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Visa is cracking down on the extra fees from bodegas and small businesses: ‘We don’t feel great that consumers get surcharged’


Visa’s moves come as a growing number of small businesses say they’re feeling pinched by the fees they pay to banks to accept electronic payments. They’ve increasingly turned to card surcharges as a way to cover those costs, which are also known as interchange fees.

“We’re just making sure that when consumers do get surcharged, it’s something that’s fair and equitable,” Visa Chief Executive Officer Ryan McInerney said on a conference call this week. “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.”

It’s become a familiar sight at small businesses across the country: signs at checkout noting that if a consumer pays with a credit card, there will be an additional fee. Or, at restaurants, waiters will deliver the bill and there will be one price for paying with cash and another for using a card. About 23% of small businesses said they charge an extra fee to customers using credit cards, according to a survey last year by payments consultancy Strawhecker Group.

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