Leawood, KS – August 18, 2021: The New Jersey Senate has proposed Senate Bill 3498 (SB 3498) requiring gift card issuers to provide certain new protections to consumers. The Bill was first introduced in the Senate on March 9, 2021 and passed the Senate (38-0) on June 30, 2021. The Bill requires every gift card issuer in the State to immediately freeze any remaining funds on a gift card upon receiving a purchaser’s report of fraud. Further, the gift card issuer is required to provide a full refund to the purchaser after the conclusion of a fraud investigation, if fraud was reported by the purchaser within two weeks of purchase or issuance of the gift card. Pursuant to SB 3498 the gift card issuer shall conclude its investigation into the reported fraud not more than two weeks after the date the instance of fraud was reported.
Additionally, SB 3498 requires every gift card issuer to operate a hotline or website where a purchaser may review the issuer’s policies regarding gift card fraud and report instances of fraud. Further, the issuer must inform the purchaser at the time of purchase or issuance of its policies and where fraud may be reported. Gift card issuers must also maintain and provide to purchasers, upon request, information about the funds remaining on the gift card at the time the purchaser reports fraud, and a list of time stamped disbursement of gift card funds if any funds were used prior to the purchaser reporting fraud.
As currently written, small businesses are exempt from SB 3498. “Small Businesses” are defined in SB 3498 as, “a business entity in this State which is independently owned and operated and not dominant in its field, and employees fewer than 100 full-time employees.”
To read New Jersey SB 3498 click here: NJ SB 3498
About the Bill Status: SB 3498 is currently under review by the New Jersey Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee. As currently written, SB 3498 shall take effect on the first day of the fourth month after enactment.
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