A Super-Charged Program
NMA’s surcharge program allows merchants to pass credit card processing costs onto the consumer, potentially saving business owners thousands of dollars annually.
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Merchants have the ability to offer consumers transactions free of surcharge when paid with something other than a credit card - like cash, checks, debit cards, gift cards, and more.
Simplifying surcharges for both merchants and consumers is crucial – so is advocating on behalf of merchants so they can freely operate within their respective markets. The state of surcharges is currently changing and NMA works to stay ahead of the curve, providing merchants with industry-advancing products and services.
There’s a lot of misinformation out there. We’re here to clear it up.
A surcharge, otherwise known as a ‘checkout fee,’ is a fee imposed upon the consumer during a credit card transaction that covers the cost to accept the payment method. The POS system or terminal automatically detects when a consumer is paying with a credit card, and imposes the surcharge on that transaction type only. Before the transaction goes through, the POS system or terminal offers alternative payment options such as debit card, check, and cash if the consumer would prefer to avoid a surcharged transaction.
A cash discount is a marketing and sales tactic that a merchant utilizes, applying a small customer service fee on all customer transactions. This fee is then removed if the customer chooses to pay with cash or in-store gift card. The increase in product/service cost is meant to cover the transaction fee that the merchant pays to accept the electronic payment method.
A convenience fee is charged regardless of the payment method. There are additional regulations for convenience fees, including the rule that states convenience fees must only be charged on alternative payment channels. For instance, a merchant can charge a 2% convenience fee on credit card, gift card, e-check, and other payment methods if the customer chooses to pay over the internet versus face to face.
Service fees are fees imposed to cover costs other than payment acceptance. For instance, labor costs, delivery fees, fuel costs, and services fees in lieu of tipping.
Merchants are required to be registered with the card brands for 30 days prior to surcharging. Once you decide to begin surcharging, NMA will notify the card brands and get you set-up.
Yes, merchant will need signage at the point-of-entry, point-of-sale, and on the receipt. NMA will ensure that all surcharging merchants have compliant POS systems and terminals with surcharge language printed on the receipt. If you have questions about appropriate surcharge signage at the point-of-sale, please contact NMA merchant support.
Yes, currently merchants are limited to a surcharge cap of 4%.
Currently, only credit card transactions can be surcharged. Surcharges cannot be imposed on debit, prepaid, cash or check transactions.