Your rights and things to watch out for when using payment options that may incur a surcharge.

How it works

Where there is an extra cost to the seller for providing a payment method, there might be an extra cost to you for using that method. This is a payment surcharge.

You may come across payment surcharges when using your credit card or contactless debit card to make a payment.

Your rights with card payment surcharges

If businesses do apply a surcharge it must be clearly displayed, for example, by adding information to their online shopping cart or placing a sign close to the terminal. You should be made aware that a surcharge may be payable when you decide which payment method to use, so you can decide whether to pay the surcharge or use a different method.

Card payment surcharges shouldn’t be more than what it costs the business to accept that payment type. How much it costs a business to process a payment depends on the size of the business and the payment method. Some businesses may have greater costs than others. For example, small businesses may have higher processing costs than large businesses.

Businesses are expected to offer at least one payment method that does not incur a surcharge. With in-person card payments this means you can insert or swipe your debit or EFTPOS card, rather than using the contactless function. If you’re paying online, businesses should provide an opportunity to pay via internet banking where feasible.

You can find more information on surcharge rules for consumers and businesses here:

Surcharging(external link) — Commerce Commission

If things go wrong

If you consider you have been misled about the reason for a surcharge, the amount of a surcharge, or that the surcharge has not been adequately disclosed, you can make a complaint to the Commerce Commission.

Make a complaint(external link) — Commerce Commission