Dealing with payment gateway processing costs is a bothersome necessity when you’re an online retailer. Unfortunately, WooCommerce doesn’t include any way for you to recoup this expense through surcharge fees, either.
However, our Wholesale Suite plugin does. By applying surcharge fees to certain payment options for your online store, you can discourage customers from using the gateways that are the most costly for you, and cover the cost if they decide to pursue those methods anyway.
In this post, we’ll discuss the role surcharge fees play in e-commerce. Then we’ll show you how to add them to your WooCommerce site using Wholesale Suite. Let’s go!
Understanding E-Commerce Surcharge Fees
As you may already know from running your e-commerce site, some online payment gateways and credit card companies have processing fees for merchants. These expenses are usually a relatively small percentage of each sale made on your site:
‘Surcharging’ passes this expense on to the customer. That way you can provide convenient payment methods without losing hundreds or even thousands of dollars from your sales.
It’s important to note that surcharge fees are prohibited in certain states. It can also put customers off and discourage them from making purchases on your site because they feel like they have to pay ‘extra’ for your products.
Some retailers work around these roadblocks by offering discounts for certain payment types instead. This provides positive reinforcement for customers to use gateways that are more affordable for you without discouraging credit card purchases.
How to Add Surcharge Fees to WooCommerce Payment Gateways (In 3 Steps)
WooCommerce does not include any native surcharging features, but our Wholesale Suite plugin does. The steps below will show you how to use it for an existing WooCommerce store.
We want to mention a second time that surcharge fees are not legal in all states. Before proceeding with these steps, make sure you’re following your local regulations.
Step 1: Install and activate WooCommerce Wholesale Prices Premium
The first thing you’ll need to do is install and activate WooCommerce Wholesale Prices Premium on your site:
This tool is part of our Wholesale Suite plugin bundle. When you purchase Wholesale Suite, you’ll receive a WooCommerce Wholesale Prices Premium .zip file to upload to WordPress.
Step 2: Configure your payment gateway surcharge settings
After WooCommerce Wholesale Prices is active on your site, you’ll be able to configure special pricing for wholesale customers based on WordPress user roles. You may want to explore these settings a bit more before proceeding with implementing your surcharge fees.
Once you’re comfortable with the plugin, navigate to WooCommerce > Settings > Wholesale Prices > Payment Gateway:
Then, scroll down to the Wholesale Role / Payment Gateway Surcharge section:
Fill out the required fields as follows:
- Wholesale Role: To which wholesale user role the surcharge or discount should apply.
- Payment Gateway: To which payment gateway(s) the surcharge or discount should apply.
- Surcharge Title: The label that will identify the surcharge fee on the checkout page.
- Type of Surcharge: Whether the surcharge is a fixed cost or a percentage of the customer’s total.
- Surcharge Amount: The amount customers will be charged to use this gateway (enter a negative amount to apply a discount).
- Taxable: Whether or not your surcharge fee is subject to taxes (consult your accountant or tax expert).
Then, click on the Add Surcharge button. You can repeat this step to add different surcharge rates to different payment gateways. You’ll see a summary of all your fees at the bottom of the screen:
You can edit or delete fees using the pencil and X icons to the right.
Step 3: Exempt certain customers from surcharge fees
In some scenarios, you might find it beneficial to exempt some of your customers from your surcharge fees. For instance, if you have been selling products wholesale for some time now, you may want to allow existing customers to continue paying their regular prices and apply your fee only to new buyers.
As we mentioned earlier, surcharge fees can be a deterrent for some customers. Working out agreements with buyers to preserve your relationships with them is key if you want to avoid new surcharge fees impacting your bottom line.
Fortunately, WooCommerce Wholesale Prices enables you to allow specific users to avoid your surcharge fees. Navigate to Users > All Users and select the individual you want to exempt from fees.
Scroll down to the Per User Wholesale Prices Settings section:
Under Override Payment Gateway Options, select Yes and enter the name of the gateway for which you want to exempt this user from fees:
You then have three options:
- Use general wholesale role payment gateway surcharge: This will apply the surcharge for this payment gateway as it appears in the settings you modified in Step 2.
- Do not use general wholesale role payment gateway surcharge: This will remove the surcharge for this payment gateway entirely for this specific user.
- Specify payment gateway surcharge. Enables you to set a unique surcharge fee for this payment gateway that will apply only to the user whose account you’re editing.
If you select the third option, you’ll need to fill out the same fields from Step 2 to create this individual’s surcharge fee:
Remember to scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the Update User button to save your changes.
While it’s wise to offer your customers multiple payment options, some gateways can put a drain on your revenue with service fees. Surcharging your buyers can help you offset this expense.
In this post, we showed you how to add surcharge fees to WooCommerce using Wholesale Suite in three steps:
- Install and activate WooCommerce Wholesale Prices Premium.
- Configure your payment gateway surcharge settings.
- Exempt certain customers from surcharge fees.