New Jersey Provides Guidance on Credit Card Surcharging

 – December 20, 2023
New Jersey Provides Guidance on Credit Card Surcharging

Legislation signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy in August 2023 enhances the protections under the Consumer Fraud Act (CFA) by limiting the amount merchants may charge in credit card surcharges and adding specific requirements for how and where disclosure of these so-called “swipe fees” must be displayed.

To facilitate compliance with the law, the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs has published a comprehensive guidance document to help merchants and consumers understand their obligations and rights under the law. The guidance document, titled “ Credit Card Surcharges: Frequently Asked Questions,” provides a detailed explanation of P.L. 2023, c. 146, which prohibits merchants from charging credit card surcharges that exceed their actual cost to process credit card payments.

The law also requires businesses to disclose the amount of any credit card surcharge prior to the consumer incurring any charges by posting notice in at least two places. Restaurants must display notices in the customer service area and on the menu. All other businesses must display notices on a sign at the point of entry and at the point of sale. The law provides an exception and alternative disclosure requirements for transactions made online, through mobile apps, electronic kiosks (like self-serve checkout) and over the phone. Additionally, the law permits the Division to inspect businesses’ account books or other records to ensure compliance with surcharge caps.

Consumers who believe that a business is in violation of the CFA are encouraged to file an online complaint. Consumers can also call 1-800-242-5846 to receive a complaint form by mail.