Surcharging

A surcharge is a fee applied to a credit card transaction for the acceptance of the credit card. Typically, a surcharge covers the higher cost associated with processing credit cards.

Before Implementation

Before you implement surcharging, keep the following considerations in mind.

Product Considerations

  • Custom Checkout Only: Currently, surcharges are only supported by custom checkout.

General Considerations

  • Credit Cards Only: You can only apply surcharges to credit cards (not debit cards). A third-party BIN lookup service can help determine if a card is debit or credit.
  • Prohibitions: Certain states (and Canada) limit or prohibit surcharging.
  • Amount: The surcharge amount can be a fixed or variable amount but it must not exceed the merchant’s credit card acceptance fees or 4%, whichever is lower. Most of the time, surcharges are a variable amount. A fixed amount, such as a flat fee of $3, will exceed the 4% cap for transactions less than $75.
  • Disclosures: Surcharges must be disclosed on a checkout page, stating that a surcharge of X% will be applied for paying with a credit card. In addition, surcharges must be displayed as a separate line item on a receipt.

Implementation

  1. Tokenize the payer's card using the /credit_card/create API call or our Tokenization JavaScript library.
  1. Look up card information from the tokenized card using the /credit_card resource. In the response, the bin will be provided. Here is a sample response:
  1. Integrate with a third-party BIN lookup service.
  1. This service will use a BIN number to determine if a card is debit or credit. If a card is a credit card, then a surcharge can be applied (provided all other regulations are met).
  1. Apply the appropriate surcharge fee as a line item to the total amount.

Tip

We don’t recommend using the WePay fee structure where fees are set to payer for this purpose. This configuration charges the payer for the app fee (if any) and WePay fees, whereas the intent of surcharging is to cover the payment processing fees only.

Limitations

Certain states in the United States have laws limiting or prohibiting surcharging. Merchants and payees located in these states may not be able to surcharge. In addition, countries like Canada and the United Kingdom operate under their own surcharge regulations. For more information, please visit the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Suggestion

For more information, check out our blog post on surcharging.