Credit Card Surcharging to be Legalized in Colorado

Colorado recently passed a law making credit card surcharging legal in the state, taking effect July 1, 2022.

Colorado was one of the last hold-outs for bans on surcharging, leaving Massachusetts and Connecticut as the only two states with bans still in place.

Surcharging has been gaining ground over the last several years as states continue to lose legal battles brought forth by merchants fighting these bans.

While this continues a trend of victories for companies that accept credit cards as a form of payment, many businesses will nevertheless refrain from implementing a surcharge program…and for good reason.

Surcharging is a complicated matter, with inherent risks. Even in states where it is legal, there are sometimes laws governing when and how it can be done. And the card brands (Visa, Mastercard, etc.) have their own rules and penalties in place, when it comes to surcharging.

Here’s what you need to know:

Every time a business takes a credit card payment from a customer or client, that business pays a set of processing fees to the banks and the payment processors involved in the transaction.

Processing fees, on average, range from 2% to 4% of the transaction total.

Surcharging means: the business charges the customer for all or a portion of that cost, and should appear as an additional expense line-item on the receipt.

Surcharging differs from cash discounts, convenience fees, service fees, etc.

With credit card surcharging, the customer is paying MORE than the listed price, whenever using a credit card.

Cash discounts differ, in that the listed price is what the customer pays when using a credit card…but a discount is offered if the customer elects to pay by cash instead. Cash discounts are not restricted by the rules that govern surcharging.

A convenience or a service fee is a type of surcharge, but not related specifically to the use of a credit card. These add-on fees are more often related to the payment channel: online, vs. over the phone, vs. in-person. They are not considered credit card surcharges as long as the customer has some method available for paying by credit card without the surcharge taking place. An example would be: paying online by credit card may result in a convenience fee–whereas paying with the same credit card in-person would not.

While the rules vary depending on a number of factors, including the geographic location in which the transaction takes place (this gets more complicated with ecommerce), here are the most common restrictions:

  • The surcharge cannot be greater than the processing fees paid by the merchant
  • The surcharge cannot be greater than 4% of the transaction total
  • The surcharge must be listed on the receipt and must be calculated PRIOR to sales tax
  • Signage indicating the surcharging policy must be present, clear, and visible at the point-of-sale
  • Debit cards and prepaid cards cannot be surcharged
  • Visa and Mastercard must be notified 30 days in advance before a surcharging process can be implemented
  • Surcharging must be consistent across all card brands
  • A refunded transaction must include all or part of the surcharged amount
  • Surcharges cannot be assessed alongside convenience/service fees related to the same transaction

Adding to this complexity, some states that have legalized surcharging have their own distinct rules in place. Colorado’s new law, for instance, restricts the surcharge to either 2% of the transaction total, or an amount equivalent to the fees paid by the merchant, without a cap. This conflicts with the 4% cap put in place by Visa and Mastercard, in cases where the processing fees are higher than 4% … and this conflict has yet to be tested. 

Whatever the case, if these rules are broken, there are penalties. These too will vary based on the rules that are in place for any given merchant. But they can be steep. 

Mastercard, for instance, may fine a merchant $20,000 for a first offense. And it’s quite possible that a business’s merchant account could be suspended entirely, if the violation is not rectified.

The takeaway is this: if a business chooses to implement a credit card surcharging program, that business should consult with legal counsel before doing so, in order to best navigate any applicable laws, regulations, or card brand rules that may apply.

Every business should consider the above risk factors–and consult with legal counsel–before pursuing a credit card surcharging policy.

It is also important to consider the risk to client relationships. 

While surcharging can increase profitability by offsetting a significant expense, it can also put some businesses in an uncompetitive situation. 

By definition, surcharging is a price increase that some clients might view negatively, causing them to do business elsewhere.

Even cash discounts can be viewed in a negative light, and dilute the value of a business or consumer offering.

To properly implement a surcharging policy, it is critical that a business:

  • Follow the rules exactly
  • Calculate the surcharge accurately
  • Maintain positive customer relations in spite of the policy

Again, this is incredibly complicated to do. And the rules change often.

As always, consult with legal counsel before proceeding.

Ultimately, credit card surcharging might not be a good fit for every business–especially those that are in a highly competitive industry, or do not have staff bandwidth or expertise to manage the nuances.

If credit card surcharging is not a good fit for your business, there are other ways to offset or reduce credit card processing fees.

The most effective approach is to eliminate account setup errors, apply industry benchmark rates, and optimize the discount fees. This can be complicated too, but is free from risk and can be outsourced easily.

To help identify errors and overcharging on your merchant account, contact Verisave for a processing fee analysis. This is done at no charge.

Verisave is a third-party cost-reduction firm specializing in merchant accounts and credit card processing fees.

Verisave is not a payment processor, and is not affiliated with any processors, card brands, or banks.

Verisave has more than 20 years of experience optimizing and monitoring the credit card processing industry.

Contact Verisave

Visa has Implemented a Controversial Interchange Fee Increase as of April 2021

After a controversial fee update was rolled out to merchants nationwide, many businesses scramble to minimize these additional costs.


If your business accepts credit card payments, you pay a variety of fees every time you process a transaction.

One of these is called an interchange fee.

Interchange Fees do not go to your processor … they go back to the bank that issued the credit card to your customer.

In April, Visa made some unexpected changes to the rates they charge, primarily affecting business interchange fees, which will increase business credit card processing fees by up to 20%.

Mastercard, Discover and American Express initiated similar fee updates at the same time.

The Controversy:

Visa had been planning to introduce these rate increases in 2020.

Due to the pandemic, they elected to delay the increases until April 2021.

After further pressure from Congress, Visa once again announced a delay, pushing the increases into 2022.

However, in April 2021 Visa moved forward with a portion of the contested fee increases anyway. This was unexpected and unannounced.


How much will this increase your processing fees?

It depends.

Companies that mostly have B2B transactions (meaning your clients are businesses that use specific business Visa cards) will see an increase in their processing fees.

Companies that have a high proportion of consumer transactions (B2C) will not be as greatly impacted, but even they are likely to see some fee increases this year.

What can be done?

To offset these increases, adjustments will need to be made on the back end of your merchant account.

These will be different for every business, and depend on a number of factors.

To determine the best approach for your merchant account, we offer a no-charge merchant account analysis. 

You can request that here.

Additional Details

As always, expect these increases to be complicated and opaque. Here are some things to watch for:


Standard Interchange Increase Levels:

  • The card types most affected by this will be: Visa Signature B2B and Infinite B2B, Visa Level 2 Business Tier Cards, and Business Downgraded Cards
  • As a basic example: when you process a customer’s payment of $1000, the Standard Visa fee will go up from $29.50 to $31.50
  • The same $1000 transaction on a Visa Business Card would see a fee increase from $25.00 to $30.00

How Your Processor Will Respond:

  • Whenever Visa or Mastercard increase Interchange Fees, some Processors tend to increase their own fees at the same time
  • These Processors time their planned increases to coincide because you are already expecting an increase
  • And they rarely make this clear or obvious, so it comes across looking like part of the same card-brand increase
  • Note: some Processors are more up-front and fair than others … 
  • But even a fair processor will not address the Interchange Fee increase on your behalf

Plan of Action:

  • Most merchants believe Interchange cannot be reduced
  • This is incorrect
  • Depending on your mix of card and transaction types, there are a number of steps that can be taken to avoid or offset increases like this
  • Contact Verisave to determine the best plan of action

Schedule Consultation

  • We Will Answer any Questions You Have About Credit Card Processing Fees
  • Receive Candid Feedback on Your Merchant Account from an Expert

Verisave Merchant Services Review: Vantiv (Now Worldpay)


Vantiv for Credit Card Payment Processing

Vantiv (now Worldpay) is one of the largest merchant services company in the United States, operating since 1970. This company has gone by the names of Midwest Payment Systems, Fifth Third, and Vantiv. They’re rebranding again with the new name Worldpay since merging with Worldpay in 2017.

The name transition will take some time as they were once Vantiv, now they are Vantiv (now Worldpay). At some point, the Vantiv name will be removed and they will be simply one with Worldpay.

Vantiv works with a broad selection of payment processing companies. Formerly restricted to a US market, their merger with Worldpay allows them to access a global market of merchant processors and services.

Signing up with Vantiv (now Worldpay) could easily result in high start-up fees, high early termination fees, and higher rates altogether. But most of their contracted terms are negotiable before enrolling. It helps to have a team of credit card processing consultants like Verisave to help you control costs with Vantiv (now Worldpay).

Products & Services Offered

Vantiv (now Worldpay) is primarily focused on merchant services that enable credit card payment processing. With other companies, you’re likely to find that they offer similar services as well as business management solutions for accounting, HR, and more.

Concerning credit card payment processing, Vantiv offers the following services:

  • Merchant Accounts
  • mPOS
  • Mobile Payment Support
  • POS Systems
  • Terminals
  • Virtual Terminals
  • eCommerce
  • Recurring Payments
  • Giftcard Payments
  • Security

VANTIV MERCHANT ACCOUNTS – Vantiv provides merchant accounts for any type of business, anywhere in the world.

VANTIV mPOS SYSTEM – This is the card reader service provided by Vantiv. They use payment platforms similar to First Data, Global Payments, and TSYS.

VANTIV MOBILE PAYMENT SUPPORT – If you’re using your mobile device to make or accept payments, Vantiv has a support line for NFC-based payments.

VANTIV POS SYSTEMS & TERMINALS – Vantiv provides integrated and non-integrated POS options. Some of their more popular payment terminals include the Verifone Vx520, the Ingenico iCT220, and the Ingenico iCT250.

[su_row class=”s-row”][su_column size=”1/3″]Vx520 [/su_column]
[su_column size=”1/3″]Ingenico iCT250 [/su_column]
[su_column size=”1/3″]Ingenico iCT220 [/su_column][/su_row]

VANTIV VIRTUAL TERMINALS – Like many credit card payment processors, Vantiv offers a virtual terminal solution for merchants who prefer to use their computer or device as a POS terminal. They call it Virtual Terminal Plus.

VANTIV eCOMMERCE SOLUTIONS – This is a useful tool if you’re selling anything to customers outside of the US. The customer will see their preferred currency while you see yours. It works for mobile web transactions. It also allows for eCheck and PayPal payments.

VANTIV RECURRING PAYMENT TOOLS – You can offer your customers installment payment options as well as subscription payment options.

VANTIV GIFT CARD OPTIONS – This is not an option with all business industries. But many business’ can offer their customers the use of gift cards for their transactions.

VANTIV SECURITY – Using Vantiv can fulfill your PCI compliance. They encrypt their data in case of hacking and use tokenization to protect stored data. Vantiv’s security system is OmniShield Assure. Should your customer data be breached, you can count on their data breach insurance.

Vantiv’s Website Boasts Numerous Customized Merchant Services Based On Your Specific Industry

Vantiv (now Worldpay) has created customized merchant services packages for your business’ needs depending on which industry you are in. But taking a closer look, you’ll realize that each of these items leads to the same sign-up process – “Get Started”. So though they may seem to have developed generous information for your specific niche, they are really just using this marketing tactic to draw you in.

  • Pharmacy Merchant Account
  • Small Business Merchant Account
  • B2B Payment Processing
  • Restaurant Credit Card Processing
  • Retail Credit Card Processing
  • Salon Merchant Account
  • eCommerce Merchant Account
  • Non Profit Credit Card Processing
  • Internet Merchant Account
  • Franchise Credit Card Processing
  • Gas Station Credit Card Processing
  • Hotel Credit Card Processing
  • Law FIrm Credit Card Processing
  • Health Club Payment Processing
  • Dentist Credit Card Processing
  • Church Credit Card Processing
  • Corporate Merchant Solutions
  • Taxi Credit Card Processing
  • Medical Merchant Account
  • Education Payment Processing
  • Supermarket Credit Card Processing
  • Contractor Merchant Account
  • Liquor Store Credit Card Processing
  • Car Wash Credit Card Processing
  • Property Management Payment Processing
  • Daycare Payments Processing

Working with Verisave is all the customization you’ll need for setting up your merchant accounts. Having worked with hundreds of companies processing credit payments every day, we can apply our proven savings strategies to your merchant account. If Vantiv (now Worldpay) isn’t the best option for your business, we’ll tell you who is. Give us a call before making long-term commitments to any credit card payment processor.

UI/System Integration

Integrating the use of Vantiv credit card processing services, including hardware like POS terminals, is relatively easy. Because they focus on credit card processing and less on business/enterprise management software, there isn’t much integration involved. Enrollment, receiving hardware, managing statements, and paying your monthly merchant fees are simple to integrate and user-friendly.

How Much Will You Be Paying For Vantiv Services?

Vantiv does not disclose pricing and financials online. For a quote, you can submit a request and get an idea of how much you could be paying for their services.

Like many other credit card processing companies, your rates and fees will be determined by a number of factors. Factors considered when creating your quote for Vantiv credit card processing services include:

  • Your specific industry
  • Your monthly credit card processing volume
  • Your desired tools and package customizations
  • Your credit card industry knowledge and ability to negotiate fair terms

After working with Vantiv for a number of years across multiple industries, Verisave has developed proprietary benchmark data that allows access to more savings opportunities. We can help you save money with Vantiv regardless if you’re just starting with them or if you have been with them for a long time.

Consider Your Desired Contract Length

Vantiv has long contracts, lasting an average of three years. They are always set to auto-renew so buyer beware: if you plan on canceling your Vantiv services, be sure to know how to go about doing this to avoid auto-renewal. The early termination fee of at least $295. Early termination fees increase based on your contract.

On occasion, Vantiv customers have encountered fees for “liquidated damages.” Vantiv will expect you to pay (along with your early termination fee) 10-15% of the profits they would have made off of your credit card sales for the remainder of your contract. Before signing a contract with Vantiv, urge them to remove this stipulation from your contract.

If your interested in Canceling a Vantiv Contract, Implementing/Restructuring with Vantiv, or Trying to Achieve Savings with Vantiv, then speak with a Verisave merchant service expert. Customers achieve an average savings of 25%-35% in overall credit card processing fees with an audit from Verisave.

Speaking With Vantiv Sales and Customer Service Reps

Researching Vantiv’s Merchant Services – Vantiv’s website is vague. You can read lots of marketing verbiage for the benefits of Vantiv credit card processing and merchant services, but until you speak with a sales representative, you won’t actually know what to expect from them. Even after speaking with a sales rep, you may be in the dark. Many complaints about Vantiv come from a general lack of transparency and misunderstandings about contract elements.

Contacting Vantiv’s Customer Support – You can reach customer support by submitting a support request online, calling in by phone, or with their live chat feature. Have on hand your first/last name, legal business name, merchant ID, email address, and phone number so they can respond to your requests. They have multiple service phone lines including their main line, a line for eCommerce support, activation support, integrated payments support, former element merchant support, former Moneris USA customers, and former NPC merchants. Vantiv’s customer support has been found to be useful and efficient.

Online Reviews of Vantiv (Now Worldpay)

When compared to other credit card processing companies online, Vantiv has a surprisingly low amount of negative complaints. This is in respect to the size of the company. You will find complaints about Vantiv but most seem to involve customer service and outlandish liquidation damages of which clients were unaware.

There are regular complaints from customers who wished to cancel their contracts early but had signed contracts with a hardware lease that was non-cancelable.


Vantiv for Credit Card Payment Processing

Many businesses small and large use Vantiv for credit card processing. Having worked with a number of companies across multiple industries using Vantiv, Verisave merchant account experts are well versed in Vantiv’s product, common contract practices, offered rates, and more. To avoid the frustration that customers have experienced in negative reviews found online, work with Verisave to implement transparent, measurable merchant savings while working with Vantiv as your credit card processor.

Stay two steps ahead of the enrollment process with a team of merchant account auditors on your side when enrolling in merchant services with Vantiv. With Verisave’s developed proprietary benchmark data on Vantiv you gain access to factual savings results that can be applied to your merchant account.

If you are currently using Vantiv as your credit card processing company, you can still save money on by working with Verisave. Submit your most recent merchant account statement and we will determine whether or not you could benefit from our services after performing a free audit of your account statement.

Credit Card Processing Consultants Can Save You Thousands Each Month

Merchants pay fees for each sale that is made using a debit or credit card. Though it may be a small percentage, the numbers can really add up over the course of a year. Let’s go through a basic rundown of the numbers.

Average credit card processing cost for merchants:

If the card is swiped:


If the card is not present


Keep in mind that these interchange rates are determined by a number of factors so these numbers can vary depending on each individual transaction.

At these rates, a business that processes an average of $500,000 a month in sales can expect to pay $12,250 – $16,250 monthly/ $147,000-$195,000 a year in credit card processing fees.

Monthly CC Volume: $500,000


Ave. Monthly Fee: $14,250

Ave. Yearly Fee: $171,000

Consider another company processing an average of $1,000,000 each month in sales via credit card transactions. This company will expect to pay an average of $28,500 each month or $342,000 every year in credit card processing fees.

Monthly CC Volume: $1,000,000


Ave. Monthly Fee: $28,500

Ave. Yearly Fee: $342,400

As you can see from the above rates, the actual amount that companies pay in credit card fees varies. If you are stuck paying higher than average rates (which many companies are), we can help you lower your credit card processing rates. In some cases, even a small change in the percentage can have a huge impact on your bottom line. Compare the difference in rates below:

Verisave Cuts Spending For Merchants In A Number of WaysThe difference a small jump in percentage makes for your credit card processing fees can mean the difference of thousands of dollars every month in spending. Imagine uncovering a savings of nearly $50,000 a year! With Verisave, you can expect to pay the lowest possible transaction rate for your merchant services. Thanks to years of experience and a detailed knowledge of the back end cost structure of the credit card industry the Verisave team can increase your company’s bottom line by eliminating and reducing your credit card fees.

At Verisave, we focus on three main aspects of your merchant account for cutting costs: Interchange Savings, American Express Savings, and Processor Savings. Significantly lowering your merchant fees requires lots of time, education, and testing. We have worked with every payment platform out there and a number of processing companies. This experience has been invaluable to our team of auditors. In about 2 business days, we can review your merchant statement and locate a number of itemized fees that can be either eliminated or lowered. Many of these fees are hidden between convoluted lines of itemized billing.

Send us a copy of your statement and at no charge to you, we will comb over the details to determine exactly what your company could be pocketing each month. Not only can we return a detailed summary of our findings in only a few days, you could be realizing these savings in just a matter of weeks. Call us today and let us show you what we can do for you.

Understanding American Express Discount Rates

When referring to the percentage merchants pay for accepting credit card transactions, Visa and Mastercard use the phrase “Interchange Rate”. American Express uses the phrase “Discount Rate” when referring to their processing fees, which can be misleading. Instead of giving merchants a discount for particular purchases, they are actually taking a larger percentage of the purchase than most credit card processors. As American Express works as a closed loop system (dispersing their own cards, authorizing and settling payments), they set their fees at high price rates for whatever they can get away with in our current economy.

Amex Discount Rates Vary From Business To Business

Read moreUnderstanding American Express Discount Rates

Optimize Your Interchange Rates To Save On Merchant Account Fees

Too often, companies accept losing money on merchant account fees when they would not accept those kinds of losses in other areas. But merchant account fees are presented in such a way that it can feel like an insurmountable task to cut back on expenditure. It is possible the fees are purposely obscured so businesses are not aware that fees can be reduced.

By optimizing your interchange rates, weeding out unnecessary charges, and implementing more tried-and-true techniques, Verisave could reduce your merchant account fees anywhere from 25% to 35% each month. Years of experience sorting through companies’ merchant account statements has given Verisave a familiarity with the process. Our savings experts focus solely on reducing your merchant account fees, saving your business more than they imagined was possible.

Interchange Rates Contribute The Most To Your Merchant Account Fees

Read moreOptimize Your Interchange Rates To Save On Merchant Account Fees

Merchant Account Fee Basics: Visa and Mastercard Interchange Rates

Merchant account processing is a topic that involves so many variables, it is difficult to fully understand. Understanding credit card processing involves a variety of topics ranging from Visa, Mastercard, AmEx, and Discover interchange rates to processing options like Chase Paymentech, TSYS, Elavon, and more. This is why so many companies pay for convenience through high merchant fees — because they simply do not have the time to really digest all the info that comes with payment processing.

However, if you know enough about the credit card industry (like we do), you can take one look at your merchant account to know where you are overspending and start making changes to reduce your monthly merchant fees.

Start With The Basics – Visa And Mastercard Interchange Rates

Read moreMerchant Account Fee Basics: Visa and Mastercard Interchange Rates