A credit card is not legal tender—

It is merely one of many convenient ways of paying a debt. Just because a merchant accepts credit cards for payment of debts does not mean that they are compelled by law to do so.
Although there might be other reasons, one reason for refusing credit cards, particularly as payment for services, is when the merchant has the impression that a customer may not be satisfied with their purchase and might later dispute the charge with the credit card company.
As a small independent business you as a merchant are legally entitled to demand any form of payment you wish. If you demand cash, this is your right.
If you demand payment by way of chickens, or oranges, or gold bullion, this is also your right.
If you as a merchant, do not wish to take a chance of accepting a credit card payment and instead require secured payment in the form of a cashier’s check, you can. In addition, you can accept a credit card from one patron and refuse a credit card from another.
Refusing to accept credit card payment-
No one can force you to give credit.
In recent years, more and more merchants have been implementing minimum purchase policies for credit cards; and they are well within their rights to do so.
The Law allow for business owners to deny credit cards as payment. Many merchants choose to set a minimum amount for credit cards and if a customer chooses to buy less than this amount, they will have to use cash.
This normally is because credit card companies charge business owners anywhere from 1-3% of purchases; in other words, the merchant has to pay out to the credit card company each time a customer uses a credit card (these figures vary for each credit card company), so if a merchant decides that paying out for small purchases does not yield them enough profit due to having to pay the credit card company each time, they may can include a minimum credit card policy.
In our case card charges range from 3%-10%.
In their relentless dismantling of the best Taxi service in the world, TfL are to stop the customer surcharge on card payments, making it the drivers responsibility to reimburse the credit company for all transactions. If they do this, then more drivers will refuse to take card payments.
Merchants by law have the option, however, of merely increasing their prices in order to make up for lost revenue for paying credit card companies. This is something TfL dispute as they say it is illegal to charge more than the metered fare.
Currently, about half the Taxis in London have the ability to accept card payments. This ratio could change dramatically if TfL stop the customer surcharge.
As for making the acceptance of Credit and Debit Cards mandatory….see you in court TfL.
Editorial Comment:
This article was compiled using advice gained from legal advice given freely.
It is the opinion of the author that all drivers should have some form of accepting card payments but it is crucial that the passenger surcharge remain in place.
The driver must always have the option to refuse this form of payment.
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