- Eastern Group Publications/EGPNews - http://staging.egpnews.com -

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.