H. B. 2343
(By Delegate R. M. Thompson (By Request))
[Introduced January 16, 2003
; referred to the
Committee on Banking and Insurance then the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact section one, article three, chapter
thirty-two-a of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine
hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to increasing the
amount of fees merchants are permitted to charge for cashing
government or other checks.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section one, article three, chapter thirty-two-a of the
code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 3. CHECK CASHING.
§32A-3-1. Check cashing permitted.
(a) A merchant primarily in the business of making retail
consumer sales may offer check cashing services at its stores to
accommodate its customers in the course of said business, and may
collect a fee for the service, if the check cashing service and any fees charged are incidental to the main business of the merchant.
Except as set forth in subsection (b) of this section, the term
"check cashing services" does not include a transaction where a
customer presents a check for the exact amount of a purchase.
charged in connection with check cashing services may not exceed
the greater of one dollar, or one percent of the face value of the
check cashed. Check cashing services may not exceed the greater of
three dollars and fifty cents, or two percent of the face value of
the government check cashed, or four dollars and fifty cents or
four percent of all other checks cashed. Fees from check cashing
services shall be posted and conform to those permitted by this
(b) Merchants may not, in connection with providing check
cashing services, agree to hold checks submitted to them for
deposit at a later date for the purpose of providing a loan of
money and deriving profit therefrom.
(c) No license is required as a condition for a merchant
providing check cashing services in conformity with subsections (a)
and (b) of this section.
(d) Where a merchant derives more than five percent of his or
her gross revenues from cashing checks, the check cashing services
are not considered incidental to the main business of the merchant,
and the merchant is required to be licensed under article two of
(e) Persons holding a license pursuant to article two of this
chapter may in conjunction with their licensed business, or other
lawful business, engage in the business of check cashing in West
Virginia. Fees charged for check cashing services by a licensee
under article two of this chapter shall be posted and conform to
those permitted merchants under this section. No licensee may in
connection with providing check cashing services agree to hold
checks submitted to it for deposit at a later date for the purpose
of providing a loan of money and deriving profit therefrom.
(f) Federally-insured depository institutions, foreign bank
agencies, and governmental entities exempt from licensure as money
transmitters under this chapter are exempt from the provisions of
this article. Other financial institutions licensed by and under
the jurisdiction of the commissioner of banking may upon written
approval engage in the check cashing business permitted merchants
under this article.
(g) Except as provided or allowed by this article, no person
may engage in the check cashing business. As used in this article
the term "check cashing business" means any person who engages in
the business of cashing checks, including drafts, money orders, or
other instruments for the transmission or payment of money for a
fee. However, the term "check" as used in this article does not
include a travelers check or a foreign denomination check.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to
increase the fee amount
merchants are permitted to charge for cashing government or other
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would