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Pennsylvania Legislature Should Reject House Finance Committee’s Card Processing Bill

| Electronic Payments Coalition

Bill would reduce consumer privacy and convenience while driving up operational costs for small businesses

For Immediate Release
June 12, 2024
Media Contact: Nick Simpson

The Electronic Payments Coalition called on the Pennsylvania legislature to reject a flawed bill (H.B. 2394) passed by the House Finance Committee earlier today. The legislation changes the way Pennsylvanians’ credit and debit cards are processed by exempting interchange on the sales tax portion of transactions. Interchange is the card acceptance rate paid for transmitting payments over card payment networks.

“Pennsylvania should not follow Illinois by passing a provision to drive up operational costs for small businesses and reduce consumers’ privacy,” EPC Executive Chairman Richard Hunt said. “If this experimental bill becomes law, Pennsylvania small businesses will foot the bill for upgraded payment processing systems and be forced to transmit additional information about consumers’ purchases. This is a loss for small businesses and a loss for consumers – but a windfall for the largest convenience store chains and corporate mega-stores.”

The Pennsylvania House Finance Committee is following the lead of Illinois where a backroom deal was slipped into the state’s budget and passed over Memorial Day Weekend. The Illinois proposal is set to take effect in July 2025. To date no other states or countries have implemented such a program because of the technical hurdles, costs to small businesses and consumer privacy concerns involved. The Chicago Tribune called in an editorial for a repeal of the provision to avoid “credit card chaos in Illinois.”

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