use their credit cards to make a purchase.
A number of small businesses throughout California were recently discovered to be charging consumers small fees for taking on credit card debt to make purchases, according to a report from Visalia television station KMPH. The state currently permits charges of this type to be tacked onto debit card purchases [only], and business owners also have the option of offering discounts for paying with cash.
While the fees were not substantial, they were still illegal, the report said. Often, the companies charged between 45 cents and $2 for accepting a credit card, and most of the time this was only applied to purchases of less than $10 or $15.
Many businesses have objected to these transaction fees charged by payment processing networks, saying they are too high and cut too heavily into profit margins. Often, this practice may lead to higher prices for all items, which can make it more difficult for consumers to get out of debt quickly.