Surcharge FAQ

How does surcharging work on a Smartpay terminal?

This takes place automatically once it has been activated on your terminal. It is hassle-free without the need for you to calculate this for each transaction.
When the customer conducts a contactless or credit card payment, your Smartpay terminal identifies this transaction and automatically applies the specified surcharge that you have advised us to pre-program into the terminal.

This surcharge amount is added to the customer’s payment amount on the terminal. Depending on the setting, the customer manually accepts the surcharge prompt or just sees it on the terminal screen and completes the payment with a tap (contactless).

Can I enable surcharging on my existing Smartpay terminal?

Surcharging is available on S920, S800, S900, S80/S300, S800/S300 terminal models. Once you have contactless payments activated on your merchant facility with the bank, get in touch with us to set this up for you.

It is quick and free of charge to set-up and with our 24/7 support team on call, you can set this up anytime!

If your terminal is not included in the list above or if you have any questions, please feel free to connect with us.

How much can I surcharge?

You may apply a reasonable* surcharge (in line with your cost of acceptance) to customers who pay by credit card and/or contactless payments which is up to your cost of acceptance of that transaction. You can specify a percentage per transaction which we pre-program this into the terminal so the surcharge applies automatically.

*Reasonable cost of acceptance – In NZ the intent of the surcharge is to give merchants the ability to offset the fees that they are being charged by the bank for credit card and contactless transactions. For this reason the surcharge should be set to the same or similar percentage that the bank are charging you. A reasonable surcharge is a rate no higher than what it costs you to process a transaction.

Which transactions can I surcharge?

Credit card surcharging is applicable on payments made on Visa, Mastercard, UnionPay AMEX, Diner and JCB cards. If the customer inserts/swipes their credit card and chooses the “credit” option, the programmed surcharge will apply. The customer will enter their PIN to complete the payment.

Contactless surcharging is applicable on payments with any NFC enabled card or device. The card is not inserted or swiped in the terminal and, if the transaction is below $200 a PIN is not required for authorisation of the payment. These include all cards and devices (smartphone, smartwatch) with payWave (Visa), Tap & Go (Mastercard), Apple Pay and Google Pay.

What are my obligations as merchant while surcharging customers?

As a merchant you have certain obligations towards your customers when surcharging.

  • Surcharge amount – You can only charge a reasonable surcharge fee to cover the cost of accepting the payment method. Your surcharge fee cannot be higher than the cost of acceptance. You can read more about this here
  • Surcharge collection – The surcharge amount must be collected as part of the same transaction as it is applicable to. It cannot be collected separately or in cash. 
  • Surcharge signage – You must display signage at the point of sale and your premises to indicate to customers that a surcharge is applicable on certain payment methods. You must also declare how much that surcharge will be. 

We provide customisable signage for our customers to print and use at their premises which you can download here. If there isn’t a template that suits what you are looking for, please write to us at to request one. 

Read more about your merchant obligations when surcharging.

Does my customer know about the surcharge?

Yes. Your customer can see the surcharge amount on the EFTPOS terminal screen prior to payment. The surcharge amount is also shown separately on the payment receipt from the EFTPOS machine.

As part of your merchant obligations while surcharging, you also need to display signage stating that a surcharge is applicable on certain payment types. This allows the customer to reconsider if they would like to pay you another way. You can download customisable surcharge signage from here.

Can I change my surcharge settings?

Yes. There are a few things we can set-up for you to customise surcharging to suit your business.  Newly applied changes take effect immediately. Read more about how you can customise surcharging to suit your business or get in touch with us to discuss.

Can I get a report of my surcharge transactions and amounts?

By using the “Shift Total” option, you can get a printed record of the transactions that have incurred a surcharge and what this amount is for each transaction. We recommend that you print these off daily or weekly to keep track of this. The “Shift Totals” reports on credit card (insert/swipe) and Contactless surcharges separately.

Do I have to refund the surcharge amount when refunding a customer?

No you are not obliged to refund the surcharge amount. If you are receiving an MSF refund from the bank on the transaction, then it is your discretion if you would like to refund this to the customer. 

Our team is available 24/7 to assist you with any questions you may have with regards to surcharging on your Smartpay terminal. Feel free to get in touch with us on 0800 476 278 or via our contact form to discuss your queries.