Mark E. Budnitz


This commentary describes how technology has led to the development of new payment devices and systems, resulting in a complicated body of public and private payments law. In this environment, consumers have little control over how businesses and financial institutions will process their payment instruments. They are subject to adhesion contracts that contain onerous terms. Because of a lack of transparency, it is difficult for consumers to understand the legal consequences of using one payment device over another. Drawing upon the articles in this symposium, the commentary discusses how much responsibility the law should impose on consumers and how much protection they deserve. The commentary asserts that consumers have common objectives, regardless of the type of payment device they use or how it is processed. These objectives can be achieved through uniform laws that apply to all types of payment instruments and systems. Those laws should guarantee the right to error resolution, a judicial forum to hear their disputes, and a sixty-day deadline for reporting unauthorized payments.

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