How do I add a surcharge to my transactions?

What is a surcharge?

Previously, merchants were not allowed to "pass on" the cost of processing a transaction.  In other words, they could not impose a surcharge. Now, if they choose to, merchants can charge their customers an extra fee, called a surcharge, for processing Visa or MasterCard transactions.

eCommerce

Currently PayJunction does not support adding surcharges in either the QuickShop hosted checkout solution or the QuickLink Advanced API solution.

Step by Step Instructions

There are specific rules for adding a surcharge to your transactions.  Please be sure to read the section named Rules for Merchants below to make sure that they are being followed for all transactions which include a surcharge.

  1. Click on the Process a Credit Card button.
  2. Click Customize this Form.
  3. Set the Surcharge field to Display or Required.
  4. Click the Save button.
  5. A surcharge line will now be present on the Process page and will automatically be added to your transactions when an amount is entered into the field.
  6. Fill out the remainder of the form and click Process to submit your transaction.

Rules for Merchants

Summary

If a merchant would like to impose a surcharge, they must:

  • Notify Visa, MasterCard and your merchant bank at least 30 days in advance of beginning to surcharge.
  • Limit surcharges to credit transactions.  Please see the Transaction/Payment Type section in the Summary Details further in this article for specifics.
  • Disclose the surcharge as a merchant fee and clearly alert consumers to the practice at the point of sale, both in store and online, and on every receipt.

For more information on these rules and links you might find useful, please see the Summary Details further in the article.

Prohibited States

The following states have laws prohibiting the use of surcharges:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New York
  • Oklahoma
  • Texas

Summary Details

Notify

Merchants who choose to surcharge must notify Visa, MasterCard, and their merchant bank 30 days prior to beginning to surcharge.

Visa

MasterCard

Limit

The surcharge must be equal to, or less than, the average percentage rate that the merchant pays per transaction, not to exceed a maximum of 4%.

Examples

  • If the merchant pays an average of 2% per transaction, then the surcharge cannot exceed 2%.
  • If the merchant pays an average of 4.5% per transaction, then the surcharge must be 4% (cannot exceed 4%).

Transaction/Payment Types

TypeAllowed/ProhibitedNotes
Credit Cards Allowed N/A
Debit Cards Allowed Because of the way PayJunction processes transactions for debit cards, this is technically allowed.
PrePaid Cards Prohibited Prohibited by card association rules for surcharges (Visa, MasterCard).

Disclose

Merchants must disclose the surcharge to their customers in multiple locations:

  • Merchants that surcharge must disclose the surcharge dollar amount on every receipt.
  • Disclosures must be posted at the point-of-entry (at the entrance of the business).
  • Disclosures must be posted at the point-of-sale (at the register and/or website).

Considerations for Merchants

Before choosing to surcharge, merchants may want to consider a number of factors, including:

  • The potential impact on your customers' experience.
  • What your competitors might be doing.
  • What information must be disclosed to your customers, and how.
  • Cost of credit cards and other forms of payment.

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