Pandemic losses make merchants more receptive to credit card surcharging

Advocates of allowing merchants to add a surcharge to defray the cost of credit card interchange have had to overcome network bureaucracy, state laws and even ingrained habits among the merchants themselves.

But the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic may be the final push merchants needed to accept the option of adding a surcharge for card payments or a discount for using cash. Acquirers or independent sales organizations may also integrate the practice into their sales strategy, industry experts say.

“Surcharging has been around for a long time, but many people didn’t understand it and it was very onerous on the merchant to be able to get themselves compliant and registered,” John Barrett, executive vice president of Payroc, said this week at the virtual Mobile Payments Conference. “In recent years, the technology has changed, so it is easy for a merchant to get registered and compliant, and the legal landscape

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