Plug’nPay and CardCharge Calculator have an offering that helps ISOs respond to merchants interested in surcharging.

The companies are working together on technology that calculates the cost of acceptance for a credit or debit card payment with the transaction’s under way, a press release from the companies says.

ISOs have been contemplating merchant surcharging because the proposed settlement of the swipe-fee lawsuit would grant retailers the right to indulge in that practice. The next hearing on the suit is scheduled for September.

“With this technology,” “ISOs can offer their merchants three different solutions,” David Price, Plug’nPay president and CEO, said in a press release. “They can pass the transaction cost through to the customer; offer a discount if the customer uses a different card; or convert the transaction cost into rewards points as a loyalty and retention tool.”

“The CardCharge Calculator empowers merchants to better manage acceptance fees and provide discounts that correspond to the actual cost of processing rewards cards, debit cards and other forms of payment,” said Ed Levene, CardCharge president. “CardCharge Calculator can not only reduce the merchant's cost of doing business but can provide a way for them to attract and retain customers through rewards and discounts.”

Processor agnostic, the CardCharge Calculator takes a card type, transaction subtotal, and preset characteristics, such as merchant type or charge thresholds, and calculates the total card processing cost if the transaction proceeds. It forwards that information to the merchant's system, along with the recommended amount of pass-through fees or discounts appropriate for the transaction.

If the customer approves the transaction with the modified transaction total, the merchant's system submits the transaction for processing. If the customer prefers instead to use a different method of payment with lower cost of acceptance, the CardCharge Calculator recalculates the transaction with a lower total transaction amount.

Acknowledging that as many as 18 states are challenging or overruling surcharging legislation, according the press release, Plug’n Pay and CardCharge contend that theirs is the simplest solution to a complex and complicated situation.

“Our goal is to offer a turnkey solution to our ISO partners,” says Plug’n Pay’s Price. “Whether they want to use the technology to start a different kind of conversation with merchant prospects, or to simply have it available if an existing merchant asks, ISOs need to be able to address the issue of surcharging. And we make that simple.”

“Merchants can now calculate transaction fees in real time and offset these processing costs in a number of different ways,” Levene said in the release. “That’s huge.”


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