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Get Started with Service Charges

Create a service charge to help offset any operational or overhead costs. You can create service charges from your online Square Dashboard and then instantly add a service charge to any purchase during checkout from:

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.

Important to note

  • Service charges are not yet available for Square Appointments, Square for Retail or Square for Restaurants.

  • 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

You can create service charges from your online Square Dashboard and apply them on the Square POS app, Square Invoices app, or to Square Online orders.

You can also set up variable service charges which enable you to specify the exact amount or percentage at the time of cart building.

To create and edit service charges:

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

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

  3. Name your charge, choose a percentage-based or fixed price service charge, then enter the amount of the charge. 

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

  5. Click the toggle if you want to automatically apply this charge to Online orders, then select which fulfillment types you want the charges to apply to. 

  6. Click Save.

Note: Automatic service charges only apply to Square Online orders fulfilled via Pickup, Delivery, or Self-serve Ordering. You must also have item-level taxes enabled to apply automatic service charges for these fulfillment types. Learn more about tax settings in Square Online.

Apply Service Charges

Once you create a service charge from your online Square Dashboard, you can manually apply it to transactions via Square POS, Square Invoices app or Dashboard. 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 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 Invoices app

Service Charge Invoice App Apply

  1. From the Square Invoices app, tap create a new invoice.
  2. Tap Add a line item to apply a service charge.
  3. Select any preexisting service charges you want to apply to the invoice.
  4. Fill out the rest of your invoice and send it as you normally would.

Service Charge Invoice App Receipt

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

From Invoices on Dashboard

Square Dashboard - Square Invoices - Add Service Charge - EN

To apply service charges during the invoice creation process from your online Square Dashboard:

  1. Go to Payments > Invoices.
  2. Select Send an invoice and fill out your invoice details.
  3. Under “Line items,” select Add service charge.
  4. Create a new service charge or choose an existing service charge. Indicate the amount of the service charge and add sales tax if needed.
  5. Click Add to apply the service charge to your invoice.
  6. Complete the rest of your invoice and send it to your customer as you normally would, then click Send.

For Square Online Orders

Square Dashboard - Account Settings - Add Service Charge - EN

Any service charge can be automatically applied to Square Online orders fulfilled via Pickup, Delivery, or Self-serve Ordering.

  1. Go to Account & Settings from your online Square Dashboard.
  2. Click Business > Service charges > Create a service charge.
  3. Name your service charge— this name will be displayed on customer receipts and order summaries.
  4. Choose a percentage-based or fixed price service charge, then enter the amount of the charge.
  5. Select the location where the charge applies and add any applicable taxes.
  6. If applicable, toggle on Automatically apply this service charge to Square Online orders, then select which fulfillment types you want the charges to apply to*.
  7. Click Save.

*Note: Item-level taxes must be enabled for these fulfillment types before you can set up automatic service charges.

For Square Online Checkout

  1. From your online Square Dashboard, create a service charge by going to Account & Settings > Business information > Service charges > Create a service charge.
  2. Then, access the service charges created within Square Online Checkout through Online Checkout > General > Service charges > Add service charge.
  3. Select the service charges you would like to automatically apply to Square Online Checkout purchases.

Note: Currently, service charges enabled in Online Checkout settings only apply to “Collect a payment” and “Accept a donation” links

  1. Click Save.

FAQ

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.

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, or Dashboard.

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 tax 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).

Can I use this feature to apply a credit card surcharge?

No. If you wish to apply a credit card surcharge, you will first need to notify the card networks as well as follow their surcharging rules. Find out more about notifying Visa and Mastercard of your surcharging plans.

You can use our surcharge calculator to easily calculate the amount to charge customers in order to cover transaction fees. Learn more about applying a surcharge with Square.

Note: Surcharging is not permitted on debit or prepaid cards or Afterpay transactions.

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