How do I set up service/convenience fees?

Service Fees or Convenience Fees are fees that can be passed to the customer for facilitating the transaction. To charge fees, you must be eligible to charge the Visa Service Fee and Mastercard Convenience Fee. Eligibility is only for specific Merchant Category Codes (MCCs). 

Must know:

  • Service Fees are allowed for these MCCs:
    • 4900 – Utilities
    • 6513 – Property Management, Rent
    • 8211 – Private Elementary, Secondary Schools
    • 8220 – Universities and Colleges
    • 8351 – Childcare
    • 9222 – Fines
    • 9311 - Taxes
  • You can only charge the Visa Service Fee and Mastercard Convenience Fee on card-not-present transactions (online and MOTO).

How do I set up service/convenience fees?

The following rules must be met when setting up the Service or Convenience fee.

The Service Fee/Convenience Fee must:

  • Be disclosed to the cardholder before the transaction is completed, and the cardholder must be given the option to cancel the transaction without penalty.
  • Be recorded as a separate item on the transaction purchase receipt (see next section).
  • Not be identified as a “Visa or Mastercard Fee”.
  • Be assessed on the final transaction amount, after all the discounts and rebates have been applied.
  • Be the same for all similar card products, regardless of the issuer.
  • Be applied to recurring transactions.

To display this fee using our email receipts you must submit the fee amount with your transaction request and add this variable in the email receipts template.

Adding service fee to the transaction request

The value associated with this variable must indicate the amount of the service fee. When passing this value in the transaction request, you can also include it in the receipt by using the same variable name. You may need to contact a web developer for assistance. 

E.g. A $40 transaction with a 2.50% service fee would be $41.00 total. You would store the $1.00 in Bambora's system as the value for the ref1 variable. This variable is how to submit your transaction request (see bolded variable at the end of the request):

Editing the email receipt template

In the email receipts template, add the variable %ref1% and call it Service Fee. This image shows what the receipt template looks like after it is modified.


Good to know:

  • Visa and MasterCard also specify that the fee charged can be up to 1.50% of eligible debit card transactions, and up to 2.50% for qualified credit, prepaid, and international card transactions.
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