Whether or not you can pass on credit card fees to your customers is a question many merchants have. In the past, disputes have led to antitrust court battles. But today, many merchants understand the legality of credit card surcharges. And as profit margins are so slim, sometimes tough decisions are needed. Let’s explore the legalities of credit card surcharges. And remember: your customers should never pay more than they need to!
When deciding whether to charge credit card fees, you should weigh the advantages and disadvantages of this decision. Some argue that charging fees for credit card processing will negatively impact the customer experience. They may think the business owners are prioritizing their bottom line above the customers’ needs, which will lead to churn. Instead, consider building in the cost of credit card fees in your prices. If you can, consider incentivizing customers to use cash instead.
Before deciding whether or not to pass on credit card surcharges to your customers, review your contracts with card networks and your point of sale system. However, if you want to pass on surcharges to your customers, you must adhere to your agreements with the card networks and avoid violating any agreements you have with Amex. If you can, try to reduce the amount of fees your customers pay and pass along the savings to your customers.
While most merchants are able to pass on credit card fees to customers, their relationships with card issuers may not be friendly. Some card associations restrict merchants from passing on these fees, and there are cases where merchants have filed massive class-action lawsuits against Mastercard and Visa for excessive processing fees. To avoid legal pitfalls, you should explain these issues to your customers. This way, they’ll be able to avoid fines from card brands.
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