TRENTON - As New Jersey enters the fourth month of Gov. Phil Murphy’s state of emergency, many businesses are struggling to stay afloat. While businesses practice proper social distancing, many of their customers are being forced to call in with their credit card information rather than swipe the card in person. Unfortunately, some credit card companies have taken advantage of this and charge merchants more to manually enter credit card transactions as opposed to swipe transactions.
Assemblywoman Jean Stanfield and Assemblyman Ryan Peters want this practice to end immediately and have introduced a bill to eliminate the practice during the state of emergency.
“It’s appalling to think credit card companies have taken advantage of businesses during a state of emergency,” said Stanfield (R-Burlington). “Regardless if a credit card is manually entered or swiped, the fees should be the same. Something must be done to ensure our businesses are not taken advantage of during this and future state of emergencies.”
Stanfield learned how detrimental this practice is after picking up food at Robin’s Nest in Mount Holly. The owner, Robin Winzinger, expressed her frustration in having to pay much more now that most of her business is through takeout.
“Ending this fee while we’re forced to do most of our business over the phone would be a huge help,” Winzinger said. “We’re doing our best to work with the situation we have, but small businesses can’t keep having things piled against us.”
The bill would be in effect when a state of emergency is declared by the governor.
“The extra fee for manually inputting credit card information would fly under the radar during most times, but when businesses are forced to close up shop indoors and do most of their business through takeout, it sticks out like a sore thumb,” said Peters (R-Burlington). “They shouldn’t have to pay for a situation the government has thrust upon them.”