Cash Discount Signage: What are the Requirements?
If your business is looking to offer cash discounts or surcharge programs to customers paying with cards, there are several requirements you must adhere to. Credit card issuers have set specific guidelines for how merchants can implement cash discount and surcharge programs. One of the critical mandates is cash discount signage.
In this blog, we'll outline the requirements for cash discount signage and credit card surcharge signs.
Let's dive in.
What are the Rules?
It's important to note that cash discount and surcharge programs are unique to the United States and that different states have varying regulations.
If your business is looking to offer either of these programs, you must make sure you're complying with state and local laws. The only states you may not impose surcharging fees in are: Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Puerto Rico.
There are also states that set limits on surcharging: Colorado, Maine, and Oklahoma. Additionally, each card brand has requirements for cash discount signage and credit card surcharge signs.
Here's a brief breakdown of each:
With a cash discount program, Visa requires you to display signage at the entrance of your business. The signage must be visible to customers before they enter.
The sign, accessible on Visa’s website, must state the cash discount percentage and the conditions under which the cash discount will be applied (e.g., "All sales are final").
Additionally, Visa recently adjusted policies to allow merchants to offer a “service fee” discount for cash-paying customers or a “convenience fee” for card users.
If you plan on implementing a cash discount program, you must display signage at the entrance of your business. The sign must be visible to customers before they enter and must state the cash discount percentage and the conditions under which the cash discount will be applied (e.g., "All sales are final").
AmEx does not require you to list the amount of the surcharge on a receipt for credit card surcharge signage.
If you plan on implementing a cash discount program, you must display credit card surcharge and cash discount signage at the point of entrance and point of sale, and all signs must be visible and clear to customers.
The sign must state the cash discount percentage and the conditions under which the cash discount will be applied.
As you can see, card brands have very similar requirements regarding surcharge and cash discount signage. You must adhere to these requirements to avoid penalties or fines from the card brands.
How to Handle Credit Card Surcharge Signs During Online Sales
You can also implement surcharge fees for eCommerce payments. Of course, card brands impose different requirements for online credit card surcharge signage.
Just like in-person sales, Visa requires businesses to transparently state the 'merchant fee' or 'processing fee' as an additional expense. This fee must be clear to the customer before they complete the purchase.
Mastercard does not require any specific language to communicate the surcharge fee online.
Discover doesn't impose language requirements but does state that the purchase amount should be displayed before the customer enters their payment information.
The bottom line? Just because the information is online doesn't mean a merchant can hide it. Surcharge fees must be clarified before the customer finalizes their purchase.
If you have any questions or need help getting started with cash discount or surcharge programs, SeamlessChex is here for you.
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