Special Report: Third Circuit NJ Gift Card Law Ruling: New Jersey Retail Merchants Association v. Sidamon-Eristoff
If you issue or sell “stored value cards,” colloquially referred to as “gift cards,” in the state of New Jersey, take note: on January 5, 2012 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (“Third Circuit”) issued a long awaited decision in New Jersey Retail Merchants Association v. Sidamon-Eristoff that will impact your data collection practices by requiring you to collect, at a minimum, ZIP codes from the purchasers of gift cards. Many retailers do not currently have processing systems in place to collect ZIP codes, and if they sell merchandise in California, have already begun to implement policies and systems that specifically require retailers not to request ZIP codes from purchasers of merchandise to comply with the California Supreme Court’s 2011 ruling in Pineda v. Williams Sonoma Stores, Inc., which held that California’s Song-Beverly Credit Card Act prohibits businesses from requesting and recording ZIP codes from consumers in connection with credit card transactions. If you sell or issue gift cards nationally, the steps you must take to comply with the patchwork of state laws just became more challenging.
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