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Texas Merchants Can Soon Refuse Service to Card Customers Without ID

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State Sen. Bryan Hughes authored the bill, designed to lessen card payment fraud.

A new state law that takes effect in January gives Texas merchants the right to refuse a sale to customers using credit cards if those customers refuse to show a photo ID when asked.  

The goal of the law is to reduce point-of-sale credit card fraud, according to its author, Republican State Senator Bryan Hughes of Mineola. Hughes called the law a common sense step for merchants. The law gives merchants the option (but not the directive ) to refuse service.

Critics of the legislation say the law could be perceived as discriminatory,  but bankers and merchants in general welcome it. Kevin Monk, executive vice president and chief operations officer at Sulphur Springs –based Alliance Bank, told the Texas Tribune that the bank swallows a lot of losses from fraudulent credit card purchases.  

Meanwhile, retailers like Jodi Sharma, who manages Willis Food Mart in Commerce, say most customers don’t mind being asked for IDs to begin with.

"The only people, really, I think that would get upset or offended by it," she said, "would be people who are actually doing something they shouldn’t be doing."

The new law is set to take effect on January 1.