Passing Credit Card Processing Charges to Customers

Yes! You can pass credit card processing fees to customers, but you must do it properly.

As credit card processing gets more expensive, a burning merchant account question on the mind of many business owners is, “can I pass credit card processing fees on to my customers, and if so, how?” In short, the answer is yes; you can charge customers a fee for paying with a credit card, but the issue is far more complex than that.

VISA states that “you may not impose any surcharges on VISA transactions. You may, however, offer a discount for cash or another form of payment (e.g., proprietary card or gift certificate) provided that the offer is clearly disclosed to customers and the cash price is presented as a discount from the standard price charged for all other forms of payment”
(Source: “Card Acceptance and Chargeback Management Guidelines for VISA Merchants“, Section “VISA Rules”, “No Surcharging”)

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Charging a Credit Card Convenience Fee on Transactions

Before we get into the topic of what a convenience fee is and whether or not it’s something you can use, it’s important to understand that a convenience fee is not to be used as a method of passing credit card processing charges to customers. As we’ll explain later, a convenience fee may only be charged for a bona fide convenience for providing a payment method outside of a merchant’s normal business practice.

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