As you know, Vantage provides the most transparent, direct pass-through of the payment industry’s universally established Interchange, Assessment and Access fee schedules.
This April, a whole new set of card fees are being introduced. Vantage reports on and tracks these industry fee changes as they occur on our web site and this resource is often use by reporters and market analyst as well as merchants, businesses and banks. We also post about the payments industry and card Interchange on our blog. In July 2011 we first alerted merchants to the Visa announcement to charge a new location fee.
Vantage passed through all the Fed regulated debit rates to our clients. We posted a Vantage Study Revealing the Results of Fed Regulated Debit in October. And while Vantage clients took advantage of the savings immediately, most Small Businesses are Missing Out on Debit Interchange Savings.
With these new fees, Visa is responding to government regulations that require all debit cards to have two unaffiliated network choices. Visa is lowering it’s per transaction access fee (Vantage is passing this savings on to our clients) and is instead implementing a fixed acquirer fee. Visa hopes to encourage merchants to route more transactions to Visa (a monthly fee divided by more transactions equals lower overall per transaction pricing), or so the story goes. This article in an industry trade journal discusses the reaction to these industry wide changes from the Electronic Transaction Association. Here you can listen to expert commentary on how card fee structures are changing in response to government regulations on debit.
Overall, if you accept lots of too-big-to-fail bank debit cards you should still come out ahead. If your customers don’t use debit cards, chalk these new fees up to more unintended consequences of government regulation.