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. With a Florida ban on surcharging legal on a state level, but not on a federal level, there has been confusion on legality.
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 surcharges to their clients. This exception joined state DMV’s and private schools in Florida surcharging law. It is unlikely that the supreme court will hear more cases that contend the ban any time soon. However, the law is not being enforced even though Florida stat law states that imposing a surcharge on credit card holders is a class two misdemeanor.
Should Your Business Surcharge?
PayFrog recommends that merchants do not charge their customers surcharges, regardless of the laws in their state. 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 unaffordable fees, you should take a look at pricing elsewhere either way.