Businesses: New rules for electronic payments take effect October 1st

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If you or your clients accept payment by credit or debit card, mark October 1st on your calendar.  That’s the day new rules go into effect that could help lower your costs. The rules, part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, cover four areas that could affect the day-to-day operation of your business.

  • Interchange fees for debit card transactions.  There’s a new cap in place for some of the fees you pay when a customer pays with a debit card.
  • Discounts to customers.  Under the new rules, you’ll have more freedom to offer your customers a discount for using a certain method of payment.
  • Minimum amount for credit card purchases. The rule gives you more flexibility in setting a minimum dollar amount a customer has to spend before using a credit card to buy something.
  • Network availability and routing for debit card transaction.   You’ll have more freedom to choose the network you use for processing debit card transactions.  That means you can route debit card payments in a way that reduces your costs. There’s more good news:  By April 2012, you must be given a choice of at least two different networks for processing most electronic debit transactions.

Of course, you’ll want to read up on the details.  New Rules on Electronic Payments Lower Costs for Retailers (also available in Spanish and Chinese) offers more on how the new rules will affect your business.

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