Cash Discount and Bouncing Connecticut Pickles

One of the main reasons why Free Menu Designs as a program exists is because of the need to properly support clients with Cash Discount programs. Recently, Attorney General William Tong and Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle Seagull did a public reminder that Connecticut does not allow businesses to charge customers a surcharge for paying by credit card.

Connecticut is one of four states in the country that still has this law, but Connecticut has a very unique variant to the no surcharge law. Officials have stated that “the law does allow a business to offer a discount if a customer chooses to use one type of payment, such as cash, over another type of payment, like a credit card, but receiving the discount is not the same as adding a surcharge”.

So, while you cannot say “I am charging twenty-five cents more because you are using a credit card” to your customers, you can say “I am charging you twenty-five cents less because you are paying cash.”

While it may seem like a very strange “glass half full, glass half empty” conversation, it is the standard of law for Connecticut. With this standard, companies like Turnkey Processing have created programs to do things the right way to abide by the requirements of these three states. These programs include the Free Menu Designs program where we help our clients set their prices to credit-card price levels, make new menus, and inform the customers that if they pay with cash that they can save. This way you can process with cash discount, have the customers choosing to pay with credit cards pay your standard price and give a discount to your cash customers for helping you save money.

It may seem a little strange to you and me as business owners, but the truth is, sometimes the nature of laws and legal guidelines is strange. Much in the same way that the state of Connecticut dictated that a pickle cannot be legally considered a pickle unless when dropped it bounces one foot off the ground (I kid you not 1948 – State Vs Sidney Sparer and Moses Dexle), the same applies that while you can’t charge extra for using a credit card… you can choose to charge less for paying with cash.

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