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Thread: Is your practice in a state that allows charging a "surcharge"

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    Is your practice in a state that allows charging a "surcharge"

    I have received some great questions/ concerns from retail business owners who are part of a large buying group I work with. They want to know the legalities of charging a "surcharge" to their customers. Many states are ok with this and many are not. To be crystal clear, I have posted this link that will take you directly to Visa's page regarding this topic as well as a FAQ

    http://usa.visa.com/personal/using_v...ees/index.html

    http://usa.visa.com/download/merchan...-merchants.pdf

    Let me know if there are any other topics of interest you would like me to post. I have access to many resources regarding the Payment Card Industry and would be happy to assist any business owner with useful information to help their business

    Stay tuned for more and please provide me some feedback if you feel this was a helpful post.

    thanks

    Michael

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    Ophthalmic Optician OptiBoard Gold Supporter
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    I have heard of many practices in my area (Ohio) that give a discount to non-credit card sales, which is, in effect, a type of reverse surcharge on card purchases.
    Ophthalmic Optician, Society to Advance Opticianry

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    I look at it as a convenience fee. I get so irritated with places that charge for using a card. Just like Paypal and sellers saying you pay pp fees... What bs its there to help you take money and to usually protect you somehow. I dont charge it in my biz and never will.

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    I think it is a state by state thing. I believe NY just passed legislation making it legal to surcharge. Although I was always told that it was OK to give a discount to cash customers. I have never done either.

    We recently put up a "courtesy" sign saying that all copays must be in cash or check, no cards. Most people ignore it.

    I think it is a crime what credit card fees have gone up to. Especially the fees on the Premium cards that give the consumer free airline miles or 1% back on purchases. WE...the vendors...pay a higher fee on those transactions, so we are paying for the airline tickets and free gas that people are getting.

    Everybody wants to be our "partner" in the practice.

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    Master OptiBoarder rbaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fjpod View Post
    WE...the vendors...pay a higher fee on those transactions, so we are paying for the airline tickets and free gas that people are getting.
    And, I would like to thank you very much unless you have increased your fees to cover my free miles.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbaker View Post
    And, I would like to thank you very much unless you have increased your fees to cover my free miles.
    Even if I raise my fees, I still shouldn't be paying for your free miles.

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    In Canada, and perhaps in the US.....you are no longer dealing with an agreement with V and M card....your agreement is a subagreement with a third party that administers your credit card transactions. Most merchants do not deal direct with V or M, like they used to.
    Eyes wide open

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    Quote Originally Posted by fjpod View Post
    Even if I raise my fees, I still shouldn't be paying for your free miles.
    You know, I wouldn't mind it if I was given full cred for the miles contributed....like a line on the statement that said:

    " ________miles were contributed this month to your total of __________ airmiles by fjpod, your optometrist. Thank you!"
    Eyes wide open

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    Hey everyone. I'm happy to see some good back and forth conversation. I do agree with you regarding the unfairness of the cards charging this fee or that fee. Believe me, I get it. There are MANY cards out there and you are 100% correct to say that you, the merchant (business), pays for the sky miles or rewards or whatever the card comes with. These cards will always cost you a bit more than a regulated Visa, or MC from the bank that has no rewards attached to it and depending on how you are set up you could be paying close to 4% or more

    The solution: Interchange plus pricing and working with an honest consultant that actually does want to be a "partner" in your business. Someone who understands that a happy client is a loyal client.

    For those of you who don't know what interchange is, I will explain. Visa, MC sets the rates for every TYPE of card out there. The cards come with a cost to you, the merchant (not the card holder). It consists of a rate and a transaction fee.

    For example. A Visa rewards card comes with a 1.65% rate and a.10 transaction fee. This is called interchange. the PLUS is the mark up we charge on top of that. So if I set you up .20% + .05 above interchange you would only pay 1.85% + .15 for a visa rewards card that I will bet is costing you currently over 2.4%. When you receive your statement you will see a breakdown of every card that you processed. the name of the card, the interchange cost and the mark up. that's it. To me this is the way to go. In turn, you will always know that you are only paying .20% +.05 above interchange

    Now I will say that many companies out there wont present this to you because it's not as profitable as you paying 2.45% for a rewards card or 3.95% for non qualified transactions so rely on someone that was recommended to you and that you trust. They are out there. PM me for a more detailed explanation of interchange.

    thanks

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    With all due respect...the last thing I am looking for is another "partner" in my practice. Give me a buy-in, then we'll talk.

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    I think you misunderstood my use of the word "partner".
    All I'm saying is its helpful to have someone who is focused on this industry so that you can focus on being an optometrist. Someone who's as much of an expert in their field as you are in yours and for sure someone who looks out for your biz. Payment processing is a crazy industry.
    Last edited by ODpayments; 07-11-2013 at 09:47 AM.

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