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A credit card surcharge is an additional fee that a merchant may charge a customer when he or she chooses to pay with a credit card.

The number one objection to surcharging “I don’t want to lose customers”
Anytime you are looking to change customer behavior there is a risk to dissatisfying your customer. Luckily for you, you don’t have to make that decision blind. Thousands of business owners have already answered that question for you. The results of their experience, you can use to successfully implement the surcharging pricing model successfully into your business.
Most business owners look to surcharging as a great way to get a handle on one of the most consistently misunderstood components of their business. Surcharging helps to create a lower fee structure and more stability with their processing expenses.
Overcoming the fear of losing customers is combated by the very simple tenants of a good surcharge program. The essential components of a good surcharge program are as follows:
1. Compliant – It is important that your surcharge program include some of these key features when implemented. A compliant surcharge model will include the proper signage at the entries to your store as well as at the point of sale. You need to ensure that you are charging the same convenience fee to all of your customers. Ie. There cannot be a different fee products or different customers. And lastly, the most important feature is to be sure that you do not ever surcharge for debit cards. (This will create a whole host of costly problems for your business and we discuss this in another post)
2. Zero-Cost on Credit – An experienced processor will know how to process your account at the correct pricing. Don’t be fooled by the slick marketing of the internet, there is no compliant model that will eliminate all of your credit card fees. So long as your account is structured properly, you can expect no cost for processing credit cards and significantly reduced cost for the processing of debit cards.
3. Customer-Friendly – The best surcharge models create training that is simple and effective for the merchant to handle the buyer at the point of sale. Simple training that effectively trains the merchant to educate the customer on the customer-friendly options available when buying at your business.
Invariably, a good customer just won’t relent. Don’t be discouraged because there is a simple solution. The solution is to give them a discount equal to your convenience fee. We suggest calling it a loyalty discount and it is always great to mention to your customer the reason for surcharging. Most merchants want to keep costs down and continue to maintain the lowest, yet profitable, pricing for their customers.
Each industry type has unique features that should be considered prior to deciding on the surcharge model. Consult an industry expert to learn how to implement a surcharge model in to your business.



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