Oral arguments are set for Tuesday in the U.S. Supreme Court case Expression Hair Design v. Schneiderman and CUNA, which submitted an amicus brief, will be present. The case concerns a retailer challenge to a New York law prohibiting merchants from imposing a surcharge for using a payment card, but does not prohibit cash discounts.
In September 2015, 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said ruled in Expression Hair Design v. Schneiderman that an anti-surcharging law was not a violation of free speech, a victory for credit unions. The New York Credit Union Association filed a brief in this case.
In its brief for the Supreme Court, CUNA highlights the consumer and merchant benefits that use of payment cards allow, and that allowing merchants to impose surcharges could allow merchants to raise prices above card costs, and lead to consumers using other forms of payments.
This could in turn lead to credit unions and other smaller institutions to withdraw from offering certain products, resulting in fewer consumer choice.
CUNA has been involved in the case at the Supreme Court level, as the attorney who prepared CUNA’s amicus brief is helping prepare the representative from the New York attorney general’s office who will present the oral arguments.
The NYCUA also filed a brief at the Supreme Court level. A decision from the court could be issued by the summer.
The case is the most recent CUNA has been involved in concerning surcharging. CUNA has filed briefs in similar cases in California, Texas and Florida.