Retailers appeared before a committee of the Vermont legislature on April 21 in support of pending legislation that would allow Vermont retailers to give discounts to customers who paid by cash or debit card.

"The card companies have a 'discrimination' rule," NRF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Mallory Duncan said. "It prohibits merchants from giving customers a discount if the customer uses cash, checks or a card with lower fees. This is a remarkably anti-competitive rule. It's like Pepsi and Coca-Cola telling stores that they could be fined if they charged people less for other soft drinks. Its effect, of course, is to discourage the market from moving toward cheaper forms of payment. That's good news for credit card companies but bad news for retailers and their customers."

Duncan testified today before the Vermont House Commerce and Economic Development Committee during a hearing on S. 138. The bill already passed the Vermont Senate.

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