Zero Fee Solutions 2017-05-09T10:31:51-08:00

Business nationwide have been forced to pay excessive credit card fees for decades.  Today this is no longer the case.

Merchant may now choose to pay 0%.

How is this possible?

A historic US Supreme Court ruling on March 29th, 2017 has now made it possible for merchants to ELIMINATE CREDIT CARD FEES.   

This is real, it’s here, and it is a major victory for businesses.

Zero Fee Commerce is on a mission to inform merchants about this new business development!

A proprietary software and terminal offered by Zero Fee Commerce can facilitate the ELIMINATION OF CREDIT CARD FEES. 

  • Credit Card Fees may be passed on as a percentage or a flat fee. 

  • The fees are automatically calculated on the sales receipt at the point of sale. 

  • The maximum allowable recovery percentage is 4% of the sales amount. 

  • A Convenience Fee may set at a dollar amount of up to $5. 

  • A specialized software program must be used to calculate the specific credit card fee to be printed on the receipt.

There are several reasons to recover credit card fees:

  • Credit Card Fees are Expensive.  A 3.50% fee off the top of annual sales equates to 25% of bottom line profits for most businesses.  For some low margin businesses, credit card fees can be as high as 50% of their gross profit!

  • EMV Chip Card Liability and PCI Compliance.  In October 2015, the card issuing banks switched the liability for fraudulent card transactions to merchants.  Previously, banks accepted all liability for fraudulent credit cards.  This is no longer the case.  Businesses take liability with every potential card transaction.  It only makes sense for businesses to now cover the risk to reward trade off by recovering their credit card fees.

  • Cash Back and Rewards Cards.  Over the last 5 years, card issuers have inflated credit card interchange fees on as high as 60% of credit cards accepted by businesses to give cash back and rewards to card holders, i.e. “2% Cash Back on All Purchases!”   This is done without merchants even knowing  they are giving cash back or rewards to a card holder.   This is inequitable, and  by recovering the fees charged on credit cards, it puts a business back in control of their business.

  • Fee Recovery Started with Government, Utilities, and Banks. The IRS, State Taxing Authorities, Municipalities, Hospitals, and Education Institutions were first allowed to recover their credit card fees.  Card fee recovery is now available to all merchants and has leveled the playing field for all business types.

  • Card Holder Acceptance.  The biggest fear merchants have is a customer  complaint.  Fortunately, there is very little negative response from card holders or complaints from customers when a business recovers their card fees. That is not to say there are NO complaints, but the complaints which have been surveyed are far and few between.  Also, card holders do not have to pay card fees if they do not wish.  Customers may pay with cash or check, and receive a discount.   

  • The ARCO Fuel Company Example.  Most people know ARCO gas stations (the Atlantic Richfield Company) and the transaction fee ARCO charges, typically $.35.  ARCO is one of the most successful and profitable  gas stations in America with a loyal customer following.  The fees ARCO charges are acceptable and customers do not mind paying for the convenience.   It is a win win.  ARCO offers low pricing and customers happily cover the card transaction fees.

  • Cash is King!  There are numerous advantages to encourage cash sales. Customers have the choice to pay with any form of payment they wish.  By offering a discount for cash, this is a great way for a business to increase their cash intake and avoid costs associated with a non-cash transaction.

The US Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Merchant Surcharging Credit Card Fees

On March 29th, 2017, in a historic US Supreme Court ruling in the case of Expressions Hair Design vs Schneiderman, the court ruled in favor of a dispute between merchants and the State of New York in how credit card fees could be communicated.  This case also served to settle similar cases which were under appeal in California, Texas, and Florida and conceivably any other state which had similar credit card fee laws.  This equates into businesses now being allowed to recover their credit car fees.

The History of Credit Card Fees

In 1974, Congress amended the Truth in Lending Act to prohibit credit-card companies from contracting against discounts for non-credit-card transactions.  Before the amendment, credit-card companies’ contracts with merchants regularly prohibited their either offering discounts for non-credit-card transactions, or imposing surcharges for credit-card transactions. The merchants and credit-card companies contracted to offer the same price for an item for all consumers, regardless of the manner in which they paid, and despite the “swipe fee” merchants incurred for credit-card transactions.  Fair Credit Billing Act, Pub. L. No. 93-495, tit. III, § 306, 88 Stat. 1500, 1515 (1974) (codified at 15 U.S.C. § 1666f(a))

Two years later, while the authorization of discounts remained, Congress banned merchants’ use of surcharges, by again amending the Truth in Lending Act. Pub. L. No. 94-222, § 3, 90 Stat. 197 (1976)  At the same time, Congress clarified the distinction between “surcharge” and “discount”, by defining them according to their ordinary meaning: a “discount” is “a reduction made from the regular price”; a “surcharge”, “any means of increasing the regular price to a cardholder which is not imposed upon customers paying by cash, check, or similar means”. Id. (codified at 15 U.S.C. § 1602(q)–(r)).

The federal ban on surcharges was allowed to expire in 1984.  Interest Rate Control Act, Pub. L. No. 95-630, § 1501.

Upon the lapse of the federal anti-surcharge law in 1984, credit-card companies began reviving anti-surcharge clauses in their contracts with merchants.

Beginning in 2005, antitrust actions against credit-card companies challenged anti-surcharge prohibitions in their merchant contracts; the litigation resulted in Visa, Mastercard, and American Express’ removing those provisions in 2013.

In 2015, California and Florida US Federal Appellate courts decided in favor of business recovering the fees for credit card transactions:

California –  Italian Colors Restaurant et al. v. Harris – Decided March 26, 2015

Florida – Bondi v. Dana’s Railroad Supply – Decided  November 04, 2015

On March 29th 2017, the US Supreme Court unanimously ruled New York state laws restricting credit card surcharges and discounts violates the right of free speech and vacated a New York appellate court ruling which prohibited credit card surcharging.  The effect of this Supreme Court ruling allows merchants to communicate and charge a price of their choosing which may include an increase for credit card fees.  In Justice Roberts decision, the court gives clear guidance to all other states where such restrictions exist and upholds both the Florida and California decisions.

 

Zero Fee Commerce is a direct Visa® and MasterCard® credit card processor. We serve the payment needs for merchants and merchant associations. More
Zero Fee Commerce serves independent sales organizations. Our extensive knowledge, competitive pricing and cutting edge products equal more sales and higher margins for your sales office. More
Bankers know customers will do business with the financial institutions that can deliver the products they need. More

Get a Cash Advance for Your Business!

In today's economy, obtaining a small business loan can be a slow and difficult process.

Get In Touch

Phone: 800.928.2237

Fax: 858.866.4262

  • US Spending Slows, Consumer Sentiment Hits Record Low
    Consumer sentiment in the U.S. is down to a three-and-a-half-year low due to the effects of the coronavirus and social distancing measures, and consumer spending is down as well, according to a report by Reuters. Those two indicators have economists predicting the country will enter a recession. A record number of Americans – 3.28 million […]
  • Coronavirus Update: Factory Workers Sent Home Unpaid In Bangladesh; Banks Vow To Keep Staff Employed
    The COVID-19 situation has led to millions of clothing manufacturing workers not receiving pay as fashion brands call off their orders, the Associated Press reported. Almost six in 10 factories that replied to a Center for Global Workers’ Rights and the Worker Rights Consortium survey said they have shut down most of their manufacturing already. […]
  • Walmart Enacts No-Touch Protocols
    Walmart is enacting no-touch procedures so that customers can shop more safely during the coronavirus outbreak, according to a report by USA Today. Shoppers who buy items through Walmart Pay won’t have to touch the screen anymore, and instead will  be able to scan a QR code and pay from an app on their phone. […]
  • Google Pledges $800M To Help Struggling Businesses
    Google has announced that it will donate over $800 million to help businesses adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. “As the coronavirus outbreak continues to worsen around the world, it’s taking a devastating toll on lives and communities. To help address some of these challenges, today we’re announcing a new $800+ million commitment to support […]
  • People In UK Are Using Less Cash During Pandemic
    British people are hoarding items from grocery stores just like in the U.S., but they’re using much less cash to purchase things, and they’re not hoarding cash either, according to a report by Quartz. Even before the government in the U.K. brought things to a halt over growing coronavirus fears, people in the country were […]
  • Views from the Small Business Finance Industry, March 27
    As the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt the economy and affect small businesses as well as funders, deBanked will keep up with how various figures from the alternative finance sector are managing under the stresses of covid-19. Ranging from funders, to brokers, to those figures on the periphery of the industry, this series aims to […]
  • Can The SBA Handle The Stimulus On Their Own?
    As the market cheers the upcoming passage of a $2 Trillion stimulus bill that is intended to provide much needed support to small businesses, industry insiders are beginning to raise concerns about the SBA’s infrastructural ability to process applications in a timely manner. In a webinar hosted by LendIt Fintech yesterday, Opportunity Fund CEO Luz […]
  • $2 Trillion Senate Relief Bill to Pass Vote, Includes Small Business Funds
    Senate leaders Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer have come to an agreement over a stimulus package that would inject $2 trillion into the US economy. With senators debating the bill at the time of writing, it is expected to pass. Said to be the largest and most robust rescue package in American history, the bill […]
  • European Challenger Bank Revolut Launches in US
    Yesterday Revolut, the London-based digital-only bank, announced the public launch of its app in the United States. The news came as a surprise to the thousands of potential American customers who signed up to the company’s waiting list with no details of when exactly to expect the bank’s arrival. Founded in 2015 and valued at […]
  • Lists of States Where Non-Essential Businesses Have Been Ordered to Close
    Make sure you know about individual state orders that could affect a small business’s ability to operate. Below is a list of states and regions that have ordered some or all non-essential businesses to close. This list may be incomplete and the details of each state’s orders could change and may have changed since this […]