January 27, 2013, seemed like just another winter day but there were actually some significant changes that took effect on Sunday that will impact consumers and their pocket books.
First off, the price of a stamp went from forty-five cents to forty-six cents. The next time you go to pick up that book of stamps be prepared to shell out a whopping $9.20. What a great time for you (credit unions) to push your bill pay services.
Next, merchants in the United States and U.S. Territories are now permitted to impose a surcharge (aka “checkout” fee) to consumers when they use a credit card. This was part of the Visa/MasterCard settlement in the class action lawsuit brought by merchants. Retailers are permitted to apply the new “checkout” fee to only credit card purchases and cannot impose the fee for purchases made using a debit or prepaid card. Retailers must disclose surcharge fees on every receipt – both in store and online. However surcharging is not allowed everywhere. There are certain states where state laws protect the consumer against this practice. To learn more click here.
You were probably already feeling the pinch from the recent social security payroll tax increase but be prepared for a few more events that could possibly lighten your pocket book a little more in 2013.