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Everything you need to know about surcharge, dual pricing and payments

We believe that with the right information you can make better decisions about payments for your business.

Let’s start with the basics

Learn about the building blocks of the modern payment ecosystem and how everything interacts.

More details about Surcharge and Dual-Pricing

These are both new programs so let’s dive in a bit deeper into how they work.

Register for an upcoming live session


Getting Started: How to Set Up Surcharge

Understand the basics as you start your journey

Every Wednesday

Webinar thumbnail


Getting Started: How to Set Up Surcharge

Understand the basics as you start your journey

Every Wednesday

Webinar thumbnail


Getting Started: How to Set Up Surcharge

Understand the basics as you start your journey

Every Wednesday

Webinar thumbnail

What are the surcharge rules?

Surcharge programs are still new and the compliance around them can be a complicated thing. This has kept many businesses from understanding the many benefits of surcharge programs. Its time to change that!

A hand tapping credit card on a Rescue smart terminal

What you need for compliance

  • You need to be registered with the major card brands
  • You need to inform your customers about the surcharge
  • The fee can’t exceed 2.4%
  • The receipt must show the fee and the price as separate items
  • You can’t surcharge debit cards (on a percentage basis).
  • Properly inform your customers about the surcharge program

How Rescue helps

  • We register everything for you
  • We give you all of the signage you need in the Rescue Kit
  • We add the fee to the transaction automatically. No calculations for you and your employees
  • Our receipts show the breakdown (on both the physical terminal and the virtual one)

Try our Surcharge Calculator

Select your industry, card volume and transaction size and we can estimate how much a surcharge program will save you each year.



  • Is this legal in Canada?

    Yes! On October 6, 2022, Canadian merchants—except those in Quebec—became legally permitted to add a surcharge to payment card transactions, following a 2021 class action lawsuit against Visa, Mastercard, and several banks. The lawsuit was initiated by Canadian merchants who argued that credit card processing fees were burdensome for their businesses, and the resulting settlement allows for a surcharge (capped at 2.4%) to help offset these costs.

    What about Québec? 

    No, unfortunately surcharge is not legal in Québec. But great new, Dual Pricing Is!

  • Do I need to add any signage to my location?

    Yes! But don’t worry, we provide the signage that you need so you can start using your new surcharge system right away.

  • Do I need to change how I operate today?

    No! We will provide you with all of the tools and items you need to run your complaint surcharge program. All you need to do is set-up one of our devices and keep processing like normal!

  • My business is complex – is this the right fit for me?

    Maybe yes, maybe no. We tend to think that any business can integrate a surcharge program into their payment acceptance ecosystem. If you have questions or want to discuss your specific needs, shoot us a note and we will happily schedule a call to go over your requirements.

  • Can I accept payments online or over the phone?

    YES! We have multiple systems that allow you to run a complaint surcharge program. Some of our systems are omni-channel (which is fancy for 1 account that can do many things). We have accounts to fit all types and sizes of business. Those include accounts that allow you to take payments over the phone, or integrate our software solutions into your website or mobile application!

  • What is PCI Compliance and are your devices PCI compliant?

    YES! Our devices are PCI compliant.

    PCI compliance refers to adhering to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), a set of security standards designed to ensure that all companies that accept, process, store, or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment.

  • What types of Terminals do you use?

    We use the latest in smart Android based devices. We have wired units, wireless WIFI and wireless LTE devices.

  • I have never had a credit card processing account before. How do I start?

    TBD. But for a rough idea:

    1. Complete our simple on-boarding questionnaire.
    2. Someone from our team will reach out to collect additional information and help you complete the next steps. This can be done in as little as 5 minutes!
  • Why do Merchants choose to Surcharge?

    Well, there are lots of reasons.

    Merchants choose to implement surcharges for several reasons, primarily to offset the costs associated with accepting credit card payments. Here are some of the main reasons our merchants tell us they  choose to surcharge:

    1. Cover Processing Fees: Credit card companies charge merchants a fee for processing credit card transactions. These fees can add up, especially for small businesses. Surcharging allows merchants to pass some or all of these costs onto the consumer.
    2. Maintain Profit Margins: For businesses operating on thin margins, credit card processing fees can significantly eat into profits. Surcharging helps maintain the profitability of each sale.
    3. Card Holders Get all the Benefits: Credit card holds use credit cards for all sorts of reasons. One of the biggest perks is the points, reward miles, dividends or other benefits that a credit card can provide. Most card holders don’t realize that the cost of those programs is being funded by the merchants they shop with. If a card holder is getting most of the value, shouldn’t they contribute to the expense?
    4. Price Transparency: Some merchants prefer to show the cost of credit card processing separately rather than incorporating it into the price of goods or services. This can make pricing more transparent and allow consumers to see the cost of using a credit card for payment.
    5. Encourage Other Payment Methods: By adding a surcharge to credit card payments, merchants may encourage customers to use other, less expensive payment methods like cash or debit cards.
    6. Competitive Pricing: If a merchant can offset the cost of credit card fees through surcharging, they may be able to offer more competitive base pricing for their goods or services.
    7. Simplicity: For some merchants, it’s simpler to add a surcharge than to adjust the pricing of individual items to account for credit card fees.
    8. Cash Flow: Credit card fees can affect a business’s cash flow, especially if the business has a high volume of credit card transactions. Surcharging can help improve cash flow by reducing these costs.
    9. Consumer Choice: Offering a surcharge for credit card payments while providing other payment options gives consumers the choice to select their preferred payment method, even if it means paying a bit extra for the convenience of using a credit card. Rather then a business raises all of its prices, it can simply add a surcharge, which allows customer to get a discount for debit and cash!
    10. Level Playing Field: In some industries, competitors may already be implementing surcharges.
  • How does fee-free processing work?

    Credit card surcharging or near fee-free processing involves adding a percentage fee to a transaction when a customer chooses to pay with a credit card. The surcharge is intended to cover your cost of processing the credit card payment. In most cases, a merchant will add a 2.40% complaint surcharge amount to each transaction. This amount is billed to the customer and goes to offset the cost that you have traditionally been paying.