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A court settlement gives retailers the right to recover “swipe fees” by charging extra for credit card use starting Jan. 27. But will they? And what will be the consequences if surcharges take off?
Australia’s experience with surcharges may hold some clues. Australia began allowing surcharges in 2003, and an analysis published by its central bank found that, although surcharges were slow to take off in the retail sector, they eventually caught on. The chart below shows how, by the end of 2010, more than 40 percent of large merchants were charging customers fees (typically about 1.9 percent) for card use. See related:Credit card surcharges? No way, poll says
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