Forte has two options when it comes to processing fees: the Convenience Fee Model and the Absorbed Fee Model. This article will explain the difference between the two models and outline how each works when configured with Recreation Management (Rec).
Absorbed Fee Model
The Absorbed Fee Model means your organization would absorb or pay the service fees. Convenience fees would be calculated by Forte and then invoiced to your organization. Your customer would not pay these fees during checkout.
- The Absorbed Fee Model is required if your organization wants to save cards on file or use auto-billing. Cards cannot be saved on file or be used for auto-billing using the Convenience Fee Model as outlined below.
- Receipt Match: Since the fees are not passed to the customer, there is no discrepancy between receipts in Recreation Management and Forte.
Passing on Surcharges with Absorbed Fee Model
If your organization wishes to use the Absorbed Fee Model but still wants to pass convenience fees onto customers, this can be accomplished by creating surcharges directly in Rec.
Convenience Fee Model
The Convenience Fee Model passes along service charges for your customers to pay instead of your organization. In the payment screen, Forte displays the total convenience fee amount along with the customer’s Recreation total. The customer would then pay the convenience fee during checkout. In this model, the service fee is applied to both credit cards and ACH transactions. Although you can use this model, it is not 100% supported with Recreation Management.
- Receipt Mismatch: Since the service fee is charged by the gateway, it is not reported on the receipt in Rec. Therefore, the total charge in Forte will be more than the total charge in Rec. See the Receipt Amounts example below.
- Two-Step Refund: Refunds in Rec will not reflect the service fee charge. If your organization wants to refund the service fee to the customer, you will need to first refund the purchase in Rec and then refund the service fees through CSG Forte's Dex Portal.
- No Card Saving: This model does not support saving cards on file. Therefore, auto-billed charges are not currently available with Forte’s Convenience Fee model and users will need to utilize the Absorbed Fee Model if cards-on-file and/or auto-billing is required.
Convenience Fee Best Practices
If you opt to use the Convenience Fee Model, it is a good idea to warn your customers that they are agreeing to pay the additional fee when they choose to use a credit card or ACH. Some card brands have requirements that dictate how you communicate the fee. For example, Visa has guidelines that state you cannot show the fee as coming from them.
To communicate the fee, you can use prompts in Rec to add a statement to which the user must agree (Mandatory Agreement). You can also remind the user about the fee and the discrepancy they will see on their credit card statement using your receipt templates.
Convenience Fee Model Receipt Amounts Example
In Rec, receipt totals will equal the total of items purchased minus the convenience fee applied by CSG.
For example, here the user is checking out for $10.69, and a service fee of $2.00 is applied. Their total payment is $12.69.
In Rec, you will see the receipt amount of $10.69.
And in CSG Forte, you will see the total amount with the fee of $12.69.