Accepting Credit Card Payments

Question

I would like to know the ruling regarding credit cards. We have a business and most people nowadays prefer paying by card. We do not have this facility but have been thinking about it for the convenience of our customers as some people want to purchase but only have cards to pay with.

Answer

In light of Shari’ah, placing a credit card facility in one’s business so that the customers can make pay for their purchases, will be permissible. In today’s society, where robberies and hijackings are rampant, many people avoid keeping too much cash on person. Thus, the credit card facility is for the convenience of the customer.

By doing so, the merchant will not be involved in the interest transactions that may transpire between the card holder and the financial institution which issued the card. When a credit card is swiped in the machine, it merely allows the merchant to immediately receive the money which is due to him for his goods or services. Thereafter, the transaction of making the credit card payment is restricted to the card holder and the financial institution. The card holder now has the option of making payment before the due date, thereby avoiding interest or delaying payment, thereby paying interest. It is thus evident that the merchant is in no way involved in the interest part of the transaction, if it has to occur.

Although there is an objection around the commission or fee which the issuer of the credit card charges the merchant, it is mentioned in the Contemporary Fatawa that “It is evident that the card facility brings a large number of customers to the merchants. Had he not entered into such an agreement with the issuer of the card, those customers would have not come to him. Therefore the issuer of the card is the basic cause for securing good customers for the merchant and he can rightfully charge a commission on the services rendered to the merchant.”

Checked and Approved By:

Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.

References

Contemporary Fatawa by: Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani – pgs. 179-180- Idara-e-Islamiatvol.27

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