Visa has recently announced two important changes to the credit card surcharge rules which will take effect on April 15, 2023.
The first change involves the registration process for merchants intending to surcharge. Under the new rule, merchants are no longer required to register with Visa. Instead, they must notify their merchant acquirer 30 days prior to initiating surcharging.
The second significant change is the reduction of the maximum allowed surcharge in the US from 4% to 3%. Merchants who are currently charging 4% must reduce their surcharge to 3% on or before April 15, 2023. It is important to note that surcharging is not allowed by Visa, Mastercard, or Discover on prepaid or debit cards, even if run as credit.
Visa has also implemented on-site audits of businesses using secret shoppers to ensure compliance with their surcharge rules. The audits are conducted to determine whether a merchant accesses a surcharge on a debit or prepaid card transaction.
Moreover, merchants using older Ingenico ICT220 terminals to handle surcharge transactions may face challenges as these terminals cannot block debit card transactions. As a result, these terminals must be replaced to ensure compliance with the surcharge rules. It is worth noting that surcharge violations can result in fines of up to $5,000 per transaction.
If you have merchants who are affected by these changes, please contact us to develop a plan for compliance.