Senate Bill No. 499
(By Senator Chafin)
[Introduced March 12, 2013; referred to the Committee on Banking and Insurance; and then to the Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §46A-6-111, relating to general consumer protection; prohibiting surcharges by sellers on credit card usage by consumers as method of payment; and requiring sellers to make clear and conspicuous disclosure of all fees otherwise charged.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §46A-6-111, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 6. GENERAL CONSUMER PROTECTION.
§46A-6-111. Surcharges in payment transactions.
(a) As used in this section, “credit card” means any single card, plate or other credit device that is reusable by a debtor from time to time to obtain extensions of credit under a revolving credit plan. Checks, drafts and similar instruments that can be used only once to obtain a single credit extension are not credit cards.
(b) A seller may not impose a surcharge on a sales transaction for which the method of payment is a credit card.
(c) If a seller imposes fees or surcharges on sale transactions involving methods of payment other than a credit card, the seller must make clear and conspicuous disclosure of these fees.
(d) Any seller who accepts or offers to accept a credit card, as defined in this section, bearing a trade name as a means of payment shall accept any credit card bearing that trade name presented by a cardholder, notwithstanding the identity of the card issuer.
(e) Nothing in this section prohibits any seller from offering a discount to a buyer to induce the buyer to pay by cash, debit card, check or means other than by credit card. No existing or future contract or agreement shall prohibit a gasoline retailer or distributor from offering a discount to a buyer based upon the method of payment by the buyer for the gasoline. Any provision in such a contract or agreement prohibiting a retailer or distributor from offering such a discount is void and without effect as contrary to public policy.
(f) Nothing in this section prohibits any seller from conditioning acceptance of a credit card on a buyer's minimum purchase. Each seller shall disclose any such minimum purchase policy orally or in writing at the point of purchase, including, but not limited to, at or on a cash register and in an advertisement or menu.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to prohibit surcharges by sellers when a buyer elects to use a credit card as method of payment and to require sellers to make clear and conspicuous disclosure of fees which are otherwise charged.
§46A-6-111 is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.