Convert Your Empower Account from Non-Cash Adjustment
When we created the Empower program in 2019, two key things were immediately clear:
- This program would give you the ability to help reinvest the cost of card processing back into your businesses.
- This program would be impacted by myriad laws and regulations that were subject to change.
At Clearent, our focus is to keep your business operating safely while also providing you the best opportunities in solutions, technology and cost reductions and we believe in true transparency of practices with you, our merchants.
With that in mind, we need to share with you that new legal implications have recently come to light, and we want to help you protect your business. Due to further state developments and clarifications, coupled with an audit of Clearent’s Empower Non-Cash Adjustment program adherence, we have discovered that an excess of businesses have not been fully compliant with the program’s stated rules and regulations, which potentially leaves them exposed to state reviews and associated penalties.
As such, we will be discontinuing the Non-Cash Adjustment program moving forward. We are offering a thirty day* window for our merchants to make the necessary changes. Once this window has closed, if we find that you are still non-compliant, we will take action to move you either to a True Cash Discount program or to remove you from the Empower program in its entirety, so please don’t miss this opportunity to control your own story.
What Can I Do?
Convert to a True Cash Adjustment
A true cash discount is when a business offers a discount to customers who pay by cash, check or store-branded gift card, instead of with a credit or debit card.
For example, if your credit card processing company charges you a 4% fee for each credit card and/or debit card transaction, you price your goods and services 4% higher to account for that fee. Customers who pay with cash are able to avoid that fee, therefore earning a 4% discount on the listed price of products. Customers who pay with a debit or credit card, however, will pay the listed price with no discount. If you currently take credit card fees into account when pricing your products and services, cash discounting is simple. As long as those prices are posted, you can offer a discount on those set prices to customers who pay with cash.
Need more info? Check out this one pager and the True Cash Discount video for more.
5 Steps to a Successful TCD program
Step 1: Take the Non-Cash Adjustment and move it to your listed and stated price. Here’s how you do it…
Lets’ say your program costs equal 3.99% but that discount will make your listed and stated prices not reflective of the desired amount (like a cup of coffee for $1.07 vs $1.10). You have the flexibility and you’re within the law to price the discount at what you’d like, so it makes sense for your business.
Step 2: Update your terminal to remove the Non-Cash Adjustment fee from being added. Clearent will provide instructions on how to update terminals.
Step 3: Remove and replace any Non-Cash Adjustment signage referring to adding a surcharging fee.
Step 4: Introduce the new discount into your POS or register set-up. Add a discount button on registers that is configured with the amount that you’d like to pass through to your customers if they pay with cash, check, or store branded gift card.
Note: it does not need to be the exact amount you increased your prices. You can pass what you want as there are no discount minimums or maximums with a True Cash Discount program with Empower.
Step 5: Re-sign your inventory or services to the new listed and stated prices, reflecting the cash discount. Put up new free (Clearent provided) signage that reflects the cash discount. The only signage required on a True Cash Discount program is at the entrance of the business and at the POS.
Is This Legal?
“(2) LIMITATION ON RESTRICTIONS ON OFFERING DISCOUNTS FOR USE OF A FORM OF PAYMENT.-“(A) IN GENERAL-A payment card network shall not, directly or through any agent, processor, or licensed member of the network, by contract, requirement, condition, penalty, or otherwise, inhibit the ability of any person to provide a discount or in-kind incentive for payment by the use of cash, checks, debit cards, or credit cards to the extent that-“
(i) in the case of a discount or in kind incentive for payment by the use of debit cards, the discount or in-kind incentive does not differentiate on the basis of the issuer or the payment card network;“
(ii) in the case of a discount or in-kind incentive for payment by the use of credit cards, the discount or in-kind incentive does not differentiate on the basis of the issuer or the payment card network; and“
(iii} to the extent required by Federal law and applicable State law, such discount or in-kind incentive is offered to all prospective buyers and disclosed clearly and conspicuously.“
(B) LAWFUL DISCOUNTS.-For purposes of this paragraph, the network may not penalize any person for the providing of a discount that is in compliance with Federal law and applicable State law.
It really is that simple. Everything that you’ve grown to rely on within Clearent’s system, stays the same. From reporting to fee collection, nothing else changes.
If you’d like to continue to enjoy the benefits of reinvesting in your business, use the form on the right to connect with our team.
Remove Yourself from the Empower Program
We can also remove your business from the Empower program. You will lose all ability to build out an alternative pricing program, and will lose out on the savings included within.