Potential lawsuit settlement by Visa and MasterCard could allow suppliers to impose surcharges
Friday, July 13, 2012
Posted by: Lynn Larson
This week, various news sources reported on the likely upcoming lawsuit settlement by MasterCard and Visa. The lawsuit is the consolidation of more than 50 lawsuits filed since 2005, which pertain to merchants' dissatisfaction with the rules and costs related to card acceptance. One probable settlement outcome is the ability of card-accepting merchants (suppliers) in the U.S. to impose a surcharge—a practice that has been historically prohibited in the U.S. per the networks' merchant rules. It's a news story worth watching.
If/when surcharging is allowed, end-user organizations need to make thoughtful business decisions based on costs versus benefits. The benefits of card usage for B2B payments would likely prevail in most cases.
Breaking news later in the day, July 13, 2012: The lawsuit was settled; read the related news item for details.