On Friday of last week, Governor Rick Perry signed HB 3068, prohibiting surcharges on debit card transactions at the point of sale for all but governmental entities. The bill, championed by IBAT during the 83rd regular session of the Texas Legislature, drew "unfriendly fire" from several merchant trade associations and a conservative "think tank" during the process. IBAT was able to convince members of the legislature, however, that debit cards should be afforded the same protections already afforded to credit cards. The responses of IBAT member bankers to our several "calls to action" made a huge difference, and played a key role in getting this bill across the finish line.
"We felt that a prohibition on debit surcharges was essential to ensure parity of community bank debit cards and protection of community bank customers," said IBAT Executive Vice President Steve Scurlock. "The passage of HB 3068 should preempt any efforts by retailers to enter into relationships with the largest financial institutions that could lead to steering of transactions towards those banks' cards."
With the Governor's signature, HB 3068 is scheduled to take effect on September 1, 2013. This, and many other issues, will be covered in IBAT's free post-legislative webinar on Tuesday, June 25. Click here to register for the webinar.