This is the Beacon Payments blog. Learn about the credit card processing and the merchant services industry. Hear about the successes of our outside sales people whose job it is to sell merchant services and sell credit card processing programs.

How to properly surcharge

Published 04/20/2018

When a business owner wants to charge their customer a 4% surcharge then they need to pay a 3.84% fee to their processing company to guarantee the charge is being properly offset. 

Look at the following examples:

The merchant runs the card for a $100 sale.  The cardholder is then charged a total of $104.

If we then take 4% out of the $104 transaction the business owner will pay $4.16 in fees - an effective rate of 4.16%

$104 * 4% = $4.16

$104 - $4.16 = $99.84 deposit

If we instead take 3.84% of the transaction out then the business owner pays $4.00 in fees on the $104 sale. 

$104 * 3.84% = $4

$104 - $4 = $100 deposit. 

This ends up being a 4% charge on the original $100 sale.  The business owner is charging 4% to the client and exactly 4% is being paid to offset by the 3.84% processing charge. 

Cash Discounting and surcharging on the Dejavoo Z8 terminal

Published 04/12/2018
  1. What is cash discounting?  Cash discounting allows the business owner to charge all clients using all card types a fee for using their credit card.  ( Typically 4%) The business needs to make it abundantly clear that all of the prices in the store are discounted cash prices and that non cash transactions carry an additional 4% fee.  This needs to be posted on their door and should be posted at the point of purchase as well. 


  1. What is surcharging? Surcharging is only allowed in certain states and only allows credit cards to be charged, not debit cards.   When the customer swipes their credit card a fee is then added to that transaction.  (Again – typically 4%)


  1. Can this be done with a tip line? On the Dejavoo Z8 you can add the 4% to the total amount before  the tip is added.


  1. Can you bypass the 4% fee? The card holder has the option to decline the charge on their card.  It is typically in the best interests of the business owner to not argue with them if they refuse to pay the fee. They risk losing the entire sale if they do. 


  1. Is there a wireless terminal option? Yes  - the Dejavoo Z9 can run over a 3G network.   


  1. Do you have the option to charge ONLY credit and NOT debit cards? If the client prefers to surcharge rather than do cash discounting then this can be requested on the terminal.  ONLY credit cards will be charged the 4% fee.  We recommend writing the debit cards sat a lower rate since the business owner will not be recouping these costs. 


  1. Does the batch report show the 4% charges? Yes – at the end of the day the report will show total sales and on a separate line item it will show the total collected in fees.


  1. Does the 4% get taken out daily? Yes – every day the business owner will receive a deposit for their daily sales less the 4% that they have charged cardholders. 

To learn more please review the following blog posts:

  1. What is Free Credit Card Processing?
  2. How Much can a merchant Surcharge?

Starting April 2018 signatures will no longer be required

Published 03/13/2018

For as long as credit cards have existed merchants have been conditioned to require cardholders to sign each sales slip.  In reality, this process slows down the transaction and adds very little security because most merchants do not take the time to verify the signature on the receipt matches the signature on the back of the card.

Recently MasterCard announced they will remove the requirement to obtain a signature on most transactions beginning in April of 2018.  Almost immediately American Express, Discover and Visa followed suit on a similar timeline


Success Story: From $0 to over $100k per year in 18 months

Published 02/07/2018

Being in commission-only sales my entire career embedded in me an entrepreneurial spirit. I knew the value of a full day’s work, the more time I put in the more money and success I would gain. I did not care for the 9-5 mentality the majority of my co-workers shared. They chose to be content with doing the least amount of work possible to squeak by and not get yelled at. The opportunity to sell merchant services with Beacon Paymetns allowed me the freedom to make my own decisions, set my own schedule, and gave me the uncapped income potential I was looking for.

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