The credit card processing landscape can be complicated. This holds true for card providers, businesses that accept them and individuals that use them to pay. Potential fees can pile up quickly and poor practices can have significant consequences.
According to an article from The New York Times, Bank of America has been ordered to pay roughly $772 million in refunds to customers and fines to federal regulators. This happened to settle allegations that the company used deceptive marketing and billing practices when it comes to their credit cards.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau alleges that the bank offered customers credit monitoring and reporting services but did not actually do them and "illegally charged" for them. This involved customers being told that the first 30 days were free or believing they agreed to receive more information on the programs and were instead opted into them. Because these add-ons were not delivered, 1.9 million customers who were affected between 2000 and 2011 will receive a refund.
"Bank of America both deceived consumers and unfairly billed consumers for services not performed," Richard Cordray, the director of the consumer agency, told the news source. "We will not tolerate such practices and will continue to be vigilant in our pursuit of companies who wrong consumers in this market."
With more customers using plastic to make purchases both in stores and online, they expect fair and honest practices. While card providers have their own set of regulations to adhere to, retailers and businesses need to ensure their credit card payment processor is on the up and up.