How to pass credit card fees on to customers (Stripe)

Olivier Rousseau
26 July 2023 2 min read

Online transactions have become the norm for most businesses and organizations to help simplify payments and registrations. However, credit card processing fees often eat into their profits. To combat this, many businesses choose to pass these fees on to their customers by adding a convenience fee to their transactions?

In this article, we’ll explore how to add a convenience fee to cover your credit card processing fees (stripe) to your online registration platform.

We’ll cover:

  • The benefits of adding a convenience fee to online transactions
  • In which industries it makes sense to add a convenience fee
  • How to add a convenience fee to cover credit card processing fees with Stripe

What is a credit card convenience fee?

A credit card convenience fee is an additional fee charged when customers pay by credit card. It compensates businesses for processing costs that are separate from the price of the product or service. These costs include processing fees charged by from credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard, or the payment processor you use.

Activity Messenger replaces class management and online registration software such as JackRabbit, IClassPro and DanceStudioPro by integrating stripe and a powerful form building tool

The benefits of adding a convenience fee for online transactions

When you implement a convenience fee, you reduce the financial costs associated with credit card processing fees. Instead of absorbing these costs, you pass them on to your customers. This approach benefits both parties involved:

  • Financial gain for businesses: Credit card companies typically charge a percentage fee on each transaction, which can add up to a significant amount over time. By adding a convenience fee, businesses can recoup these costs.
  • Minimal impact on customers: For customers who are making a one-time purchase, such as registering for a class or event, the convenience fee is often negligible compared to the total transaction amount. Depending on the type of transaction, it might even be normalized for the client to pay a convenience fee.


Important note: The legality and acceptance of credit card convenience fees can vary by country and region, and businesses must adhere to the rules and regulations set by card networks and local authorities. Some jurisdictions may require businesses to clearly disclose the convenience fee to customers before the transaction takes place. Additionally, the fee must be a reasonable and fair representation of the actual processing costs incurred by the business.

In what industries does it makes sense to add a convenience fee

Although you may get some pushback from your customers at first, the transition can be smooth. One of the most important aspects to consider is the industry you are in.

One example is online registration and ticket sales. People are used to paying convenience fees when they buy tickets on platforms like TicketMaster or Eventbrite. The fees incurred by the customer are usually quite high, but have become normalized for these types of one-time purchases.

What type of business can most benefit from adding a convenience fee?

Any service business that offers classes, events and camps on a seasonal basis, where finding an alternative to save on convenience fees is not top of mind for customers.

For example, if you run a dance studio, gymnastics club, or swim school, you’re likely to get the least pushback from your customers because of the nature of the transaction (services sold season after season).

It may be harder to explain to customers if you are selling clothing online, where the value is usually added by eliminating fees (no convenience fees, free shipping, etc.).

How to add a convenience fee to cover credit card fees with Stripe

Activity Messenger provides an easy-to-use online registration and ticketing platform for the sports and leisure industry. The platform allows you to simplify the process of adding a convenience fee to your payment options.

Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Access the payment options: Log in to your Activity Messenger account and navigate to the payment section of your registration from. Locate and select the “Payment Options” tab. Don’t have a form yet? Follow this guide: How to create a registration form
  2. Select your preferred payment method: Activity Messenger offers several payment options, including offline, credit card, and e-transfer. Choose the payment method that best suits your business needs.
  3. Enable the convenience fees: Scroll down the page and find the option to enable the convenience fee. Toggle on the feature to activate it.
  4. Configure the convenience fee: Specify the desired convenience fee percentage. For example, you can set it at 3% to cover the cost of credit card processing or you can set it lower if you want to split the fee with your customer.
  5. You can add convenience fees to any type of transaction such as online registrations, monthly memberships, prorated tuition and even merchandise and products


Once this is set up, when customers fill out the payment or registration form, they will proceed to the payment stage. At this point, they will be asked to enter their credit card information or use a gift card if applicable.

A convenience fee to cover credit card fees in your class management software

Activity Messenger provides an easy-to-use online registration platform for classes, camps and activities. It helps streamline your registration process, simplify communications with parents and automate manual tasks. You can also add a customized convenience fee to your payment options to be charged to your clients. To explore this feature further and enhance your registration process, click here to book a demo.

Written by Olivier Rousseau Olivier is a kids sports programs owner who has been operating for over a decade with locations in Montreal, Quebec city & Ottawa. He also helps Gymnastics Club, Swim Schools and Dance Studios streamline their operations. He is the co-founder of Activity Messenger an online registration platform for the sports & leisure industry.

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