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Frequently asked questions
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  • Q: I see that some companies offer a “cash discount” program. Is this compliant?

    A: In general, no, because they list the cash price and add a fee at the point of sale. Most “cash discount” programs are non-compliant, because they list the cash price on the shelf and then mark it up at the point of sale. When you add a fee to a listed price, you must comply with the card brand rules, and must not apply the fee to a debit card.

    Almost all “cash discount” programs fail to meet these requirements, risking fines from the card brands and state attorneys general.

  • Q: Can I pass on the cost of card acceptance with a “convenience fee”?

    A: No, you cannot pass on the cost of card acceptance with a convenience fee for several reasons. A convenience fee must be a flat-dollar amount, must not be a percentage, and must not increase in any way as the transaction size increases.

    A convenience fee may only be applied in a card-absent channel of acceptance (such as online or by phone). In addition, the merchant must also accept credit cards in person and apply no fee to card-present payments; therefore, a merchant that accepts only card-absent payments may never use a convenience fee.

    Finally, a convenience fee may only be applied by the merchant, so a convenience fee applied by any third party is non-compliant.

    For these reasons, it is highly doubtful that a compliant convenience fee will cover the cost of card acceptance.

  • Q: Can I pass on the credit card fee if a customer using a debit card presses the “credit button” on a terminal?

    A: No. Regardless of how the customer’s debit card is processed at the point of sale, you must not apply a fee to debit cards. To keep you compliant, TURNKEY automatically detects when a debit card is entered and applies no fee.

  • Q: Will I lose customers who dislike the surcharge?

    A: Not likely, TURNKEY still gives your customers the choice of paying with cash, check, or debit card without a fee. The processing savings you'll enjoy on credit cards largely outweighs the potential loss of any sales. On average merchants reduce processing costs by 90%.

  • Q: What happens if the program is not for me?

    A: If you are unsatisfied with the Cash Discount Program, we would be happy to switch you to a traditional processing rate.

  • Q: Do you offer traditional processing alongside the Zero Cost Processing?

    A: Yes, we do.

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