Archived: EDITORIAL: SB933 Protects Consumers, Governor Should Now Sign


California Senator Jenny Oropeza’s bill, SB933, banning transaction fees for debit card usage by consumers, was passed by both the California Assembly and Senate and now sits on the governor’s desk waiting for him to take action.

We support SB933 because we believe that paying for purchases with a debit card is tantamount to paying cash since it takes the money out of a consumer’s bank account as soon as the transaction is recorded.

Eastern Group Publications does not feel that is fair for consumers to pay more for merchandise than it is advertised for due to this fee.

Many merchants claim that banning the debit card fee is unfair to them because the use of debit cards is a convenience for shoppers, but costs them money in the way of fees charged by banks. Oropeza, in defending her bill, notes that federal law now requires debit interchange fees to be “reasonable and proportional to the processing cost incurred.”

Debit card use is as convenient as using credit cards, with the added advantage that the retailer, restaurant owner and other vendors get their money almost immediately. We say these fees are a cost of doing business.

It makes no sense to us that consumers be charged more for using a debit card. Merchants can always refuse to accept debit cards if SB933 becomes law.

As the use of debit cards continues to grow, fees for their use can become onerous and unfair, in spite of federal protections. And with the economy still limping along, these fees are another burden on consumers.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger can sign SB933 or veto it, or allow it to become law without his signature. We hope he does what’s right for California consumers and signs this much needed consumer protection into law.

Posted - Copyright © 2022 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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  1. This will really hurt gas stations and the like who only profit about a dollar per customer. The debit fees are basically high upfront costs, such as 40 cents plus .69 percentage, whereas credit fees are 10 cents plus 2.5 percent. On a typical 5 dollar transaction, you can see these retailers lose. That stupid oropeza needs to get her facts straight.

  2. This bill is a HUGE job-killer bill that alleges to be a consumer-friendly set up. Even the author admits that merchants “can simply refuse to accept debit cards”, which is exactly what will happen if SB933 becomes law.

    The ones who will be hurt are those struggling to build back their credit, especially after the events of the past 2 years, who have to resort to debit cards due to low credit scores.

    This bill benefits two groups: credit card companies who think that small businesses will need their services to reach the artificial high-demand for debit card use, and the consumers with high credit, who will now be sought out more than ever due to the removal of lower credit score buyers from the market.

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