Funeral homes may impose credit card surcharges starting Jan 27, 2013

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National Funeral Directors Association
By T. Scott Gilligan, NFDA general counsel
Posted: January 21, 2013

A seven-year class action antitrust settlement involving VISA and MasterCard.

A key element to the settlement from the standpoint of funeral service would be VISA's and MasterCard's agreement to eliminate their current prohibition against merchants imposing surcharges on consumers who pay with credit cards. Currently, VISA and MasterCard both prohibit merchants from imposing any type of surcharge against a consumer paying with a credit card. Because merchants are barred from imposing a surcharge, there is no way to recoup the 1.5% to 3% swipe fee that is paid to VISA and MasterCard by merchants. As part of the settlement, VISA and MasterCard will eliminate that prohibition and allow all merchants, including funeral homes, to impose swipe fee surcharges on consumers.

Read the full article at National Funeral Directors Association

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 23 January 2013 17:53 )  
Comments (4)
1 Wednesday, 23 January 2013 20:01
Ruth Bennett
People paying by cash or check have been subsidizing those who use credit cards for decades. I guess it is about time that we all pay our own way!

Not that I think most funeral homes need to make any more money.

Nor do I think that any funeral homes will drop prices for those who pay cash!
2 Wednesday, 23 January 2013 20:06
Josh Slocum, FCA Exec. Director
I totally agree, Ruth. No business should have to cover those fees on behalf of Visa and Mastercard. On a $7,000 funeral, a 3 percent fee is $210 for goodness' sake.
3 Thursday, 24 January 2013 00:18
Rod Stout
I can't believe that any company with a nose for common sense will add this charge, especially not an FH. I'm used to seeing the minor charges at off-brand convenience stores or the local tobacco shop, but nowhere else (unless they just add it into the purchase price).

If anyone actually abtains evidence that a funeral home levies charges for this, I'd like to know who they are.
4 Thursday, 24 January 2013 02:27
John Eric Rolfstad
Rod: I know of funeral homes in Washington State that have been charging customers a fee to make payment on a credit card. While I won't list their names here, I'd be happy to talk with you about it more. People's Memorial Funeral Cooperative pays about $15,000 a year in processing fees to credit card companies, but we would rather be assured payment than have to later try and collect on a bounced check! It's just another cost of doing business... About the only people that actually pay for their funeral arrangements in cash are new immigrants who will commonly choose burial and walk in with $2 to 3,000 in $50 and $20 bills! That's a hassle to deal with too...

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