Credit card users to incur a `checkout fee` on purchases - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Credit card users to incur a `checkout fee` on purchases

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

You could end up paying more every time you use your credit card at retailers throughout the state. That ability went through on Sunday and is causing some concern among business owners and customers alike.

The word is spreading thanks to a class action lawsuit and because of it, businesses in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin can now charge up to 4% more every time you swipe your credit card.

"There are two sides to this story, but the consumer, as usual gets caught in the middle," says Financial Analyst Phil Flynn.

One side is saying the larger retailers, like Target and Sears, don't plan on passing on their credit card swipe fees to the consumer.

FOX Business Contributor Phil Flynn says there is good reason these businesses won't do that.

"I would have the bargaining power with the credit cards and I could say to you, ‘Hey , I'm going to be running a lot of tickets. I want a better fee.' Where, if I'm running a small restaurant, I'm being forced by the credit card company to pay the same rate even though it could put me out of business over the long run," Flynn explains.

The National Retail Federation says it opposes the outcome of this lawsuit.

In a statement sent to FOX 32 News, they say, "The bottom line is that very few retailers would be able to surcharge under the settlement, and that the vast majority don't want to surcharge even if they could. Our primary opposition to the settlement is that it does nothing to change the way swipe fees are set, does nothing to keep fees from going up going forward and bars future lawsuits."

Jim August, one of the owners of the Irish Shop in Oak Park, has been doing his research on the settlement.

"I think that if I was to put a sign up at the door, which you have to then and disclose at the door, at the register, wherever you show, and on the receipt, that we're charging you more because you're using your charge card. I don't think that would be great good will for our type of business," August says.

August doesn't plan on placing the surcharge on his customers.

Customers in the area say they wouldn't shop at a place that would add the swipe fee.

"If some businesses aren't doing it, I'd probably not shop at the business that is doing it," Oak Park resident Aaron Andersen says. "But, if it's a small thing like a coffee, I think it's ridiculous that credit card companies charge 3 or 4 percent to the business owner."

Fortunately for consumers, passing on this surcharge is not mandatory. The National Retail Federation says it has yet to speak with a business that plans on utilizing that option.

Ten states have actually banned this charge.

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