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Home>Automatic Card Surcharges

Get Started with Card Surcharges Beta

With Square’s automatic card surcharges beta, you can pass on processing fees associated with card payments. The card surcharge will be automatically applied when a customer pays with a card in the Square Point of Sale, Square Restaurants POS or Square Retail POS apps on compatible iOS devices, Android devices, Square Terminal, and Square Register.

Have you set up manual surcharge workarounds? To use automatic card surcharges, learn how to remove any existing sales taxes, service charges, or automatic gratuity (Square for Restaurants only) from your account.

Important to note

  • If you’ve previously set up manual sales taxes, service charges, or auto-gratuity (on Square for Restaurants) in place of a surcharge, follow this guide to delete existing manual service charges on your Square account so you can use this beta feature. 

  • The card surcharges feature is not available if you use Square Terminal in connected mode at this time.

  • All card transactions can be surcharged, but you must only charge your “Cost of Acceptance”. You cannot surcharge more for Afterpay (see below) or Square Gift Cards.

  • For in-store Afterpay transactions, you can apply your card surcharge to cover the payment processing portion of the fee (that’s your Cost of Acceptance). Otherwise, you can’t impose a surcharge on a customer using Afterpay as their payment method.

If this is your first time beta testing, learn more about the Square Beta Program in What to expect when Beta Testing.

Step 1: Calculate your cost of acceptance

In Australia, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has set rules on how you can surcharge. The surcharge rate can’t be higher than the amount you incur to process card transactions — your “Cost of Acceptance”. If you have more than one processing rate with Square, you must only surcharge up to the lowest processing rate.

To review your current card processing fees visit Settings > Pricing & Subscriptions via your online Square Dashboard.

Step 2: Create a card surcharge

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

  2. Click Business information > Service charges.

  3. Under ‘Create an automatic card surcharge,’ click Create card surcharge.

  4. Enter a surcharge amount to cover your card processing fees.
    Note: Card surcharges must not exceed your lowest processing fee.

  5. Determine if the surcharge will apply at some or all of your locations, and whether your surcharge will be taxable. Click Save.

  6. Choose to either Print a Surcharge Display Kit to inform your customers or click X to exit the page if your device is not connected to a printer.

Note: Merchants in Australia are responsible for adhering to all regulations regarding imposing a surcharge on consumers when a card is used for payment. New regulations set out by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) have banned businesses from applying excessive surcharges for accepting different payment types. If you do apply surcharges at your business, visit the ACCC website and Square's Payment Terms to learn more.

Step 3: Checkout with surcharges

Once you’ve created the surcharge, start processing card payments via Square Point of Sale, Square Restaurants POS or Square Retail POS apps on compatible iOS devices, Android devices, Square Terminal, and Square Register.

The surcharge will automatically display on the “Charge” screen at checkout and via the digital receipts.

Note: If you’re accepting payments via Square Register, customers will need to tap Press to confirm on the customer display before tapping their card.

Manage your card surcharges

From the Service charges tab on your Square Dashboard, click ••• next to the relevant card surcharge to edit, delete, or print your surcharge display kit.

Ensure your customers know about card surcharges by posting a Surcharge Display Kit in a prominent location.

FAQ

What is a surcharge?

A surcharge is an additional amount or percentage that sellers can add to pass on a card processing fee to a buyer. You can set it up as a percentage amount as long as it doesn’t go over your processing cost. With Square, the fee is the same regardless of card type.

How much can I surcharge?

You can only surcharge up to your actual cost of acceptance for card payment processing. Where you have more than one processing rate with Square, you must only surcharge up to the lower of your processing rates. Learn more about surcharging on the ACCC’s guidance on surcharging, and see Square’s Payment Terms.

You can view your current card processing fees via the Tax Invoices section on your online Square Dashboard.

Note: All card transactions can be surcharged, but you must only charge your “Cost of Acceptance”. You cannot surcharge more for Afterpay (see below) or Square Gift Cards.

Can I surcharge my Afterpay fees?

For in-store Afterpay transactions, you may apply a surcharge to recover the cost of accepting the card transaction portion of the fee, being your standard Square card processing rate.

You must not otherwise impose a surcharge on a customer for using Afterpay as their payment method.

Where can I apply an automatic surcharge?

  • Card surcharges will automatically apply to transactions completed via Square Point of Sale, Square Restaurants POS, and Square Retail POS. These transactions can include in-person, manually entered cards on POS, and Card on File.
  • Automatic surcharges are not yet available for Square Appointments, Square Invoices, Square Online, Square Online Checkout, Connected Terminal, Virtual Terminal or APIs.
  • You will need to run the latest version of the Square Point of Sale, Square Restaurants POS, or Square Retail POS apps to use automatic surcharges.

How can I accept automatic card surcharges on Square Register?

When accepting card payments on Square Register via Square, Restaurants, or Retail POS apps, you or the customer will need to tap Pay with card on the customer display, prior to tapping the card.

Square Register - Customer Display - Surcharge Confirmation Button - AU-EN

Do I need to notify customers about card surcharges?

Yes, you will need to tell customers about card surcharges. See the ACCC guidelines here, which state that you need to prominently disclose any surcharge, including displaying a sign at the point of sale.

You can print a surcharge kit when setting up the surcharge via your online Square Dashboard.

I accept card present and card not present transactions, can I create multiple card surcharges?

Not at this time. When creating and applying a surcharge, ensure you are calculating your actual cost of acceptance for card payment processing. If you have more than one processing rate with Square, you must only surcharge up to the lowest processing rates.

To review your current card processing fees visit Settings > Tax Invoices from your online Square Dashboard.

Where can I see the total amount of card surcharges in my reports?

From your online Square Dashboard, go to Reporting > Reports > Service charges. Card Surcharge is presented as its own line item based on the name of the charge.

How will the surcharge appear in the digital or printed receipts?

The customer sees the surcharge percentage and total amount on all digital and printed receipts.

Digital Receipts - Card Surcharge Display - EN-AU

Can I view and export a report that outlines all transactions with card surcharges?

Yes. Card surcharge is presented as its own line item based on the name of the charge and can be viewed at any time via your online Square Dashboard. To view:

  1. Go to Reporting > Reports > Service charges.
  2. Apply any applicable filters.

You can export the report as a CSV file by clicking Export in the top-right corner.

The card surcharge is not appearing when I checkout a sale, what do I do?

If you do not see the card surcharge on the charge button and checkout screen after creating it on your online Square Dashboard, you will need to trigger a sync with your Square Point of Sale, Square Restaurants POS, or Square Retail POS app.

To trigger a sync, head to the Items tab in your Square app and then return to the checkout page. This should trigger the surcharge setting to sync with your device.

If there is no change after following these steps, force-close your Square app and reopen it. The surcharge should show on the charge button and checkout screen after the app is reopened.

Can I apply an automatic card surcharge to split payments?

Automatic card surcharges will automatically apply on split bills and split open tickets during the checkout flow.

However, if you were to split the payment at checkout (for example; tapping Charge > Split Amount > split by amount or equal payments on your point of sale), automatic card surcharges will not be applied to each transaction.

Do I have to pay Square fees on the amount of the card surcharges in my transaction?

Up until 16th November 2023, Square’s fee was calculated on the total transaction amount, including taxes, tips and card surcharge.

Since 17th November 2023, Square fees will no longer be calculated on any amount you designate as a card surcharge, meaning that the amount you surcharge will be calculated on the total cart amount, including
taxes and tips.

Below is an example showing the card surcharge set at 1.6% in Dashboard, when you process a transaction (TXN) on Square Terminal (where Square’s fee is 1.6%):

  Cart total Tip Card Surcharge = 1.6% on cart total + tip Square’s 1.6% fee calculated on cart total + tip + card surcharge Square’s 1.6% fee calculated on cart total + tip
TXN processed before and on 16/11/23 $135.00 $4.00 $2.22 $2.26
TXN processed on or after 17/11/23 $135.00 $4.00 $2.22 $2.22

Are APIs and third party integrations supported with automated card surcharges?

Automated card surcharges and refunds are not supported with integrations such as Xero and Amaka. While we don’t have an exact date, we are working on a solution.

Support and feedback

For questions or feedback on this new experience, join the Card Surcharges Group in the Beta Seller Community or email us at beta-au@squareup.com. Within the Beta Seller Community, you can share feedback and get involved in live discussions directly with our product team and other members of this beta program.


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 tax obligations or where to find the relevant information, we suggest that you consult with a professional.

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