How InterPayments Helped a Building Materials Enterprise Save Millions in Credit Card Fees

Carpenter Working With Equipment On Wooden Table In Carpentry Shop

MSI, a leading North American wholesale distributor of surface and hardscaping materials for construction, implemented a new online payment system that resulted in a significant increase in credit card payments. This jump came with an unwelcome change – millions of dollars in card acceptance fees cutting deeply into their margins. Surcharging was needed to deflect this cost, but the company required a solution that could integrate into their proprietary payment portal, which was built in-house. Worried that they would have to build surcharging themselves – a costly endeavor outside their expertise. MSI turned to InterPayments for a solution. Together, they were able to create an automatic, compliant, and fully integrated surcharging solution in just three months. 

About MSI

Industry: Importer and Wholesale Distributor of tile, flooring, countertops, and hardscaping 
Company Size: Enterprise (1000+ employees, $2.8B+ annual revenue) 
Location: Headquartered in the United States, with sales in the United States and Canada 
Background: A leading nationwide distributor of surfaces, MSI maintains 45 showrooms as well as domestic manufacturing facilities.  


Following a one-time integration with InterPayments, the company delivered major operational savings of millions of dollars in a single year. These gains began the day the surcharge program began and accrued every day thereafter. The company covered the cost of implementing the program in weeks, and because the company was able to easily select and change who gets surcharged and at what rate, no customer impact occurred. 


Deflect surprise credit card fee growth – MSI’s new online payment system was driving massive increases in credit card transactions for the company. But even without it, credit card usage was growing organically – a trend being seen across almost all industries. Accepting credit cards comes with a lot of benefits, including cash flow improvement and increased payment options for customers. However, the cost of associated acceptance fees was reducing margins significantly. Surcharging maintained the customer option of credit card payment without the multi-million-dollar cost of fees weighing on the company’s profitability. 

Compatibility with existing products – MSI’s unique business model required a proprietary payment system that was built in-house and connected to its existing payment providers. Ripping and replacing it would have been detrimental across the business. Any surcharging solution that did not integrate with the existing technology was not an option. 

The build vs buy debate – The need for surcharging to fit into the existing payment technology begged a question – should MSI try to build the solution in house? Researching a self-build unearthed a variety of complex risks. Compliance was particularly challenging – public information about what was and was not permissible was confusing and often conflicted. And when reading rules and regulations directly from regulatory bodies, conflicts between the rule sets emerged. Surcharging was critical to maintaining the health of the business, but the company began to worry that taking on an in-house build would take too much focus from its mission – providing dream surfaces at affordable prices.    

The Solution

After researching several potential partners, InterPayments rose to the top thanks to its clear expertise and one-of-a-kind surcharge technology. It could integrate directly into the existing payment portal via API technology, eliminating the need for an in-house solution. This meant MSI only had to devote resources to integrating the InterPayments solution – it didn’t have to bring in new surcharging expertise or build a fully automated surcharging system. Because InterPayments offers contractually guaranteed compliance indemnification to all customers, MSI also felt confident that this was the best way to mitigate compliance risk.  

Interested in using InterPayments with your existing payment technology? Talk to us today.