The legality of passing credit card charges onto merchants’ customers has been a hotly disputed issue the past few years. As PayFrog sees this decade to a close, we would like to share a recent update to Florida’s transaction laws. Many industry resources have not yet updated their records to show the updated Florida surcharge ban, but many readers will welcome the news.
Prior to 2015, Florida enforced a state ban on surcharging (government entities exempt, of course). When the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that ban contrary to the right to free speech, it was overturned.
Updated Florida Surcharge Ban for Lawyers
In January of 2019, the Florida Supreme Court released a 90+ page amendment that allows lawyers to pass on credit card surcharges to their clients. This exception amended the bar rules which previously had a restriction on it. It is unlikely that the supreme court will hear more cases that contend the ruling any time soon, especially because Florida lawyers are the last of all merchants to gain this pricing freedom.
Should Your Business Surcharge?
PayFrog usually recommends that merchants do not participate in credit card surcharging, regardless of the laws in their state. There are a number of factors to consider, such as:
- What will my customers think?
- How does this affect my overall pricing in the marketplace?
- What are my competitors doing?
- What the credit card surcharging requirements?
If you decide to accept various methods of payments, we, and likely your customers, believe you should not charge them extra for using them. A transparent payment processor’s pricing structure will be designed to be more attractive the better your business does. If you’re with a merchant card service provider that has high fees, you should take a look at pricing elsewhere either way.