Do not try to create your own cash discount program.

There is no cash discount program that is compliant that charges a fee to debit cards.

Visa and the Card Brands are heavily policing the program and they will fine you for non-compliance.  Here are a few tips to surcharging:  

Live in a state where surcharging is allowable by law

Register as a surcharging merchant with the Visa and the Card Brands

The Surcharge may not be greater than the cost of acceptance

The Surcharge may not be greater than 4%

You MAY NOT Surcharge Debit or Prepaid Cards EVEN IF YOU Take Payments over the phone or through the web

You must clearly display your surcharge at the Point-of-Sale and on your receipts. 

As in all things, our ultimate goal is to make YOUR customer’s experience the best it can possibly be.  Having a compliant surcharge program is a great way to enhance your bottom line while still giving a choice to your customers’ of whether they pay the surcharge or not.  Since Debit Cards were regulated through the Durbin Act in 2010, two-thirds of debit card transactions are priced at .05% + $0.22 per transaction.  (All-in with Visa/MC fees the cost is about .19% + $.24/transaction) That’s whether they are swiped or taken via the web or over the phone!  Why charge your customers 4% on those cards?  You can easily pay that fee as is governed by the card brands and charge a fee to your customers on the high-valued points cards and rewards cards. 

More about the risks and requirements of Cash Discount programs

Merchant Surcharging Considerations and Requirements

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