Credit cards are the preferred payment method of consumers in America.
According to CreditCards.com, 40% of Americans prefer to pay with a credit card, while only 11% would rather use cash.
As merchants adjust to the rising demand of credit card usage, they also deal with the fees that come along with accepting credit cards.
No business owner likes to pay credit card processing fees, but accepting credit cards is necessary to survive in today’s market.
In order to preserve hard earned revenue, many merchants may ask: Can I charge a convenience fee for credit cards?
What is a convenience fee?
A convenience fee is a charge that can be passed to a customer for the convenience of being able to pay with a credit card, but only when it is not a standard service provided by the merchant. For example, a standard service may refer to payments made in person (card present transactions). Alternative payment methods, such as paying online or via the phone, are considered more convenient to a customer, and allow merchants to charge a credit card convenience fee. These fees must be flat or fixed rates, and must be included in the total transaction amount.
Credit card convenience fees are not to be confused with credit card surcharges. Unlike convenience fees, surcharges are costs for the privilege of using a credit card, and can be built into the cost of a purchase when a customer pays with a credit card. In these cases, merchants often offer a discount for customer willing to pay with cash.
Keep in mind that each credit card network (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover) has its own policy on convenience fees that outlines what merchants can and cannot do.
What are the benefits of charging a convenience fee?
Convenience fees can make the payment process more user-friendly for consumers. For example, consumers can make a payment online or over the phone instead of having to pay in person or by mail.
A convenience fee can also help merchants manage finances more efficiently. Charging a convenience fee helps to balance the overall processing fees upheld by the merchant, making it less expensive for businesses to process credit card payments.
Ultimately, merchants are able to secure more affordable credit card transactions by passing a portion of their processing fees to the customer. In return, the customer gets to pay by a more convenient method, making it easier for them to settle their invoices.
How can I charge a convenience fee for credit cards?
Our EBizCharge PCI compliant payment gateway makes it simple for merchants to add a convenience fee to a transaction.
Merchants can either add a flat convenience fee or a convenience fee as a percentage by applying a simple code into the EBizCharge payment gateway settings. Merchants can then adjust the amount or percentage that is added to the transaction.
These settings will automatically apply a convenience fee to a transaction, making it quick and easy for merchants to charge a convenience fee for credit cards.