The Certification Process

Step 1

Prevention of non-compliant surcharges

Card companies and government entities have created a variety of rules and regulations to protect the customer being surcharged.

Step 2

Continuous Auditing

Certified surcharges are audited and recorded in real time. Merchant’s surcharge disclosures must also be audited throughout each year. In the event there is an alleged non-compliant surcharge, InterPayments will step in to resolve the allegation as part of the certification guarantee.

Step 3


In the unlikely event that certified surcharge process failed to adhere to surcharge rules, InterPayments indemnifies merchants for those errors.

Step 4

Frequent re-certification

InterPayments certification must be renewed in accordance with the following schedule:

  • One year from the previous certification
  • If the merchant adds new payment channels or accepts new forms of payment
  • If a merchant’s terms of card processing have changed

What Makes A Surcharge Compliant?

To be a compliant, certified surcharge, all applicable lawes and regulations must be adhered to. This includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Surcharges must be disclosed to the payer at the time of payment.
  • Payers must be able to avoid a surcharge by either choosing a different payment method (such as a debit or prepaid card) or terminating a surcharged transaction, as is required by various card brand and state rules.
  • Surcharges cannot be greater than the merchant’s cost of processing costs, ensuring the merchant isn’t profiting from the surcharge.
  • In most states and territories, surcharges cannot exceed 3% of the invoiced total, even if that is less than the merchant’s actual cost of accepting the payment method.
  • The surcharging merchant must be compliant with state laws and network regulations, with laws taking precedence over network rules wherever they conflict. Some states and territories do not allow surcharging. Surcharges will be set to $0 surcharges for cardholders based in those states.
  • The surcharge rate must be set equally across all card networks. Merchants must treat all card networks equally with respect to surcharges.