April 1, 2013
If your practice accepted credit cards anytime between Jan. 1, 2004 and Nov. 28, 2012, you have most likely received a legal notice about a class action lawsuit and settlement involving Visa, MasterCard and their member banks. To learn more about this $6+ Billion settlement, go to www.paymentcardsettlement.com or call 800-625-6440 for a recorded explanation, answers to frequently asked questions and additional information. Operators are also available.
Recently, several merchants have received what appears to be an official notice regarding the settlement. If your signature or any information is required at this time, it is NOT a legal notice. Rather it is misleading marketing material that will attempt to persuade you to sign over a portion of your settlement money, or it is a solicitation for credit card processing.
When and if the anti-trust settlement receives final approval (potentially in September 2013), you will receive a claim form via mail or e-mail. You will be required at that time to complete a claim form (either by mail or electronically) to receive a portion of the settlement. You may preregister at this same website now, but it is not mandatory. Be very careful of taking action on any notice you receive prior to verifying the settlement status at www.paymentcardsettlement.com.
The proposed settlement involves two funds (a Cash Settlement for dates above, and an Interchange Fund for transactions for 8 months beginning July 29, 2013). In addition, the settlement requires Visa and MasterCard to give businesses permission to charge a surcharge when they accept credit cards. It is important to note, however, that there are many procedures/notifications required should your practice desire to surcharge and the following states all have laws which prohibit most merchants from imposing surcharges: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma and Texas all ban credit card surcharges.
Best Card is the endorsed credit card processing company of the Washington State Dental Association and has been serving our members for years. Call them at 877-739-3952 or visit www.bestcardteam.com if you have additional questions about the settlement or surcharging. WSDA members are also welcome to fax a recent processing statement to Best Card at 866-717-7247. You’ll receive a detailed cost analysis (the average practice saves 23% and $1,277 annually when switching to Best Card), as well as a $5 gift card and a newsletter filled with information on the industry.