TRENTON, N.J. – As New Jersey enters the fourth month of Gov. Phil Murphy’s state of emergency, many businesses are struggling to stay afloat. While businesses practice proper social distancing, many of their customers are being forced to call in with their credit card information rather than swipe the card in person. Unfortunately, some credit card companies have taken advantage of this and charge merchants more to manually enter credit card transactions as opposed to swipe transactions.
Assemblywoman Jean Stanfield and Assemblyman Ryan Peters want this practice to end immediately, so they have introduced a bill to ensure the fees associated with using a credit card are the same across the board during a state of emergency.
“It’s appalling to think credit card companies have taken advantage of businesses during a state of emergency,” said Stanfield (R-Burlington). “Regardless if a credit card is manually entered or swiped, the fees should be the same. Something must be done to ensure our businesses are not taken advantage of during this and future state of emergencies.”
The bill would be in effect when a state of emergency is declared by the governor.
“No business should be charged more money for a transaction just because someone had to input the card number,” declared Peters (R-Burlington). “Now there is nothing wrong with charging a transaction fee but charging a merchant more money for a transaction because it was done manually is something I cannot stand for.”
Stanfield learned first-hand how detrimental this practice was to businesses after picking up an order from Robin’s Nest in Mount Holly. The owner, Robin Winzinger expressed her frustration regarding paying more in transaction fees, since most of her business is through takeout.
“Ending the fee, while we’re forced to do most of our business over the phone would be a huge help,” said Winzinger. “We’re doing our best work with the situation we have, but small businesses can’t keep having things piled against us.”