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What is Surcharging: Learn Everything You Need To Know

30 Jan 2024

It's time to tackle a topic that might change how you do business – surcharging. You might be thinking, "What is surcharging, and why should I care?" Well, take a seat, and let's dive into the world of surcharging because it can significantly impact your bottom line, and there’s a lot to understand.

Thankfully, in this blog, we're your business-savvy mates here to break it all down for you. We'll explain:

  • What is surcharging?
  • Why businesses (like yours) are using surcharging
  • Surcharging best practice 
  • How to set up surcharging with Epos Now (on your point of sale system)

You'll learn how to navigate the sometimes tricky waters of credit card transactions and processing fees while keeping your customers happy.

So, whether you're a seasoned pro or just dipping your toes into the world of surcharging, we've got you covered. Let's roll up our sleeves and get your business on the path to financial success with surcharging. It's time to learn everything you need to know!

Understanding surcharging

Let's break it down – what's this whole credit card surcharge business about? It might seem a bit confusing, but we're here to make it as clear as the Aussie skies on a sunny day.

Credit card processing fees

Imagine you're running a bustling café or an online store. You happily accept credit card payments because, well, who carries cash these days? But here's the catch – every time a customer swipes their card, there's a fee you've got to pay. Yep, that's the notorious "credit card processing fee." It's like a tiny nibble at your profits, and it can add up.

How surcharging works

So, what's a business-savvy mate to do? This is where surcharging does its magic. You see, surcharging allows you to pass that credit card processing fee on to the customer. That extra bit they pay? That's your checkout fee or credit card surcharge. It helps cover the cost of processing credit card payments and can save your business some serious dough.

What to be aware of before setting up surcharging

Now, before you start adding credit card surcharges to everything, there are some rules to follow. Regulatory fees and laws vary, and it's essential to stay on the right side of the law. Nobody wants to face those regulatory recovery fees, right?

So, there you have it, folks – the basics of surcharging. It's a clever business move that can keep your cash register singing. Stay tuned for more insights on how to make surcharging work for your business. We've got your back on this surcharge journey!

Why do businesses surcharge? 

Let's dig into the juicy details of why businesses opt for surcharging. It's like peeling back the layers of an onion. Only this onion is full of financial wisdom.

  • Covering credit card processing fees - no more dollars up in smoke: Suppose you're a ripper business owner, and every time a customer slides their credit card, a little piece of your hard-earned dosh disappears into the hands of those credit card companies. These cheeky buggers are the notorious credit card processing fees. Surcharging lets you chuck these fees onto the customer's bill, making sure your dollars stay in your pocket where they belong.
  • Boosting those profit margins - cash in the cobber: Every dollar counts when you run a business, and surcharging can help you keep more of those dollars. By clawing back the processing fees through credit card surcharges, you're basically giving your profit margins a boost without clobbering everyone with higher prices.
  • Transparency is king - fair dinkum business: In the business world, trust is as essential as a cold tinny on a hot day. Customers love honesty and transparency. Surcharging allows you to be fair with your customers about the costs involved in a credit card transaction. They know what they're forking out for, and that builds trust. That’s true-blue mate!
  • Financial freedom - Money, money, money: Once you start surcharging, you'll notice the difference in your financial statements. It gives your business a bit more financial oomph, allowing you to invest in your business growth.
  • Staying competitive - Keeping up with the Joneses: In a world where customers have more choices than a roo has hops, staying competitive is a must. By jumping on the surcharging bandwagon, you can keep your prices fair and in line with businesses that have already cottoned on to this top-notch practice. You’re not alone in considering this - and customers understand prices are rising with businesses needing higher margins to stay afloat.

So, there you have it – the bonzer reasons why businesses are turning to surcharging. It's not just about covering costs. No, it's about making fair financial decisions that can lead to a healthier, more profitable business.

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Surcharging best practices

Let's dive into some top-notch best practices for surcharging, Australian-style.

Timing is everything - don't jump the mark

When and how you implement surcharging matters, especially when it comes to credit card transactions. Don't rush into it like a bull at a gate. Take the time to analyze your costs and customer base. Are "checkout fees" and "credit card processing fees" really eating into your profits? If so, consider surcharging, but do it thoughtfully.

Communicate clearly - no room for miscommunication 

Transparency is your best mate when it comes to surcharging. Let your customers know upfront that you're adding a surcharge. You don't want them feeling like they've been taken for a ride on the dodgy rollercoaster. Display the surcharge prominently and make it crystal clear at the point of sale.

Compliance is key - play by the rules

Aussie regulations can be a bit like bush tracks – winding and full of surprises. Make sure you're on the right side of the law when it comes to surcharging. Check the rules and regulations in your state and industry to avoid those pesky fines or legal hassles.

Monitor and adjust - like tinkering with a ute

Keep an eye on how your surcharging strategy is performing. Is it having the desired effect on your bottom line? If not, be ready to adjust. Your business is like a ute – sometimes, it needs a tweak to keep running smoothly.

Educate your team - all hands on deck

Make sure your team is on board with your surcharging strategy, especially when dealing with debit cards. Your service professionals should be able to explain the surcharge to customers if they have questions. It's all about working together like a well-oiled machine.

Keep it fair and square - no rip-offs

Surcharging is about recovering costs, not gouging your customers. Don't set surcharge amounts that are over the top. Keep it reasonable.

Embrace alternatives - Not a one-trick pony

Remember, surcharging isn't the only way to deal with credit card processing fees and additional fees. Explore other options, like offering discounts for cash payments or adjusting your pricing structure. Find what works best for your business model and prepaid card transactions.

So, there you have it – the best practices for surcharging that'll have your business shining brighter than the Southern Cross. It's all about balance, fairness, and playing by the rules. Stick to these practices, and you'll be on your way to surcharging success, Aussie-style!

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How to set up surcharging with Epos Now Payments

So, you've decided to jump on the surcharging bandwagon with Epos Now's payments processing service? Good on ya! Let's dive right into how to do this.

Step 1: The techy stuff

First things first, you'll need to be signed up and using Epos Now Payments for your business. Pretty simple stuff!

Step 2: Epos Now Back Office magic

Once you've ticked all the techy boxes, you'll find the surcharging control page waiting for you in the Epos Now Back Office. Just head to "Setup" > "Payments" > "Surcharge Settings." Here's where the real fun begins.

Within this magical page, you can define the percentage rate you want to charge for each transaction

Just remember, each time you update the rate, you'll need to make a quick configuration update for all your payment terminals (see the next step!). 

Step 3: Your front till setup

After setting up surcharging in the Back Office, it's time to configure your payment terminals. You'll find this will roll out shortly after hitting "update" on the surcharging page in the Back Office - then you’ll need to go to your individual card machines

For Pro and Pro+ users:

  • Open the settings menu from the home screen.
  • Select the "Config" button.
  • Enter password "0779".
  • In the bottom right corner, hit the blue arrow button.
  • The system will download the latest configuration version. Easy as pie!

For our Link card machines:

  • Press 9 then green (green means go, right?).
  • Select the "Config" button.
  • Enter password "0779".
  • Press the update button.
  • The system will download the latest configuration version. Piece of cake!

What happens next:

When a transaction goes down on your trusty payment terminal, the magic of surcharging begins. The terminal will ask the customer to accept the surcharge after they tap, insert, or swipe their card. Once they've agreed, it’ll seal the deal.

The receipt will print with the surcharge value shown, and you'll even spot the surcharge value in your Back Office reports. 

Just a little reminder: the surcharge won't appear on the front tills' completed transaction report, but we're working on that, mate.

And there you have it, setting up surcharging with Epos Now Payments in true Aussie style. It's like catching a wave – a bit of a ride, but totally worth it. If you've got any more questions or need a hand, don't be shy – give our customer service line a holler. Happy surcharging, cobber! 

Wrapping up: you're on the money!

Well, there you have it, folks! We've gone on a wild ride through the world of surcharging, exploring why businesses are taking the plunge into these financial waters and how to do it right.

Remember, surcharging isn't about leaving your customers high and dry – it's about keeping your business finances as bright as a Sydney sunrise. By recovering those pesky credit card processing fees and your checkout fee, you're setting your business on the path to success.

So, whether you're a seasoned surcharging pro or just dipping your toes into this financial adventure, keep these best practices in mind, stay transparent, and play by the rules. Your business will be shining brighter than the Southern Cross in no time.

Until next time, may your profits be plentiful, your customers cheerful, and your surcharging strategy as smooth as a bloke on a surfboard. Cheers, mate!

Ever find yourself in a quandary about surcharging or just fancy a chinwag about Aussie business tactics, don't hesitate to reach out. We're here to help.


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