Read 1st time March 5, 2008 and copies ordered printed.





To amend chapter 407, RSMo, by adding thereto one new section relating to merchants' access to credit and debit card rate information.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:

            Section A. Chapter 407, RSMo, is amended by adding thereto one new section, to be known as section 407.438, to read as follows:

            407.438. 1. As used in this section, the following words shall mean:

            (1) "Acquirer", a business organization, financial institution, or an agent of a business organization or financial institution that authorizes a merchant to accept payment by credit card for merchandise;

            (2) "Credit card" or "debit card", any instrument or device, whether known as a credit card, credit plate, bank service card, banking card, check guarantee card, or debit card or by any other name, issued with or without fee by an issuer for the use of the cardholder in obtaining money or merchandise on credit, or for use in an automated banking device to obtain any of the services offered through the device. The presentation of a credit card account number is deemed to be the presentation of a credit card;

            (3) "Financial institution", any bank, bank holding company, sales finance company, consumer finance company, credit union, savings and loan association, savings and loan association holding company, or savings and loan association service corporation;

            (4) "Interchange fees", the fee the acquirer pays to an issuing bank when a cardholder uses a credit card or debit card as payment during a retail transaction;

            (5) "Issuing bank", a financial institution which issues credit cards to cardholders;

            (6) "Merchant", an owner or operator of any retail mercantile establishment, or any agent, employee, lessee, consignee, officer, director, franchisee, or independent contractor of such owner or operator. A merchant includes a person who receives from an authorized user of a payment card, or an individual the person believes to be an authorized user, a payment card or information from a payment card as the instrument for obtaining, purchasing, or receiving goods, services, money, or anything of value from the person. 

            2. Whenever a contract authorizing a merchant to accept a credit card or debit card specifies that the merchant is bound by the rules of the financial institution, the contracting financial institution shall:

            (1) Give the merchant access in this state to the complete rules referenced in the contract, either individually or through an acquirer;

            (2) Notify the merchant when a referenced rule has been changed or new rule added; and

            (3) Provide a printed copy or Internet access to the original, new, or modified rule.

            3. A contract authorizing a merchant to accept a credit card shall contain:

            (1) The contracting financial institution's complete schedule of interchange fees, credit card and debit card transaction rates, and any other fees that the financial institution charges to merchants; and

            (2) An explanation of which rates apply to the merchant and the situations in which those rates apply.

            4. A contract authorizing a merchant to accept a credit card or debit card shall not require a merchant to agree not to disclose the contracting financial institution's rules or rates as a condition of receiving access to the rules or rates.