Visa has begun enforcing changes to how it deals with merchants that charge its credit card users extra fees when using a Visa card at their establishments. The company decided to lower the maximum amount that retailers are able to charge customers that use Visa cards while also sending in-person auditors to stores in order to ensure compliance.
The world’s largest payment network decided to take action after a growing number of small businesses began charging higher surcharges to customers as a way of recovering from the high fees they pay to banks and credit card companies. Visa took note of this trend, with Chief Executive Officer Ryan McInerney suggesting that the company took action in order to protect consumers.
“We’re just making sure that when consumers do get surcharged, it’s something that’s fair and equitable,” McInerney claimed. “We don’t feel great that consumers get surcharged. But, of course, in certain jurisdictions in the US and around the world, merchants have the ability to do that.”
Customer surcharges have become commonplace at small businesses across the United States, with around 23% of small businesses admitting to charging a surcharge to customers, a survey by Strawhecker Group found.