There are a number of Massachusetts statutes governing the use and misuse of credit cards. Most address criminal conduct, and unfair business practices. Some define the term “credit card.” They were all enacted before debit/credit cards issued by banks became prevalent. Case law indicates that these debit card amounts to the functional equivalent of a credit card. This is important, because the Massachusetts credit card privacy law (G.L. c. 93, § 105) should also apply to debit cards.
G.L. c. 93 § 104 (definitions for § 105 Credit cards; checks; personal identification information)
- “Credit Card”, any instrument or device, whether known as a credit card, credit plate, or by any other name, issued with or without fee by an issuer for the use of the card holder in obtaining money, goods, services, or anything else of value on credit. Credit card shall not include a check guarantee card.
G.L. c. 140D §1 (Consumer Credit Cost Disclsoure; definitions)
- “Credit”, the right granted by a creditor to a debtor to defer payment of debt or to incur debt and defer its payment.
- “Credit card”, any card, plate, coupon book, or other credit device existing for the purpose of obtaining money, property, labor, or services on credit.
G.L. c. 266 § 37A (Misuse of credit cards; definitions)
- “Credit card”, any instrument or device, whether known as a credit card, credit plate, or by any other name, issued with or without fee by an issuer for the use of the cardholder in obtaining money, goods, services or anything else of value on credit.
G.L. c. 266 § 37C (Fraudulent use of credit cards to obtain money, goods or services; false embossment of credit cards, multiple possession, presumption; arrest)
G.L. c. 140D § 27 (Unauthorized use of credit cards)
- “a debit card fits within the ambit of a “credit card” as defined for purposes of G.L. c. 266, § 37C. COMMONWEALTH v. RYAN, 79 Mass. App. Ct. 179, 183-186) (2011) .
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