What is surcharging?
Many businesses are considering defraying costs of payment card acceptance through surcharging, also known as service or check out fees. Surcharging has become mainstream in certain industries and may be readily accepted by customers if they are given the option to not pay a fee when paying with cash, check or debit card. Surcharges are a good way to defray some of the cost of payment card acceptance, but is it right for your business?
When does surcharging make sense?
Surcharging is accepted in certain industries more than others. Below is a list of the top five industries where surcharging is well received by consumers:
Top Five (5) Industries:
Construction contractors, electricians, plumbers, painters, appliance repair, landscapers, snow removal, residential and commercial cleaning services, to name a few, can improve their cash flow by accepting card payments, while defraying some of the cost of card acceptance by surcharging credit card transactions.
In the business-to-business space, where credit card payments had not been traditionally accepted, companies have realized the benefits of accepting card payments to speed up their receivables. The cost of card acceptance often offsets the cost of collecting on NSF checks or waiting up to 90 days or more to collect payment for products and services sold. Accepting card payments while defraying costs by applying a surcharge for purchase/corporate card transactions provides an additional benefit to the bottom line.
Legal and Financial Services
Examples are law offices that collect retainers, accountants, and tax preparation professionals. Giving the option of check or debit card, while applying a surcharge for credit card, will assist in keeping overall costs down for their client services.
Healthcare professionals; such as plastic surgeons, dermatologists, estheticians, and veterinarians, who perform procedures that are not generally covered by insurance may defray the cost of credit card acceptance with a service fee, while giving their patients the option to pay with cash, checks, or debit card with no surcharge.
Emerging Markets, Government, and Schools
These merchant categories have long qualified to charge convenience fees for non-face-to-face transactions when paying with a credit card was a “bona fide” convenience over other forms of payment. Now, with the new surcharge rules, these business types are also able to charge a service fee when accepting payments in face-to-face situations.
Benefits to the business – Merchants can defray payment processing costs for credit card acceptance while paying only for debit card transactions, which are processed at a lower cost than credit.
Benefits to the consumer – Consumers benefit from overall cost savings on goods and services, while avoiding surcharges altogether when using a debit card.
For more information regarding whether surcharging would benefit your business, please contact EPNA at: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://epnallc.com/solutions/zero-cost-processing/