Effective January 27, 2013, some merchants are permitted to surcharge customers for certain types of transactions. If you are one of the many merchants charging your patrons a surcharge for using a credit card, you may be exposing your business to hefty fines and penalties if you’re not following the appropriate guidelines. After a recent class-action lawsuit, the card brands have established new regulations regarding surcharging credit card payers. Charging a surcharge is allowed, but you have to make sure you’re following the stringent rules of this new regulation.
A payment card surcharge, also known as a checkout fee, is an additional fee that a merchant adds to a consumer's bill when he or she uses a card for payment.
Here Are Some Important Things To Be Aware Of Regarding Surcharging:
A surcharge cannot exceed 4%
The surcharge amount must appear on the printed receipt (requires programming)
The merchant is required to inform customers of the surcharge at the point of entry and at the point of sale
Merchants cannot surcharge Signature Debit (check cards), Pre-Paid Cards, or PIN Debit
The merchant must notify Visa, MasterCard and CPS at least 30 days prior to implementing surcharging
California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma and Texas currently prohibit surcharging. Merchants located in these states cannot surcharge any transactions, regardless of card type.
There is a notification process merchants must follow in order to surcharge its customers. Merchants are instructed to register their intent to surcharge with both Visa and MasterCard.
Those notification pages can be accessed by clicking below:
For Visa -
For MasterCard -
Merchants are also required to notify CPS via email. Merchants that have third party hardware/software must make separate arrangements to have the surcharge option made available.