Surcharge & Cash Discount
For many small business owners accepting credit cards can be a huge expense. In today’s fast pace cashless economy consumers are opting to pay with plastic more than ever. By accepting credit cards, you’re making your goods and services more accessible to potential customers by increasing the number of ways in which they can pay. However, accepting credit cards also means your cost to sell your goods and services can increase.
For many small businesses, these fees not only reduce profit margins but can be the difference between turning a profit or a loss. With recent regulations being updated many small business owners are now passing these costs along to their customers using a cash discount or credit card surcharge program.
Cash Discount vs. Surcharge
A cash discount occurs when a merchant decreases the price for cash purchases and offers merchants an alternative to credit card processing. Cash discount programs are not credit card surcharges because they do not levy a fee that is added to a credit card transaction. There has been much confusion around cash discount programs in the past, as people tend to associate them with surcharge programs. The final verdict on cash discount programs can be found in the Durbin Amendment (part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law), which states that businesses are permitted to offer a discount to customers as an incentive and to encourage customers to pay by alternative methods other than a credit/debit cards. Such alternative methods include checks or cash in order to receive a discount which is applied at the time of sale.
A surcharge is a charge or fee that is added to the price of a good or service when a consumer uses a credit card to pay. This allows the business owner to pass the cost of acceptance to their end customer and eliminate fees on credit cards. Debit cards are not surcharged and the business owner must still pay the cost of acceptance when a debit card is used.
At the time of purchase our software or payment device will inform the customer of the fee amount and gives the option to pay with a no-fee methond (cash or debit). If the customer opts to continue there will be a 3.99% fee added to their total transaction or if the customer declines they will be asked to provide a debit card or another form of payment.