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Many large retail chains (including giants such as Home Depot and Wal-Mart) have already gone on record stating that they have no plans to start adding checkout fees, as they believe that doing so would drive away customers.You might consider NOT surcharging if: Before deciding whether or not to surcharge, consider checkout fees through the eyes of your customers and carefully consider whether those fees will make up for any loss in revenue.
There are limits on what merchants can charge and conditions that merchants must meet in order to charge checkout fees — the next part of this article will explore these in depth.
If your business operates in any of the 10 states (CO, CT, FL, KS, ME, MA, NY*, OK, TX) whose state laws prohibit surcharging, you may not charge checkout fees in that state.
Razi explains, "Under this authoritative, controlling precedent, we’re now serving all California merchants that seek the single-sticker pricing model—which, in real-world terms, would be quoted as, “$10, with a 3.5% surcharge for credit.” Keep in mind that California has laws that still apply regarding deceptive pricing, so you may want to consult an attorney if you're considering imposing a credit card surcharge on a business operating in California to ensure you comply with the recent decision and all applicable laws.
More information is available at the Office of the Attorney General of California's website.
Finally, there is a loophole in these state laws which allow you to offer a discount to customers who pay by cash or check.
Many gas stations, for example, already engage in this practice.
"Part of what we see in this decision’s set of facts, which any solution that complies with the card brand rules would do, is using signage to adequately disclose the credit card surcharge.
In fact, a major interest behind this First Amendment challenge is that these merchants want to communicate very clearly about the high cost of credit card acceptance.
As you consider whether or not surcharging is right for your business, start by familiarizing yourself with some essential information — the difference between checkout fees (surcharges) and convenience fees, the states where surcharging is currently banned, and the procedures you must follow in order to start surcharging.