Understanding Cash Discounts, Credit Surcharges and Free Speech
Hello my name is Chris Corey and I work for Zero Fee Solutions. I have been in the Merchant Solutions industry now for 9 years. I would like to clear up some confusion about these two topics, Surcharge and Cash Discount.
Let’s first understand that these are two very different programs, though on the surface they appear to be the same. If you ever wonder if you are being charged under the Surcharge Program Just look on your receipt in the line item separate portion it will say “surcharge” under the surcharge rules and the way the file is built into the credit card machine it must state [SURCHARGE].
The next thing to look at is the signage on the door.
This is the sign that is approved by Visa/MasterCard under surcharge rules.
This is the sign approved by Visa/MasterCard for our Cash Discount program. (Please notice that the fee is added to ALL store sales)NOT JUST ELECTRONIC PAYMENTS. Please notice the three Patent numbers on the bottom of the sign.
You can feel free to search these patent numbers.
Surcharge is banned in 10 states
Surcharge: • Disclose the surcharge as a merchant fee and clearly alert consumers to the practice at
the point of sale — both in store and online — and on every receipt. Merchants should
also consider whether they comply with all applicable state or federal laws. Currently,
10 U.S. states have surcharging restrictions including California, Colorado,
Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma and Texas.
More information on rules and requirements related to surcharging can be found at
Cash Discount is protected under the US Constitution First Amendment Freedom of Speech and is legal in all 50 states
Judge Jed Rakoff, who through his writings and opinions has become arguably the most outspoken and influential district judge in the federal system, struck down the law as violating the First Amendment. To give you a sense of his attitude, the first line of his opinion read, “Alice in Wonderland has nothing on section 518 of the New York General Business Law.”
Rakoff’s argument was, essentially, that it violates free speech to prohibit a merchant from calling spade a spade. If the discount and the surcharge are basically the same in economic terms, the state can’t bar the merchant from truthfully describing the transactions.
Again the transaction with Zero Fee Solution is as such that there is a 3.99% added to all store prices, as an incentive to pay with cash the 3.99% is removed. Pay cash and save.
National Sales Trainer
Zero Fee Solutions
Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member