Can I charge credit card customers fees or more?

Until last Friday, the answer was a bit more complicated as Visa, MasterCard, and several large banks involved essentially imposed rules on merchants which did not allow merchants to directly pass on credit card fees to their customers. There are two major entities in the credit card transaction process. Companies like Visa and MasterCard collect a fee for the right to use their networks; however, they share no credit risk. The banks which provide the actual funds to the merchant on behalf of their customers collect the majority of fees involved in merchant account fees.
Credit Card Processing TimeOn Friday (July 13, 2012), San Francisco-based Visa, MasterCard, and several large banks reached a $7.2 billion settlement with retailers who have long accused the credit cards and associated banks (Chase, Bank of America, Citi Group, and Wells Fargo) of price fixing credit card payment processing. With the settlement, retailers are now free to openly charge their customers for using credit cards. But not so fast. Now you may be subject to State and other government regulations that limit or disallow charging customers.
************ Answers to the 2 Most Frequently Asked Questions *******************
Q. Can I assess a surcharge on both credit and debit card purchases?
Answer: No. The ability to surcharge only applies to credit card purchases, and only under certain conditions. Merchants cannot surcharge debit card or prepaid card purchases.
Q. What laws exist that may relate to surcharging?
Answer: Currently, 10 U.S. states have surcharging restrictions including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma and Texas. If you want to consider any surcharges, we advise that you consult with legal counsel to determine whether your practices comply with relevant state law.
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