Types of surcharge contracts
Payment providers can make it sound like there really are no costs involved when advertising “zero fees”, so you always have to look closely to find how their surcharge scheme works.
Commonly, the EFTPOS machine will have a surcharge setting that can be customised and switched on and off manually. This allows you to make exceptions for customers who refuse to pay it, or you can just use it during certain periods.
Many terminals can automatically calculate the correct charge for each transaction so the merchant doesn’t have to worry about breaking the law by overcharging.
Card machines from Tyro and the big banks have these features alongside a rental contract, though Zeller does too without the monthly, fixed fees incurred by the others.
Another way is to choose a payment provider offering a fee-free plan with conditions attached.
We’re thinking specifically of Smartpay’s Zero Cost EFTPOS plan that – as well as eliminating transaction fees through surcharges – eliminates the monthly EFTPOS rental fee for businesses processing over $10K a month in card payments.
The catch (apart from the monthly minimum sales requirement) is that Smartpay adds their own commission to the automatically calculated surcharges that customers pay. As with other EFTPOS machines, merchants can opt to pay for the transaction instead of the customer, or select when or which cards should have the surcharge.