Local Businesses Contemplate "Check Out" Fee

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Cash-strapped consumers may soon be shelling out more at the store - if they use credit cards.

Businesses that accept credit cards pay processing fees to the card companies.

But a recent settlement allows businesses to pass those fees on to the customer.

It's called a check out fee and you could pay it every time you swipe.

Consumer Credit Counseling of Nebraska representative Sheri Anderson says, "Right now you're being charged a fee of anywhere between 0.5% and 4% on each transaction and the retailer can pass that same fee on. They can't pass any more on so if they're paying 1.5%, they can only charge you 1.5%."

To avoid the fees, you can use your debit card, cash or check.

Hallow Candle Company Owner Sarah Mullins pays one to three percent in credit card fees per sale plus 10 cents per swipe and those monthly statement and terminal fees.

Mullins says it's unlikely she'll start charging the check out fee - she doesn't want to give anyone a reason not to shop at her store.

She says, "The amount of sales that we get from credit cards is too much to deny our customers that so it helps us and it hurts us all at the same time and it really just evens out at the end."

Mullins says if more people used cash or their debit cards, it could save them, and her business, a lot of money.