A lawsuit filed by small businesses in Florida, New York and California has been given permission to move ahead by a judge. The lawsuit is against American Express, Visa, Discover, and MasterCard. The plaintiffs are the owners of small, local grocery stores, who aim to recoup the costs of installing new chip readers. They believe that, by being forced to upgrade to the expensive EMV credit card chip readers, they are being financially damaged by the card issuers.
The business owners point out that by requiring the purchase and use of the new machines, credit card issuers are forcing them to spend money they may not have. They also stress that the chip-enabled cards do not fully protect them or their customers from credit card fraud. The case states that businesses who chose not to upgrade to the new machines are being penalized by a lack of protection from the card issuers in the event of fraudulent purchases.
The small business owners say that plans to install the new chip-enabled credit cards were drawn up by large retailers, banks, and card issuers. The view of small business owners was not included in the discussion.
Representatives for MasterCard said that the company is not concerned by the accusations, and believes it will win when the case goes to court. The case is not named as a class action lawsuit, although it could become one. If this happens, as many as eight million other businesses could join the plaintiffs.
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