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Get Started with Service Charges

Create a service charge to help offset any operational or overhead costs. Service charges can be percentage-based or a fixed amount that won’t change based on the purchase cost. When you add a service charge during checkout, both you and your customer will see the charge as a line item on the transaction.

You can create service charges from your online Square Dashboard and then instantly add a service charge to any purchase during checkout from:

Important to note

  • Service charges are not yet available for Square Appointments, Virtual Terminal, Square Online, Square Online Checkout, or Afterpay transactions.

  • You will need to upgrade to the newly redesigned Square Point of Sale app and run the latest version of the app to use the Service Charge features. Follow our simple guide to get started with the newest version of Square Point of Sale.

Set Up Service Charges

To create and edit service charges:

  1. Go to Account & Settings from your online Square Dashboard

  2. Click Business information > Service charges > Create service charge

  3. Name your charge. This name will be displayed on customer receipts and order summaries.

  4. Choose the amount type; amount, percentage, variable amount or variable percentage.

  5. Enter the amount of the charge, or leave the service charge amount blank to enter it at the time of the sale.

  6. Select the location where the charge applies and add any applicable sales taxes.

  7. Click Save.

Apply Service Charges

Once you create a service charge from your online Square Dashboard, you can manually apply it to transactions via Square POS app or Square for Retail POS app (on iOS devices only). You can add service charges to orders that include items, custom amounts, or both. You cannot apply a service charge multiple times on the same sale or invoice.

From the Point of Sale app

Service Charge POS App Apply

  1. From the Square POS app, tap Checkout > Library.
  2. You can search for service charges by name, or tap the Service Charge category.
  3. Choose all of the service charges that apply to the sale.
  4. Tap Review Sale to check the details of the transaction.
  5. Tap Charge.

Service Charge POS App Receipt

The service charge will show as a line item on your customer’s receipt and in your transaction report details.

From the Square for Retail app

  1. From the Checkout screen, long press on a tile then tap Edit tile grid.
  2. Under “Add to page,” tap Action.
  3. Tick the Service charges action tile checkbox.
  4. Select applicable service charges.
  5. Tap Done.

From there, you can move the tile to rearrange or tap the Service charges tile to make edits at any time.

To checkout a customer with a service charge:

  1. Add items to cart.
  2. Tap the applicable items, then tap Apply Service Charge.
  3. Choose applicable service charges, then tap Save.
  4. Tap Add to Cart
  5. Tap Charge to complete the payment.

To remove the service charge from the cart, swipe left, then tap Delete.

For Square Online Checkout

  1. From your online Square Dashboard, create a service charge by going to Account & Settings > Business information > Service charges > Create service charge.
  2. Access the service charges created within Square Online Checkout through Online Checkout > General.
  3. Under “Automatic settings,” toggle on Add service charges when collecting payments or donations.
  4. Click Save.

Note: Automatic settings are not available for links with subscriptions or recurring payments.


What is the difference between a service charge and a surcharge?

A service charge is an extra fee added to a sale to cover any additional expenses outside the cost of the initial goods being sold, such as bagging fee or delivery fee. Service charges can be a single flat fee or based on a percentage of the total sale amount.

A surcharge is a fee added to the bill when a buyer pays with a credit card to cover the cost of payment processing fees. This varies from a Convenience Fee, which covers the costs of accepting payment outside of a merchant’s usual channel (e.g. by phone instead of in-store), no matter what payment method is used.

When would I use a service charge?

Common use cases include card surcharging (for the payment processing fee) and public holiday surcharges. Learn more about payment surcharges via the ACCC website.

What does variable mean?

A variable service charge as a feature allows you to edit the percentage or dollar amount during checkout.

Can I make a service charge non-taxable?

Yes. You can create a non-taxable service charge, meaning the charge won’t be taxed at checkout. You can also assign one or more taxes to a charge, the taxes will be taken out during checkout.

What devices can I use to create and apply a service charge?

You can create service charges from your online Square Dashboard via a web browser on your mobile device or computer. After you create a service charge, you can apply it to a purchase on the Square Point of Sale app, Square Invoices app, Square Online Checkout, or via Square for Retail POS app on iOS devices.

Service charges are not yet available for Square Appointments, Square for Restaurants, Square Online, Virtual Terminal, or Afterpay transactions.

Can I automatically apply a service charge to all card transactions?

Not at this time. You will need to manually add the service charge in the cart checkout during each sale via your Square POS app.

How many service charges can I apply to one sale?

You can apply multiple individual service charges, but you cannot apply a single service charge more than once. For example, you can apply a pickup service charge and a bag service charge to the same sale, but you can’t apply the bag service charge more than once to that same sale.

How do I calculate the processing fee on service charges?

Because the Square fee is charged on the total amount, rather than the subtotal, there will still be a small out of pocket amount for sellers using service charges. The processing fees will still be charged on the cart total plus new service charge. On a $100 GST inclusive transaction with a processing rate of 1.9% and a service charge at the same rate, the buyer will be charged $101.90, but the processing fees will be $1.93.

It will also not automatically apply a surcharge to all transactions nor can it be set up to automatically apply based on a specific time (e.g. Sundays, public holidays).

Disclaimer: Please note that this guidance is general in nature and does not constitute legal, tax or any other type of professional advice. If you are unsure about your legal obligations or where to find the relevant information, we suggest that you consult with a professional.

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