Monday, July 2, 2007

Want a receipt? Too bad!

Do you use a debit card? I sure do, it's a lot easier than carrying cash and frankly I don't buy that much. But when I do buy something, I stick my receipt in my pocket and keep it for a couple of days, just in case there is a dispute between myself and the merchant. Now if you make purchases with your debit card under $15, you may not get any receipt at all. That's right, for a product purchase the retailer will not be legally required to give you any proof of that purchase at all.


You can thank the Federal Reserve for effectively discouraging the use of debit cards. Why does VISA support this? Don't they want me to use my debit/credit cards on a regular basis?

The Federal Reserve press release:

For immediate release

The Federal Reserve Board on Thursday announced its approval of a final rule to create an exception for transactions of $15 or less from Regulation E's requirement that receipts be made available to consumers for transactions initiated at an electronic terminal.

Regulation E implements the Electronic Fund Transfer Act. The rule is intended to facilitate the ability of consumers to use debit cards in retail environments where making receipts available may not be practical or cost effective.

The effective date of the final rule is thirty days from the date of publication in the Federal Register, which is expected shortly.

The Federal Register notice is attached.

Frankly, I'd be a bit concerned with running any electronic transaction with a machine that refused to give me a receipt. If it is "impractical" to use debit, why is it not impractical to use credit cards? Does this mean any such machine, like vending machines and laundry machines that take electronic transactions will also not be giving out receipts for credit cards (by the wording in the press release, I assume it applies to all electronic transactions under $15)?

Is it in consumers best interests to force them to use credit cards or cash with purchases under $15 by denying them the right to a receipt or proof of the transaction? Or is this just an example of a law designed to line the pockets of the banking industry?

1 comment:

X-er said...

If you dispute a transaction that is under $15 what recourse does the merchant have?

There's no receipt. There is nothing with your signature on it. What stops us all from disputing a transaction a month, aside from morals?

Sounds like a big 'ol can of worms to me.