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Debit card surcharges outlawed in Texas

A new law is making it illegal for business to impose surcharges when customers use debit cards.

Charles Leard is the owner of M&R Liquor in Amarillo. He says there are never any surcharges at their store, but the new law has the potential to financially hurt other businesses.

"You know in the end it's the credit card company, the debit card company has always charged the fee. Now typically what some of the merchants have done is pass on more of that fee so that can be a problem," Leard said.

To make up for the difference in price without the surcharge, some companies may be forced to raise their prices. But, Jean Pray, the owner of Texotic Pet's in Amarillo, doesn't think this will benefit anyone.

"Consumers are very alert and if they shop store to store, they'll figure out whose got the best price and whose doing the mark ups," Pray said.

Leard told us with the right amount of research, businesses owners can find a credit company that doesn't charge a high transaction fee. He said this is the best way to make sure there is no need to pass on the expense to the customer.

"It's possible it could hurt some businesses but it goes back to the credit card processing the debit card processing is just part of doing business," said Leard. "And if you're responsible about it and you go out and research it and find the best rate, you can save yourself a lot of money and save the consumer a lot of money."

Colleen Nelson, NewsChannel 10.

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