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Interchange Announcements
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Interchange Real Rate Trends By Industry Over Time

*Analysis of Real Rates from 80,000 Real Merchants Excluding Amex.  Click the industry label on the right to narrow your comparison.

Interchange History

Scroll down to view the most recent Interchange announcements and the history of Interchange changes since 2005.

 

April 2015

Visa
Effective April 1, 2015, Visa will modify its Fixed Acquirer Network Fee (FANF).  FANF will not apply to Taxpayer IDs in months when gross sales volume is less than $199.99.  For Taxpayer IDs with gross sales volume between $200 and up to $1,249.99, the FANF will be assessed at a rate of 15 basis points (0.15%).   Along with this change, Payment Facilitators will no longer be permitted to aggregate Taxpayer IDs and volume (each Taxpayer ID and its associated volume will be individually reported).

January 2015

MasterCard

Effective January 5, 2015, MasterCard will modify the Acquirer Brand Volume Fee (Assessments) from 0.11% to 0.12%.  This increase will apply to all Signature Debit transactions and Consumer and Commercial Credit card transactions under USD $1,000.

MasterCard has also announced the introduction of a Digital Enablement Fee of 0.01% which will be assessed on all Consumer Credit, Commercial and Signature Debit dollar volume for select cardholder card not present transactions.

October 2014

MasterCard

  • MasterCard is creating a new prepaid virtual account product to support large ticket business-to-business payments. This new card-not-present product will be a virtual product.  No plastic (card) will be issued for this product.

Visa

  • Visa will no longer assess the Debit Tax Payment 2 Interchange fee program on Visa consumer debit and prepaid card original purchase transactions.  The existing Debit Tax Payment 1 Interchange fee program will be renamed to Debit Tax Payment and will apply to Visa consumer debit and prepaid card tax payment transactions that meet existing fee edit criteria and MVV requirements regardless of transaction amount.
  • Visa will no longer allow Visa consumer credit purchase transactions submitted with MCC 4899 (Cable, satellite, and pay television services) to qualify for the Retail 2 Credit interchange rate. Select developing market purchase transactions with Visa consumer debit and prepaid cards are not impacted by this change.
  • Visa will introduce a new Recurring Bill Payment consumer credit Interchange fee program and rate for the cable (MCC 4899) and telecommunications (MCC 4814) merchant segments at 1.43% + $0.05.
  • Visa will implement Interchange fee changes that will impact U.S. domestic electronic commerce purchase transactions with tokenized primary account numbers (PANs) initiated with a consumer mobile device.  Qualified electronic commerce transactions conducted from a mobile device will qualify for electronic commerce basic Interchanges rates and corresponding chargeback protection. 
  • Visa will implement interchange rate changes in the U.S. domestic Interchange reimbursement fee structure that will impact credit card purchase transactions for Visa Corporate and Visa Purchasing commercial card products:

Description

Card Type

Chg Type

Current IC%

Current IC $

New IC%

New IC$

Corporate Card-Electronic

41

1223

2.75%

$0.10

2.95%

$0.10

Corporate Card-Business-to-Business

41

1319

2.10%

$0.10

2.55%

$0.10

Corporate Card-Card Not Present

41

1316

2.20%

$0.10

2.65%

$0.10

Corporate Card-Retail

41

1348

2.10%

$0.10

2.50%

$0.10

Corporate Card-Non-Travel Service.  Level 3 Data

41

1841

1.95%

$0.10

1.85%

$0.10

Corporate Card-Electronic with Data

41

1840

2.75%

$0.10

2.95%

$0.10

Purchasing Card-Electronic

41

1233

2.75%

$0.10

2.95%

$0.10

Purchasing Card-Non-Travel Service, Level 3 Data

41

1227

1.95%

$0.10

1.85%

$0.10

Purchasing Card-Travel Service

41

1845

2.45%

$0.10

2.55%

$0.10

Purchasing Card-Business-to-Business

41

1843

2.40%

$0.10

2.55%

$0.10

Purchasing Card-Retail

41

1349

2.40%

$0.10

2.50%

$0.10

Purchasing Card-Electronic with Data

41

1320

2.75%

$0.10

2.95%

$0.10


Discover

  • Effective in October, Discover will revise its merchant category codes eligible for its Recurring Payments Acquirer Interchange Program.

September 2014

PIN Debit
Effective September, 1, 2014, the STAR debit network is introducing a new rate category for Healthcare transactions. These will be billed at 1.10% + $0.1825.  Additionally, and also effective on September 1, 2014, the ACCEL network is introducing a new small ticket rate category for transaction of $15.00 or less. Premium small ticket transactions will be billed 1.00% + $0.12, and non-Premium small ticket transactions will be billed at 1.00% + $0.08.  Jeanie has announced a rate change to the Network Merchant Participation Fee effective September 1, 2014.   The new fee will be $9.00 per merchant location accepting Jeanie transactions.

April 2014

MasteCard
Effective April 11, 2014, MasterCard has announced the following Interchange modifications. 

  • MasterCard has combined the rate structure for Corporate, Purchasing and Fleet into one Large Market rate structure.  Any product that currently qualifies for the Corporate, Fleet or Purchasing interchange structures will now qualify for the new Large Market interchange structure.  There are no changes to Business Debit, Business Prepaid or Small Business Credit products, interchange structure qualification. 
  • MasterCard is launching the MasterCard Commercial Payments Account Product which is a card-not-present virtual product.  No plastic (card) will be issued for this product and there will be no PIN capabilities.

Discover
Effective April 11, 2014 Discover will introduce unique prepaid rates for five of the interchange programs.  Currently, Discover prepaid transactions post along with Discover Debit.  This change will effectively increase Interchange for Discover prepaid cards for the following merchant categories:

  • Restaurants (Prepaid)
  • Supermarkets/Warehouse Clubs (Prepaid)
  • Retail (Prepaid)
  • Key Entry (Prepaid)
  • Card Not Present / E-Commerce (Prepaid)

Visa
Effective April 11, 2014 Visa will introduce a new consumer credit card product that will be issued from the U.S. region. Existing interchange fee structures, and authorization, clearing and settlement processing rules which currently apply to Visa Signature Preferred will apply to this new product. Rates are aligned with exiting Signature Preferred interchange programs.

American Express
Effective April 2014, American Express has mad the following updates to Prepaid Discount rates for the following U.S. Merchant:

  • The Fast Food Restaurant Prepaid Discount has been increased from 1.95% plus $0.05 Transaction Fee to 2.15% plus $0.05 Transaction Fee.
  • The Restaurant Prepaid Discount has been increased from 1.95% plus $0.05 Transaction Fee to 2.15% plus $0.05 Transaction Fee.

Pulse
Pulse has announced a rate change to the Network Merchant Participation Fee effective April 1, 2014 to be billed August 2014.   The new fee will be $9.00 per merchant location accepting Pulse transactions.

February 2014

The debit network Star has announced the following changes to their debit network pricing which will be effective February 1, 2014.  The changed fees are as follows:

  • Standard Retail transactions will be billed at 0.90% + $0.2375.  Premium Retail transactions will be billed at 0.90% + $0.2925.
  • Standard Quick Service Retail transactions will be billed at 1.15% + $0.1225. Premium Quick Service Restaurant transactions will be billed at 1.15% + $0.1475.
  • Standard Supermarket transactions will be billed at 0.60% + $0.2625 with a maximum fee amount of $0.3725. Premium Supermarket transactions will be billed at 0.60% + $0.2925 with a maximum fee amount of $0.4425.
  • Standard Petroleum transactions will be billed at 0.85% + $0.2125. Premium Petroleum transactions will be billed at 0.85% + $0.2475.
  • Standard PINless transactions will be billed at 0.60% + $0.1225 with a maximum fee amount of $1.5425.  Premium PINless transactions will be billed at 0.60% + $0.1975 with a maximum fee amount of $1.6175. 

Additionally, debit network pricing for Interregional Maestro transactions will be increased to 1.90% + $0.025 effective February 1, 2014.

 

October 2013

MasterCard
Effective October 21, 2013, MasterCard will assess a $0.0025 to all CVC2 transactions that are acquired in the U.S. region. This new MasterCard CVC2 Transaction Fee will be applied to all transactions that received a response value of M or N (match or no-match).

Effective October 18, 2013 MasterCard will introduce a new charity Interchange rate. In addition, during disaster-relief periods, MasterCard will apply ‘reduced Interchange’ on approved list of select disaster relief charitable organizations. Charity activity processed during disaster relief periods will still be subject to the MasterCard Acquirer Brand Volume (Assessment) fees.

Discover
Discover will change the credit voucher programs specifically for regulated debit consumer and commercial transactions to 0.00% + $0.00 (no interchange will be reimbursed).

Discover is introducing a network authorization fee for each Authorization Request sent to Discover in the amount of $0.0025 (fee applied to all Discover authorizations sent to Discover).

PIN Debit
The Star, Jeanie and Pulse Debit Networks are implementing a $6.00 annual merchant participation fee.

The debit network Jeanie has announced the following changes to their debit network pricing which will be effective in September 2013. The changed fees are as follows:

  • Standard Retail transactions will be billed at 0.75% + $0.1950 with a maximum fee amount of $10.045.
  • Standard Supermarket and Warehouse transactions will be billed at $0.315.
  • Standard and Premium QSR transactions will be billed at 1.55% + $0.075 with a maximum fee amount of $10.025.
  • Standard and Premium Petroleum transactions will be billed at 0.80% + $0.155 with a maximum fee amount of $1.005.

July 2013

MasterCard's new Small Business Spend Processing Interchange

Effective 18 July 2013 MasterCard will replace the existing Enhanced Value for Small Business Interchange structure with a new Small Business Spend Processing (SBSP) Interchange structure that will be based on cardholder annual spend and enrollment. This Account Level Management functionality will support new account category codes to identify transactions that are eligible for the new SBSP tiered Interchange levels. Upon enrollment of a cardholder account by the issuer, MasterCard will evaluate the previous 12 months of cardholder spend to determine the eligible level for SBSP Interchange and will review cardholder spend and adjust the eligible levels on a quarterly basis.

Interchange Level

Annual Account Spend

1

< $25,000

2

$25,001-$50,000

3

$50,001-$100,000

4

> $100,000

Business credit card products will be eligible for enrollment by card issuers for the SBSP Interchange. If business card transactions are not enrolled they will continue to qualify at the existing Interchange categories like Business, World Business and World Elite Business. With this change, MasterCard will discontinue the Small Business Enhanced interchange structure. Utility merchants will see business credit card transactions subject to additional transaction "break-even amount" logic where Interchange rates will depends on the size of the transaction. And MasterCard will discontinue support of unique Petroleum Data Rate II and Petroleum Face-to-Face Interchange rates for business credit card products and this transaction activity will qualify for other Interchange programs based on eligibility.

In general, merchants can expect the following pricing changes: MasterCard SBSP Level 1 and MasterCard Business (slight Interchange decrease), MasterCard SBSP Level 2 and Business World (slight Interchange decrease), MasterCard SBSP Level 3 and Business World Elite (slight Interchange increase), and MasterCard SBSP Level 4 and Enhanced Business (slight Interchange decrease).

MasterCard Network Access and Brand Usage Fee Increase
Effective June 30, 2013, MasterCard will modify the Acquirer Network Access and Brand Usage Fee (NABU) from $0.0185 to $0.0195. This increase will apply to both refund/credit transactions and authorization records.

May 2013

Pulse has announced changes to their debit network pricing which will be effective in May 2013. The changed fees are as follows:

  • Standard Retail and Petroleum transactions will be billed at 0.80% + $0.225. Petroleum transactions will have a maximum fee amount of $1.025.
  • Premium Retail and Petroleum transactions will be billed at 1.15% + $0.225. Premium Petroleum transactions will have a maximum fee amount of $1.025.
  • Standard Supermarket transactions will be billed at $0.375. Premium Supermarket transactions will be billed at 1.15% + $0.225 with a maximum fee amount of $0.425.
  • Regulated transactions will be billed at 0.05% + $0.285. Regulated transactions with Fraud Protection will be billed at 0.05% + $0.295.
  • Returns will be billed at $0.07 per transaction.

April 2013

PayPal
Accept PayPal at the Point of Sale with Vantage

Accepting PayPal gives merchants the opportunity to attract new customers and engage existing customers through the PayPal digital wallet to ultimately increase customer engagement and sales. More than 50 million U.S. PayPal customers trust and use PayPal for its security and simplicity. Now PayPal intends to issue cards to U.S. account holders. In the Spring of 2013 PayPal will be able to be accepted in-store at millions of locations. Vantage clients will swipe PayPal payment cards at their existing POS and process PayPal cards just like other card transactions. Vantage will report these card transactions and price at pass through Interchange the same as other card types.

Discover has assigned IIN Range 60110400 to 60110499 to the PayPal Network allowing for distinction between a Discover transaction and PayPal transaction. New Interchange levels effective April 19, 2013 will go into effect to support this initiative. Visit the Vantage Card Services Support Center for more information about PayPal acceptance coming Spring of 2013.

Discover
Discover will raise the No Signature Required card sales limit from $25.00 to $50.00 U.S. There are no changes to MCCs, qualifying provisions, or other Dispute Rules.

Visa

New Interchange Rates for Non-Regulated Visa Commercial Prepaid Cards
Visa will modify the Interchange structure and rates for non-regulated Visa commercial prepaid cards. There will be no changes to the regulated Interchange rates for Visa Commercial prepaid card transactions.

Currently, exempt Visa Commercial prepaid transactions receive the Visa Commercial credit interchange rate. Visa will introduce a new structure, which will include card-present and card-not-present rates, and maintain incentive program rates such as Purchasing Prepaid Large Ticket and Business Utilities:

New Commercial Prepaid Interchange Categories

Visa Corporate Standard Non-Regulated

2.95%

$0.10

Visa Business Standard Non-Regulated

2.95%

$0.10

Visa Purchase Standard Non-Regulated

2.95%

$0.10

Visa Corporate Card Present Non-Regulated

2.15%

$0.10

Visa Business Card Present Non-Regulated

2.15%

$0.10

Visa Purchase Card Present Non-Regulated

2.15%

$0.10

Visa Corporate Card Not Present Non-Regulated

2.65%

$0.10

Visa Business Card Not Present Non-Regulated

2.65%

$0.10

Visa Purchase Card Not Present Non-Regulated

2.65%

$0.10

Visa Purchase Large Ticket Non-Regulated

1.45%

$35.00

Visa Business Utility Non-Regulated

N/A

$1.50

Visa will implement new Interchange fee programs that will apply to U.S. Domestic Non-Regulated Visa Commercial Prepaid card transactions for card-present and card-not-present fee programs.

Visa will implement a new Purchasing Large Ticket Prepaid fee program for Visa Purchasing prepaid transactions. Non-GSA Purchasing Large Ticket prepaid transactions from non-Travel Service merchants will be eligible to qualify for the new Purchasing Large Ticket Prepaid fee program and rate.

New Visa Utility Interchange for Visa Business
Visa will implement a new Visa Utility fee program to support eligible purchase transactions on non-regulated Visa Business Debit and Prepaid cards at 0% + $1.50.  

Visa Purchasing Credit Voucher Interchange Rates
In response to the recent growth of Visa commercial payment volume, the expansion of Visa Purchasing Large Ticket to all non-travel and entertainment categories, and the introduction of Visa Large Purchase Advantage, Visa will modify the Non-Passenger Transport Commercial Purchasing Card credit voucher (refund) Interchange rates and structure as follows:

Description

           

Credit Voucher Non-GSA Purchase, Non-Pass Trans 1

2.40%

$0.00

Credit Voucher GSA Purchase, Non-Pass Trans 2

2.15%

$0.00

Credit Voucher Non-GSA Purchase, Non-Pass Trans 2

2.30%

$0.00

Credit Voucher Non-GSA Purchase, Non-Pass Trans 3

2.20%

$0.00

Credit Voucher GSA Purchase, Non-Pass Trans 3;
Credit Voucher Non-GSA Purchase, Non-Pass Trans 4

2.00%

$0.00

Credit Voucher GSA Purchase, Non-Pass Trans 4/5
Credit Voucher  Non-GSA Purchase, Non-Pass Trans 5

1.80%

$0.00

Credit Voucher GSA Purchase, Non-Pass Tran 1

2.35%

$0.00

MasterCard

Introduction of Small Business Spend Processing
MasterCard is introducing Small Business Spend Processing in the U.S. region effective April 19, 2013 that will replace the existing Enhanced Value for Small Business Interchange programs. To support this enhancement, MasterCard will rename the Enhanced Value for Small Business Interchange.

Current Interchange Description

New Interchange Description

Business Enhanced Commercial Data Rate I

Business Level 2 Data Rate I

Business Enhanced Commercial Data Rate II

Business Level 2 Data Rate II

Business Enhanced Commercial Data Rate III

Business Level 2 Data Rate III

Business Enhanced Commercial Face-to-face

Business Level 2 Face-to-face

Business Enhanced Commercial Large Ticket I

Business Level 2 Large Ticket I

Business Enhanced Commercial Large Ticket II

Business Level 2 Large Ticket II

Business Enhanced Commercial Large Ticket III

Business Level 2 Large Ticket III

Business Enhanced Value Large Ticket I MPG

Business Level 2 Large Ticket I MPG

Business Enhanced Value Large Ticket II MPG

Business Level 2 Large Ticket II MPG

Business Enhanced Value Large Ticket III MPG

Business Level 2 Large Ticket III MPG

Business Enhanced Commercial Standard

Business Level 2 Standard

Business Enhanced Supermarket

Business Level 2 Supermarket

Business Enhanced Commercial T&E Rate I

Business Level 2 T&E Rate I

Business Enhanced Commercial T&E Rate II

Business Level 2 T&E Rate II

Business Enhanced Commercial T&E Rate III

Business Level 2 T&E Rate III

Business Enhanced Utilities

Business Level 2 Utilities

Business Enhanced Warehouse

Business Level 2 Warehouse Base

Business Enhanced Warehouse Club Tier 1

Business Level 2 Warehouse Tier 1

MasterCard Acquirer Program Support Fee
MasterCard has announced a change to the Acquirer Program Support Fee effective for daily billing beginning Monday April 1, 2013. MasterCard will increase the acquirer program support fee from 0.55 percent to 0.85 percent. The Acquirer Program Support Fee is assessed on all U.S. region-acquired dollar volume that is generated by cards issued outside of the U.S. region.

Description

Current

April 01, 2013

Acquirer Program Support Fee

0.55% + 0.00

0.85% + 0.00

Debit

The debit network CU24 has announced changes to their debit network pricing which will be effective beginning April 2013. The changed fees are as follows:

  • Standard Retail and Drug Store/Pharmacy transactions will be billed at 0.75% + $0.195 regardless of ticket size.
  • Petroleum transactions will be billed at 0.80% + $0.16 regardless of ticket size.
  • Quick Service Retail (QSR) transactions will be billed at 1.25% + $0.09 regardless of ticket size.

Visa has announced new Interlink Commercial Prepaid and Visa PIN-Authenticated Commercial Prepaid rate categories that will go into effect on April 19, 2013. Transactions in these categories will be billed at 2.15% + $0.135.

February 2013

The debit network Alaska Option has announced changes to their debit network pricing which will be effective February 2013. The changed fees are as follows:

  • Standard Retail transactions will be billed at $0.31
  • Debit Returns/credit transactions will be billed at $0.08
  • Supermarket transactions will be billed at $0.22
  • Petroleum transactions will be billed at $0.31

The debit network NYCE introduced a new debit interchange category for Regulated Small Ticket transactions less than $15.00. These will be billed at 1.00% + $0.0725. Pricing on NYCE PINless Education transactions will be billed at $0.16 + 0.75%, a reduction of $0.05 per transaction.

Pulse debit network transactions will be adjusted as follows:

  • Petroleum Maximum transactions will be billed at $1.035 + 0.01%
  • Regulated transactions will be billed at $0.295 + 0.06%
  • Regulated with Fraud Prevention transactions will be billed at $0.305 + 0.06%

NYCE has announced the following changes to their network rate structure effective November 2012 (changes impact Card Types NYCE and Yankee).

NYCE Debit

  • The Supermarket rate has changed from 0.90% +$ 0.14 to $0.24
  • The maximum and minimum rates have been eliminated
  • The Standard rate has changed from 0.90% + $0.20 to 0.75% + $0.12. The minimum rate has been removed.
  • The Petroleum rate has changed from 0.85% + $0.10 to 0.70% + $0.12. The minimum rate has been removed, and the maximum rate remains at $0.85.
  • The Small Ticket rate has changed from 1.00% + $0.025 to 1.30% + $0.03
  • The Supermarket Premium debit rate has changed from 0.90% + $0.20 to $0.29. The maximum and minimum rates have been removed.
  • The Standard Premium rate has changed from 0.90% + $0.20 to 0.80% + $0.13. The minimum rate has been removed.
  • The Petroleum Premium rate has changed from 0.85% + $0.15 to 0.75% + $0.15. The minimum rate has been removed. The maximum rate remains at $0.90.
  • The Small Ticket Premium rate has changed from 1.00% + $0.025 to 1.30% + $0.03.

Please note: The rates above do not include the $0.0475 switch fee. Also, NYCE is introducing a Small Ticket category for Regulated transactions less than $15.00.

April 2013

Visa
Under Visa's current program, which is available to the majority of merchant categories in the U.S., merchants have the option to complete purchases up to $25 without requiring a cardholder's signature or a PIN. Building on the success of that program, Visa will increase the limit to $50 for discount stores and supermarkets with the intent of expanding this service to additional merchant categories over time. Keep in mind that this is for Visa transactions only.

 

October 2012

Visa
Visa will implement changes to the maximum amounts for ATM and manual cash disbursement transactions in BASE II. The maximum amounts for ATM and manual cash disbursement transactions will be lowered to US $99,999.99. The maximum was previously $499,999.99. To meet customer needs for higher value transactions, Visa will change the maximum amounts for credit, debit, and prepaid POS transactions. These changes will apply to consumer, small business, and commercial cards for both domestic and cross-border transactions. The amount limits for original credit, U.S. Tax Payment, and commercial large ticket transactions will not be changed.

MasterCard
Consumer Debit and Consumer Prepaid card transactions have historically qualified for the same Interchange rate structures. Effective October 12, 2012, Interchange rates for Consumer Debit and Consumer Prepaid products will be separated. For example:

Description

Current IC%

Current IC$

New IC%

New IC$

Consumer Key-Entered Debit

1.64%

$0.16

1.60%

$0.15

Consumer Merit 1 Debit

1.64%

$0.16

1.60%

$0.15

Consumer Key-Entered Pre-Paid

1.64%

$0.16

1.76%

$0.20

Consumer Merit 1 Pre-Paid

1.64%

$0.16

1.76%

$0.20

Most all other MasterCard Debit and Pre-Paid charge types, while reporting individually, will continue to mirror Interchange fees except for Utilities Pre-Paid with a new rate of 0.00% + $0.65.

Small Ticket Tier 1 (NEW)
Effective October 12, 2012 MasterCard is introducing a new Interchange Rate Program for Debit and Prepaid Small Ticket Tier 1. Very few (only the largest of merchants) will get these rates.

Description

New IC%

New IC$

Consumer Small Ticket Tier 1 Debit/Pre-Paid

1.30%

$0.03

Discover
Effective October 12, 2012 Discover will increase existing Interchange rates for PSL-Public Services Core, Rewards, Premium, and Premium Plus, PSL-Card Not Present/E-Commerce Premium Plus and Key Entry Rate for Premium Plus.

Description

 

Current IC%

Current IC$

New IC%

New IC$

PSL-Public Services, Core

1.50%

$0.10

1.55%

$0.10

PSL-Public Services, Rewards

1.50%

$0.10

1.55%

$0.10

PSL-Public Services, Premium

1.50%

$0.10

1.55%

$0.10

PSL-Public Services, Premium Plus

1.50%

$0.10

1.55%

$0.10

PSL-Card Not Present/E-Commerce, Premium Plus

2.30%

$0.10

2.35%

$0.10

Key Entry, Premium Plus

2.10%

$0.10

2.15%

$0.10

Discover is increasing the length of Primary Account Numbers from 16 to 19 digits in the US only. Cards may display a three diminsional hologram on the front or back but valid cards do NOT display on both sides.

Submission of Discover sales more than 30 days after date of card transaction are subject to higher Interchange instead of being rejected.

Transastion receipts are optional only for card present for sales <$25 where No Signature is Required.

August 2012

The debit networks Accel and Interlink have announced changes in their pricing structure effective August 1, 2012.

Accel Changes:

  • Retail Premium transactions will be billed at 0.85% + $0.14 per transaction.
  • The Supermarket rate is being reduced to $0.29 per transaction.
  • The Petroleum rate is being reduced to 0.80% + $0.14 per transaction with a new maximum of $0.99 per transaction.
  • A new PINless Telecommunications category is being introduced for MCCs 4812, 4813, 4814, 4816, 4841, and 4899. These transactions will be billed at 0.65% + $0.16 per transaction with no maximum and the same Premium transactions will be billed at 0.65% + $0.17 per transaction with no maximum.
  • PINless Utility transactions will have the rate reduced to $0.58 with a new lower PINless Utility Premium rate of $0.68 per transaction.
  • All other PINless transactions will have the rate reduced to 0.60% + $0.16 per transaction with a new maximum of $1.54 per transaction. The Premium rate for all other PINless transactions is being reduced to 0.65% + $0.18 per transaction with a new maximum of $2.04 per transaction
  • All other Accel fees remain unchanged.

Interlink Changes:

  • A new Cross-Border category is being introduced with a rate of 1.95% + $0.035 per transaction with no maximum. All other categories (Retail/Standard, Supermarket, Petroleum, Travel, and Pre-Paid) will only apply to Consumer Debit cards.
  • All other Interlink fees remain unchanged.

June 2012

Interlink debit Interchange changes effective June 1, 2012. These changes do not include any regulated debit transactions.

  • A new Business Debit category is being introduced. All Business Debit card transactions posted to this category will be billed at 1.70% + $0.135 per transaction with no maximum. All other categories (Retail/Standard, Supermarket, Petroleum, Travel, and Pre-Paid will only apply to Consumer Debit cards).
  • All other fees remain unchanged.

Effective June 15, 2012, Visa will modify existing interchange rates associated with fuel transactions by introducing an interchange cap applicable to U.S. domestic credit card rate programs:

  • U.S. Domestic Fee Program for CPS/Retail Service and CPS/Automated Fuel Dispenser (AFD) and Signature Preferred – Fuel will be 1.15% + $0.25 ($1.10 cap) - break even is $73.91.
  • U.S. Domestic Fee Program for Electronic Interchange Reimbursement Fee (Cap applicable to MCC 5542 & 5541) will be 2.30% + $0.10 ($1.10 cap) - break even is $43.48.
  • U.S. Domestic Fee Program for Visa Signature Preferred – Standard (Cap applicable to MCC 5542 & 5541) will be 2.95% + $0.10 ($1.10 cap) - break even is $33.90.

    The cap will apply to consumer credit fuel transactions when qualified for one of forementioned U.S. domestic credit fee programs. The interchange rates applicable to U.S. exempt debit transactions remain unchanged at this time.

Effective June, Visa has announced U.S. issued Visa Business Check Card products will be added as an accepted payment method for debt repayment (including transactions that qualify for the U.S. Visa Debt Repayment Program), joining Visa Consumer Check Card and Visa Prepaid products as approved payment types for consumer debt.

Visa Business Check cardholders will be able to pay down certain personal, non-business debts (including current and past-due collectible debt for consumer auto loans, consumer credit cards, residential mortgages and student loans) while receiving the convenience and protections associated with the Visa brand.

Debt Repayment Qualifications:

All Visa Business debt repayment transactions submitted by a participating merchant must:

  • Include the debt repayment indicator in the authorization and clearing records
  • Depending on merchant type, include either:
    • Merchant Category Code (MCC) 6012  Financial Institutions: Merchandise and Services; or MCC 6051  Non-Financial Institutions: Foreign Currency, Money Orders (Not Wire Transfer), Stored Value Card / Load and Travelers Cheques

Consumer auto loans, student loans, residential mortgages and consumer credit card repayments not deemed uncollectable are the only eligible debt types permitted to be repaid; debt collection agencies are not eligible for this program.

Visa Business Check Card products will not be eligible for a special interchange rate. Instead, they will qualify for the usual Visa Business Check Card interchange rates.

May 2012

Interlink debit Interchange changes effective May 1, 2012. These changes do not include any regulated debit transactions.

  • Supermarket transactions will be billed at $0.335.
  • A new Travel Service category is being introduced for MCCs 3000-3999, 4112, 4411, 4511, 4722, 5812, 5814, 7011, and 7512. These transactions will be billed at 1.19% + $0.135 per transaction with no maximum.
  • All other fees remain unchanged.

April 2012

Major Announcements

A significant number of Acquirer Pass Through fees and Interchange modifications have been announced. Here is a brief description of some of the changes. Look for additional information on these announcements to be posted soon:

Visa

Visa will change its Interlink Switch Fee effective April 1, 2012 to $0.0225 + 8 basis points assessed on the amount of the transaction and capped at $0.035 per transaction (for all transactions above $15.62).

Visa will introduce a new Fixed Acquirer Network Fee and Revisions to Network Acquirer Processing Fee.

Visa will initiate a new pass through Fixed Acquirer Network Fee (FANF) on a merchant Taxpayer ID basis (TIN) beginning April 1, 2012. The rate assessed to each Taxpayer ID will be determined based on channel and MCC with quarterly collection by Visa beginning in July 2012 for the previous calendar quarter.

For Card Present merchants, with the exception of Fast Food Restaurants, a merchant Taxpayer ID with physical locations will be assessed FANF on a per-location rate basis. For example, Card Present Merchants with one to three locations will see a pass through per location per month fee of $2. Price per location per month will increase according to the number of locations - upwards of $65 month for merchants exceeding 4000 locations.

Card Present High Volume MCC Merchants with one to three locations will see a pass through per location per month fee of $2.90. Price per location per month will increase according to location - upwards of $85 month for merchants exceeding 4000 locations.

Customer Not Present, merchant aggregators and merchants primarily operating as Fast Food Restaurants (MCC 5814) will be assessed based on gross merchant sales volume originating from any Visa-branded card. Merchants that fall into this category with monthly gross sales volume ranging from less than $50 a month on the low end will see a $2 a month fee- to merchants with gross sales exceeding $400 million at a $40,000 a month fee. There are some 18 tiers, with a merchant falling into a volume tier of $8,000 to $39,999 a month seeing a new $15 per month FANF fee.

Visa will also effectively waive the FANF for eligible Charitable and Social Service Organizations (MCC 8398). The FANF waiver for Charitable and Social Service Organizations will be provided through a quarterly rebate process that Visa has indicated will be defined at a later date.

Visa has also announced that effective April 1, 2012 it will implement a reduction to variable fees. The Network Acquirer Processing Fee (APF) on Visa-branded debit will be reduced from $0.0195 per authorization to $0.0155 per authorization. It will remain $0.0195 per authorization on credit transactions.

Additional Visa changes announced include:

  • Visa will implement a new Transaction Integrity Fee of $0.10 on Visa Debit card and Visa prepaid card purchase transactions that either fail or do not request CPS qualification. As we read this it will be implemented like other Visa assessments (not Interchange fee related) and the most common impact will be on debit and prepaid transactions that are key entered without address verification.
  • Visa will make changes to corporate card transactions including increasing Corp Card Level 3 rates by 15 basis point and Corporate Card Electronic with Data rates by 10 basis points.
  • Visa will change Corporate Card and Purchasing Card Interchange Fee Programs for Travel Service merchants.
  • Visa will implement new Purchasing Card Product and Interchange Fee programs that will be available to commercial card issuers in the U.S. region and will support purchase and credit voucher transactions. We are awaiting further details on this new P-card product. A guess is that these new p-cards will focus on large ticket transactions.
  • Visa is making lots of changes to existing Interchange rates in their business, corporate, commercial and purchasing card categories as well. Some rates will go up slightly and others will go down; some changes are TBA; and some are all together new. Purchasing Card Large Ticket is the exception as it will increase 0.50% (yet this will only impact those few merchants that paid the Visa registration fee to qualify at this Interchange category). The analysis for merchants considering registration for Purchasing Large Ticket will change as a result. We would expect few merchants will register going forward.
  • Visa is making changes to non regulated debit and prepaid Interchange across industries. Again, some rates will go up slightly while others will go down fairly significantly.
  • Visa will delete debit performance thresholds for retail and supermarket.
  • Visa will edit Passenger Transport Interchange with new programs for card not present, credit and debit and prepaid.
  • Visa will edit qualifications for hotel, car rental and passenger transport so that they will no longer be eligible for retail debit and prepaid programs.
  • Visa will edit its non-regulated Business debit card with new programs that distinguish it from credit transactions. Some rates will stay the same, while others will increase or decrease depending on card present or not.
  • Visa will implement new non-regulated Interlink Interchange fee programs that will cover Business debit, Consumer debit and consumer prepaid transactions for Travel Service merchants.
  • Visa will delete Interlink supermarket and retail performance thresholds.
  • Visa will change its Interlink Switch Fee to $0.0225 + 0.08% assessed on the amount of the transaction and caped at $0.035 per transaction (for all transactions above $15.62).

MasterCard

MasterCard will introduce a new Annual License and Registration Fee. MasterCard has announced a new annual Acquirer Licensing Fee as well as a new annual Type III Third Party Processor (TPP) Registration Fee to be collected beginning in July 2012. The 2012 fees will be calculated based on full year 2011 volume. For 2012 only, each of the new fees will be 50% of the total fee calculated because it covers only half of 2012 (July 1, 2012  December 31, 2012). These fees will be passed through on a pro-rata basis. All acquired MasterCard credit and signature debit volume will be utilized to determine annual volume for both programs. PIN debit volume is excluded.

In addition, MasterCard will introduce new Regulated debit small ticket debit and credit Interchange programs in April 2012, however the same Regulated debit rates will apply. This change will allow for MasterCard to better track small ticket transaction volume.

MasterCard will also make changes to existing commercial Interchange rates. MasterCard Corporate and Purchase Card transaction volume will shift to new charge types. Business Debit transaction posting remains unchanged. MasterCard will change the Interchange rates for Corporate and Purchasing T&E 1, 2 and 3, Commercial Large Ticket 1, 2 and 3, Corporate Level 2, Commercial Level 3, and Corporate and Purchasing Face-to-Face. Fleet T&E 1, 2 and 3 will be split out under a unique card/charge type combinations with no changes to the rates.

Discover

  • Discover will introduce a US Commercial Large Ticket Interchange Program
  • Discover will increase its assessment fee by .005%
  • Discover is changing existing card present Interchange rates for transactions less than $15 for Express Service merchants (Local Commuter, Bus Lines, Toll & Bridge Fees, Restaurants, Fast Food Restaurants, News/Dealer Stands, Laundries-Family Community, Dry Cleaners, Quick Copy & Reproductions, Parking Lots/Garages, Car Washes, Motion Picture Theaters and Video Entertainment Rentals) and less than $25 for Taxi/Limos. The new Interchange will be percentage based and carry a $0.00 per transaction.
  • Discover will increase its International Electronic Interchange rates for non regulated Debit, Core, Rewards, Premium and Premium Plus

March 2012

The Debit Networks routinely announce fee increases or modifications. Effective March 2012:

Jeanie
Jeanie has announced changes in their pricing structure to implement Premium Interchange fees. The following new interchange levels will be effective March 1, 2012.

  • Retail Premium transactions will be billed at 0.80% + $0.255. There is a maximum fee of $10.045.
  • QSR Premium transactions will be billed at 1.25% + $0.21. There is a maximum fee of $10.03.
  • Supermarket Premium transactions will be billed at $0.415.
  • All other fees remain unchanged.

February 2012

The Debit Networks routinely announce fee increases or modifications. Effective February 2012:

Interlink
A new category has been established for Interlink Pre-Paid PIN Debit transactions.

Network

Interchange

Interlink Pre-Paid (all categories) *

1.15% + $0.185

Interlink Pre-Paid Supermarket Max

$0.385

Interlink Pre-Paid Petroleum Max

$0.985

* Interlink Supermarket and Petroleum below the maximum will post with all other Interlink Pre-Paid transactions.

Jeanie
Jeanie is reducing the interchange fees on Retail and Supermarket transactions.

  • Retail transactions will be billed at 0.75% + $0.155.
  • Supermarket transactions will be billed at $0.273.
  • All other fees remain unchanged.

January 2012

Effective January 8, 2012, MasterCard will change its Network Access and Brand Usage fee (NABU) from being assessed on settled transactions to being assessed on authorization records (like Visa's APF, July 2009). NABU fee will continue to be billed at $0.0185 per record and fees for Refund/Credit transactions will continue to be billed on settled transactions.

Effective January 15, 2012, MasterCard will increase the Acquirer Brand Volume Fee by 0.01 percent from 0.12 percent to 0.13 percent on Consumer and Commercial credit volume only on transactions of USD 1,000 or higher. This fee does not apply to Signature Debit transactions.

 

December 2011

Interlink

  • A new category has been established for Interlink Pre-Paid PIN Debit transactions. The rates are as follows:
    • Interlink Pre-Paid Standard transactions will be billed at 1.15% + $0.185 per transaction with no maximum.
    • Interlink Pre-Paid Supermarket transactions will be billed at 1.15% + $0.185 per transaction with a maximum fee of $0.385.
    • Interlink Pre-Paid Petroleum transactions will be billed at 1.15% + $0.185 per transaction with a maximum fee of $0.985.

Accel

  • The switch fee for Accel has increased from $0.03 to $0.04, as a result of this increase all Accel transaction fees will be increased by $0.01.
    • Retail transactions will be billed at 0.80% + $0.22.
    • Retail Premium transactions will be billed at 0.90% + $0.265.
    • Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) transactions will be billed at .95% + $0.19.
    • Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) Premium transactions will be billed at 1.20% + $0.225.
    • Supermarket transactions will be billed at $0.32.
    • Supermarket Premium transactions will be billed at $0.395.
    • Petroleum transactions will be billed at 0.80% + $0.20.
    • Petroleum Premium transactions will be billed at 0.85% + $0.215.
    • PINless Utility transactions will be billed at $0.67 per transaction.
    • PINless Utility Premium transactions will be billed at $0.70 per transaction.
    • Premium transactions on All Other PINless activity will be assessed 0.75% + $0.22 per transaction with a maximum transaction fee of $1.29.
    • Premium transactions on All Other PINless activity will be assessed 0.80% + $0.29 per transaction with a maximum transaction fee of $1.79.
    • Returns will be billed at $0.04 per transaction.

 

November 2011

Interlink
November Non-Regulated Changes: Supermarket merchants will be billed at 0.80% + $0.185 per transaction with a maximum fee of $0.365 per transaction. Petroleum merchants will be billed at 0.80% + $0.185 per transaction with a maximum fee of $0.985 per transaction. The Quasi-Cash category is being eliminated in November. Returns will continue to be billed at $0.035 per transaction

PULSE
November Non-Regulated Changes: Petroleum merchants will be billed at 0.81% + $0.205 per transaction with a maximum fee of $01.035. All Other PINless activity will be assessed 0.66% + $0.215 per transaction with a maximum fee of $2.085.

NYCE
November Non-Regulated Changes: Retail merchants will be billed at 0.90% + $0.1975 per transaction with a minimum transaction fee of $0.2575. Retail Premium transactions will be billed at 0.90% + $0.2475 per transaction with a minimum transaction fee of $0.3175. Retail merchants will be billed at 0.90% + $0.1975 per transaction with a minimum transaction fee of $0.2575. Retail Premium transactions will be billed at 0.90% + $0.2475 per transaction with a minimum transaction fee of $0.3175.

Interchange Regulation Alerts
Follow Fed announcements on Debit Rates and Rules

October 2011

Visa
In June, the Federal Reserve released its final rules on Debit Card Interchange Fees and Routing. The restrictions on debit Interchange rates are effective October 1, 2011. Debit and Prepaid card issuers are expected to register their exempt and non-exempt card portfolios to comply with these rules.

On October 1, 2011, Visa's new Regulated debit Interchange rates will be set at the maximum allowable rate as announced by the Fed and will impact the following debit card types: Visa Check Card, Consumer Prepaid, Commercial Prepaid, Interlink PIN, Small Business Debit and Interregional Debit. Visa's Regulated Check Card Interchange will apply to both card present and card not present transactions and across industry categories. Visa will implement new Interchange reimbursement fee rates that will apply to prepaid transaction card and charge types.

Exempt Check Card Interchange for emerging markets, utility and tax payment as well as Exempt Consumer Prepaid and Interlink transaction Interchange will also be modified (with some charge types higher, some lower and some unchanged). Debit Credit Voucher Interchange programs will be consolidated with no reimbursement. Likewise, Retail and Supermarket Debit Performance Thresholds will be removed.

In addition to these debit Interchange changes, Visa will also introduce slightly lower Retail and Supermarket Credit Interchange.

Visa has also announced the following updates for October 15, 2011:

A new Interchange program and rate is being introduced for eligible charity merchants (MCC 8398) that will apply to consumer credit transactions, not consumer debit. The new CPS/Charity Fee Program will impact Visa credit and Visa Signature cards. These new rates will be 1.35% + $0.05.

MCCs 5411 ( Grocery Stores, Supermarkets), 5499 (Convenience, Misc Food Store), and 5541 (Service Stations) will be allowed to qualify for CPS/Small Ticket Credit program; however, they will continue to be ineligible for the CPS/Small Ticket Debit program.

New Visa Business Enhanced Card Fee Program. Visa has defined 6 new US domestic Interchange programs. Qualification criteria will mirror the existing business card programs. Interregional transactions for the new US Business Enhanced cards should qualify for the same programs as the existing Business card activity. Business Enhanced card transactions will also be eligible for the existing Business card Utility program.

Interchange Fee Description

current %

current PI

new %

new PI

chg %

chg PI

Visa Enhanced Business - Standard

2.95%

$0.10

2.95%

$0.10

0.00%

$0.00

Visa Enhanced Business - Electronic

2.40%

$0.10

2.75%

$0.15

0.35%

$0.05

Visa Enhanced Business -
Card Not Present

2.25%

$0.10

2.45%

$0.15

0.20%

$0.05

Visa Enhanced Business -
B2B

2.10%

$0.10

2.25%

$0.10

0.15%

$0.00

Visa Enhanced Business -
Retail

2.20%

$0.10

2.30%

$0.10

0.10%

$0.00

Visa Enhanced Business -
Level II

2.05%

$0.10

2.05%

$0.10

0.00%

$0.00

Visa Enhanced Business - Utilities

0.00%

$1.50

0.00%

$1.50

0.00%

$0.00

New Visa Signature Business Card Fee Program. US domestic Interchange programs and qualification logic for Signature Business will mirror the 6 existing programs that currently apply to business cards. There will be no impact to interregional processing. Signature Business card transaction will also be eligible for the existing Business Card Utility Program.

Interchange Fee Description

current %

current PI

new %

new PI

chg %

chg PI

Visa Signature Business - Standard

2.95%

$0.10

2.95%

$0.10

0.00%

$0.00

Visa Signature Business - Electronic

2.40%

$0.10

2.85%

$0.20

0.45%

$0.05

Visa Signature Business -
Card Not Present

2.25%

$0.10

2.60%

$0.20

0.35%

$0.05

Visa Signature Business -
B2B

2.10%

$0.10

2.40%

$0.10

0.30%

$0.00

Visa Signature Business -
Retail

2.20%

$0.10

2.40%

$0.10

0.20%

$0.00

Visa Signature Business -
Level II

2.05%

$0.10

2.05%

$0.10

0.00%

$0.00

Visa Signature Business - Utilities

0.00%

$1.50

0.00%

$1.50

0.00%

$0.00

MasterCard
MasterCard has created two new Interchange rate programs (Regulated POS Debit at 0.05% + $0.21 and Regulated POS Debit with Fraud Adjustment at 0.05% + $0.22) for all Consumer and Commercial debit and prepaid transactions from issuers that are regulated per the Durbin Amendment. When an issuer and/or its prepaid account ranges are identified as regulated, these transactions will only be able to qualify for one of these two new regulated charge types.

At this time, there is no change for all other Consumer and Commercial debit products or prepaid products for any issuer that is registered as “Non-regulated”. Transactions that are exempt from regulated interchange will continue to qualify for the current Consumer debit or Commercial interchange rate structures, as applicable.

Discover
Discover has also created two new Interchange rate programs that will apply to Non-Exempt Debit and Prepaid cards: without fraud prevention adjustment at 0.05% + $0.21 and with fraud prevention adjustment at 0.05% + $0.22 (where the issuer has certified its fraud prevention procedures).

PIN Debit Network
The following Networks have added pricing for the Regulated PIN Debit Network activity beginning October 1, 2011. Regulated transactions for Issuers with Fraud Prevention will receive an additional $0.01 fee. The only fluctuation in these rates is with the Switch Fees.

Network

Regulated PIN Debit Interchange

Switch Fee

Accel

$0.21 + 0.05%

$0.03

Accel

$0.21 + 0.05% + $0.01

$0.03

AFFN

$0.21 + 0.05%

$0.035

AFFN

$0.21 + 0.05% + $0.01

$0.035

CU24

$0.21 + 0.05%

$0.03

CU24

$0.21 + 0.05% + $0.01

$0.03

Jeanie

$0.21 + 0.05%

$0.055

Jeanie

$0.21 + 0.05% + $0.01

$0.055

Maestro

$0.21 + 0.05%

$0.025

Maestro

$0.21 + 0.05% + $0.01

$0.025

Shazam

$0.21 + 0.05%

$0.06

Shazam

$0.21 + 0.05% + $0.01

$0.06

STAR

$0.21 + 0.05%

$0.0325

STAR

$0.21 + 0.05% + $0.01

$0.0325

Interlink

$0.21 + 0.05%

$0.035

Interlink

$0.21 + $0.01 + 0.05%

$0.035

NYCE

$0.21 + 0.05%

$0.0475

NYCE

$0.21 + $0.01 + 0.05%

$0.0475

Pulse

$0.21 + 0.05%

$0.085

Pulse

$0.21 + $0.01 + 0.05%

$0.085

In addition, the Networks Interlink, NYCE, and Pulse have announced changes to the Non-Regulated fee.

Interlink
October Non-Regulated Changes: Retail merchants will be billed at 0.80% + $0.185 per transaction with no maximum fee.

PULSE
October Non-Regulated Changes: Retail merchants will be billed at 0.86% + $0.215 per transaction with no maximum fee. Retail Premium transactions will be billed at 0.86% + $0.265 per transaction with no maximum fee. Supermarket merchants will be billed at $0.35 per transaction. Supermarket Premium transactions will be billed at $0.44 per transaction. PINless Utility merchants will be billed at $0.69 per transaction. Returns will be billed at $0.085 per transaction.

NYCE
October Non-Regulated Changes: Supermarket merchants will be billed at 0.90% + $0.1875 per transaction with a minimum fee of $0.2575 and a maximum fee of $0.3375. Supermarket Premium transactions will be billed at 0.90% + $0.2475 per transaction with a minimum fee of $0.3175 and a maximum fee of $0.3975. Petroleum merchants will be billed at 0.85% + $0.1475 per transaction with a minimum fee of $0.2675 and a maximum fee of $0.8975. Petroleum Premium transactions will be billed at 0.85% + $0.1975 per transaction with a minimum fee of $0.3175 and a maximum fee of $0.9475. QSR / Small Ticket transactions will be billed at 1.00% + $0.725 per transaction with no maximum fee. QSR / Small Ticket Premium transactions will be billed at 1.30% + $0.875 per transaction with no maximum fee. PINless Utility merchants will be billed at $0.61 per transaction. PINless Utility Premium transactions will be billed at $0.66 per transaction. Returns will be billed at $0.0475 per transaction.

MasterCard will begin to monitor compliance to the authorization guidelines with billing scheduled to begin on August 15, 2011. MasterCard has set its Processing Integrity Fee at $0.045 per occurrence. Read more at http://blog.vantagecard.com/post/MasterCard-announces-Processing-Integrity-Fee.aspx..

Jeanie Debit Network has advised of increases to the current fee structure. The below changes will be effective August 1, 2011.

  • Retail merchants will be billed at 0.80% + $0.245 per transaction with a maximum transaction fee of $10.045.
  • Supermarket merchants will be billed at $0.405 per transaction.
  • Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) transactions will be billed at 1.25% + $0.21 per transaction with a maximum transaction fee of $10.04.
  • Returns will be billed at $0.055 per transaction.

Shazam has announced modifications to their rates effective August 1, 2011. Please see the outlined modifications below:

  • Retail merchants will be billed at 0.85% + $0.22 per transaction.
  • Supermarket merchants will be billed at 0.90% + $0.22 per transaction with a maximum transaction fee of $0.41.
  • Small Ticket transactions will be billed at 1.25% + $0.11 per transaction.
  • Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) transactions will be billed at 1.25% + $0. 11 per transaction.
  • Petroleum Premium transactions will be billed at 0.80% + $0.19 per transaction.
  • Returns will be billed at $0.06 per transaction.

June 2011

MasterCard
Effective June 14, 2011, MasterCard is introducing a new Account Status Inquiry Service fee associated with an optional authorization service that allows merchants to perform zero dollar account status checks to validate that a cardholder account is open and not listed in the Electronic Warning Bulletin. This new fee of $0.03 per transaction will be applied ONLY to such zero dollar account status checks and will include fees imposed by MasterCard and the network for such transactions. Merchants will be allowed to submit an Account Status Inquiry request along with address verification (AVS), card verification code 2 (CVC 2) validation or both.

April 2011

MasterCard has announced the elimination of registration and processing requirements for U.S. Region acceptance programs effective April 15, 2011.

  • Supermarket Acceptance Development Program. This certification criteria will be eliminated and al merchants processing under MCC 5411 (Grocery Stores, Supermarkets) may qualify for the Supermarket interchange rates. 
  • Warehouse Acceptance Development Program. This registration requirement will be eliminated. In order to qualify for the warehouse Interchange rate, MasterCard will require the merchant to have: 1) an annual MasterCard processed volume of more than USD 1 billion, and 2) a merchant membership program that entitles certain merchant customers who enroll in the merchant program (the Club Members) special access to the merchant retail facilities and/or discounted pricing for such club members on certain merchant offerings.  All merchants processed under MCC 5300 (Wholesale Clubs) that meet the above criteria may qualify for the Warehouse Interchange rates.
  • Travel Industries Premier Services Program (TIPS). This registration requirement will be eliminated.  MasterCard will restructure the current TIPS Interchange rate into a consolidated rate for all Lodging, Auto Rental, and Cruise Line MCCs. As part of this consolidation, these MCCs will now be blocked from the Merit 3, Merchant UCAF, and Full UCAF rates. The Travel Industries Premier Services rates will be renamed Lodging and Auto Rental.  All merchants processed under MCCs 3501-3999, 7011 Lodging; 3351-3500, 7512, 7513, 7519 Automobile/Vehicle Rental; 4411 Cruise Line/Steamship may qualify for the new Lodging/Vehicle Rental/Cruise Line interchange rate.
  • Service Industries Incentive Program (SIIP). This registration requirement will be eliminated.  The requirement that the transaction be a Recurring Payment has not been eliminated and transactions must continue to meet the requirements of a recurring payment as under the Service Industries rates.  All merchants processed under MCC 4814 (Telecommunications Services), 4899 (Cable, Satellite and Other Pay Television and Radio Services) may qualify for the recurring payment Service Industries rates.

MasterCard will introduce a new Interregional Consumer Super Premium Interchange.

MasterCard will increase the Assessment Fee by 0.01 percent (from 0.11 to 0.12 percent) on Consumer and Commercial credit volume only for transactions of USD $1,000 or greater. Assessment applies to all purchases including cash advance purchase and purchase with cash back.

MasterCard is creating a Supermarket “Super Tier” Interchange structure for which only the largest volume merchants can qualify.

MasterCard is introducing new Interchange categories for Commercial, World Business, World Elite Business, World Corporate, World Elite Corporate and Enhanced Value.

MasterCard will lower its Debit Premier Travel Cruise Lines, Hotel and Car Rental rates. MasterCard Consumer Credit will also see changes. World Merit III will increase 4 basis points, Supermarket base rate will increase 5 cents. Other Supermarket and Warehouse Club rates will change as well. Consumer Credit Premier Travel Cruise Lines, Hotel and Car Rental will be reduced by 10 basis points.

Visa has announced that it will make changes to Interregional Interchange Fee Programs effective with the April 15, 2011 spring compliance release.  These changes include aligning Interchange fees with existing fee edits for Chip Full Data and Electronic Interchange Fee Programs plus changes to the Interregional Premium Card Interchange Fee Program and adding a New Interregional Super Premium Card Interchange Fee Program.

NYCE will implement a new Infrastructure Assessment fee of $0.005 that will apply to all NYCE transactions.  All existing fees for NYCE debit processing will continue to apply, as the new fee is in addition to existing fees. 

February 2011 Accel, AFFN, and STAR PIN networks have announced significant modifications to their rates effective February 1, 2011.

Accel
Accel has announced a modification to the PINless Maximum Premium Rate from $1.73 to $1.78.

AFFN

  • Retail merchants will be billed at 0.75% + $0.185 per transaction with a maximum transaction fee of $0.835.
  • Supermarket merchants will be billed at $0.235 per transaction.
  • Major merchants will be billed at 0.60% + $0.135 per transaction with a maximum transaction fee of $0.535.
  • A new interchange level for QSR is being implemented at 1.25% + $0.16 per transaction with a maximum transaction fee of $0.485.

STAR

  • Retail merchants will be billed at 0.80% + $0.2275 per transaction.
  • Supermarket merchants will be billed at $0.3175 per transaction.
  • Retail Premium transactions will be billed at 0.80% + $0.3025 per transaction.
  • Medical Retailer Premium transactions will be billed at 1.20% + $0.3175 per transaction.
  • Small Ticket Premium transactions will be billed at 1.25% + $0.2675 per transaction.
  • Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) Premium transactions will be billed at 1.25% + $0. 2675 per transaction.
  • Supermarket Premium transactions will be billed at $0.3925 per transaction.
  • Petroleum Premium transactions will be billed at 0.80% + $0.2475 per transaction.
  • PINless Premium transactions will be billed at 0.65% + $0.2475 per transaction.
  • PINless Maximum Premium transactions will be billed at $2.1175 per transaction.

 

November 2010

Interchange Adjustments
Accel, CU24, and Jeanie have announced significant modifications to their rates effective November 1, 2010. Please see the outlined modifications below:

Accel
Accel has announced modifications to their rate structure and will be adding a Premium fee to all markets. The current pricing remains unchanged for non-Premium activity. The Premium fees are as follows:

  • Retail Premium transactions will be billed at 0.90% + $0.255.
  • Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) Premium transactions will be billed at 1.20% + $0.215.
  • Supermarket Premium transactions will be billed at $0.385.
  • Petroleum Premium transactions will be billed at 0.85% + $0.205.
  • PINless Utility Premium transactions will be billed at $0.69 per transaction.
  • Premium transactions on All Other PINless activity will be assessed 0.80% + $0.28 per transaction with a maximum transaction fee of $1.73.

CU24
CU24 has announced a change to their Petroleum rate structure. The Petroleum Maximum fee, which was previously eliminated, will be added back at a rate of $10.02 per transaction.

Jeanie
Jeanie has announced a change to their Retail debit rate structure. The Retail Maximum fee, which was previously eliminated, will be added back at a rate of $10.04 per transaction.

October 2010

Interchange Adjustments

Please be advised that Interchange modifications have been announced that will become effective October 2010.

Visa
The following card fee rates will be adjusted as shown in the following: 

Rate Descriptions

Card Type/Charge Type

Current Interchange

New Interchange

Commercial Interregional Interchange

41 - 1249

1.80% & $0.00

2.00% & $0.00

Sign. Preferred International Merchant

43 - 1238

1.80% & $0.00

1.97% & $0.00

Sign. Preferred Interregional

40 - 1249

1.80% & $0.00

1.97% & $0.00

Visa Easy Payment Service to replace existing rules, requirements and restrictions for transactions less than $25. Easy Pay Program combines the No Signature Required Program and the Small Ticket Program. 

Visa Adds Merchants Eligible for Small Ticket Interchange. Effective October 2010 CPS/Small Ticket has been extended to most merchant category codes (MCCs). Most merchants will be eligible to qualify for the U.S. CPS/Small Ticket Interchange program. Current CPS/Small Ticket Interchange applies to transactions less than or equal to $15. The Visa Small Ticket Credit Interchange is 1.65% + $0.04 and the Visa Small Ticket Debit Interchange is 1.55% + $0.04.

The following MCCs are currently ineligible for both the CPS/Small Ticket Credit and Debit programs. However, with the October 2010 Enhancements release change, they will be eligible for the CPS/Small Ticket Credit program; however, they will continue to be ineligible for the CPS/Small Ticket Debit program.

  • 5411 Grocery Stores and Supermarkets
  • 5499 Miscellaneous Food Stores: Convenience Stores and Specialty Markets

Also, with this change, merchants that participate in the following MVV programs may submit transactions that meet the CPS/Small Ticket program:

  • CPS/Retail Performance Threshold program
  • Utility program
  • Debt Repayment program
  • Visa Partner Program
  • Debit Tax program
  • GSA G2G (Government-to-Government)

Transactions made through merchants eligible for the Visa CPS/Retail and Supermarket performance threshold Interchange programs will not be eligible for the CPS/Small Ticket Interchange program.

Discover
Discover has announced Assessment fee increases on Discover International Processing Fee from 0.30% to 0.40% and Discover International Service Fee from 0.45% to 0.55%.

Discover Assessment Fees will increase to 0.10% + $0.0185.

Discover is introducing a Premium Plus Consumer Interchange program.

August 2010

The debit network NYCE has announced several changes to their debit network pricing effective August 1, 2010.  The changed fees are as follows:

  • Retail merchants will be billed at 0.90% + $0.1625 per transaction with a minimum transaction fee of $0.2525.
  • Retail Premium transactions will be billed at 0.90% + $0.2225 per transaction with a minimum transaction fee of $0.3125.
  • Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) merchants will be billed at 1.25% + $0.0425. Both the minimum and maximum transaction fees have been eliminated.
  • Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) Premium transactions will be billed at 1.25% + $0.0825.
  • Supermarket merchants will be billed at 0.90% + $0.1825 per transaction with a minimum fee of $0.2525 and a maximum fee of $0.3325.
  • Supermarket Premium transactions will be billed at 0.90% + $0.2425 per transaction with a minimum fee of $0.3125 and a maximum fee of $0.3925.
  • Petroleum merchants will be billed at 0.85% + $0.1425 per transaction with a minimum fee of $0.2625 and a maximum fee of $0.8925.
  • Petroleum Premium transactions will be billed at 0.85% + $0.2025 per transaction with a minimum fee of $0.3225 and a maximum fee of $0.9525.
  • PINless Utility merchants will be billed at $0.6050 per transaction.
  • PINless Utility Premium transactions will be billed at $0.6550 per transaction.
  • PINless Education merchants will be billed 0.75% + $0.205 per transaction with a maximum transaction fee of $2.005.
  • PINless Education Premium transactions will be billed 0.75% + $0.255 per transaction with a maximum transaction fee of $2.055.
  • PINless Cable merchants will be billed at 0.70% + $0.205 per transaction and the maximum transaction fee has been eliminated.
  • PINless Cable Premium transactions will be billed at 0.70% + $0.255 per transaction with no maximum fee.
  • All Other PINless activity will be billed 0.60% + $0.205 per transaction and the maximum transaction fee will be increased to $1.005.
  • Premium transactions on All Other PINless activity will be billed 0.60% + $0.255 per transaction and the maximum transaction fee will be increased to $1.055.

The debit networks Credit Union 24 (CU24) and Jeanie have announced several changes to their debit network pricing effective August 1, 2010.  The changed fees are as follows:

CU24

  • Retail and Drugstore merchants will be billed at0.85% + $0.19 per transaction with a maximum transaction fee of $0.83.
  • Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) merchants will be billed at 1.25% + $0.06 per transaction with a maximum transaction fee of $0.73.
  • Supermarket merchants will be billed a total of $0.305 per transaction.
  • Petroleum merchants will be billed at 0.75% + $0.21 per transaction and the maximum transaction fee has been eliminated.
  • Returns will now be billed at $0.03 per transaction.
  • All other fees remain the same.

Jeanie

  • Retail merchants will be billed at 0.80% + $0.235 per transaction and the maximum transaction fee has been eliminated.
  • Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) merchants will be billed at 1.25% + $0.19 per transaction with a maximum transaction fee of $0.79.
  • Supermarket merchants will be billed a total of $0.40 per transaction.
  • All other fees remain the same.

July 2010

Visa has announced an increase on the Visa Assessment fee. The Assessment fee will be changing from .0925% to .11% effective July 1, 2010.

Visa has announced changes to their No Signature Required (NSR) program. Effective July 2010, the NSR program has been extended to most merchant category codes (MCCs). Transactions on U.S. issued cards of $25 or less from most all MCCs will be eligible to qualify for the NSR program.

MCCs excluded from Visa's NSR program include: Wire Transfer Money Orders, Automated Fuel Dispensers, Direct Marketing - Insurance Service, Direct Marketing - Travel-Related Arrangement Services, Direct Marketing - Catalog Merchants, Direct Marketing - Combination Catalog and Retail Merchants, Direct Marketing - Outbound Telemarketing Merchants, Direct Marketing - Inbound Telemarketing Merchants, Direct Marketing - Continuity/Subscription Merchants, Direct Marketing/Direct marketers (not else classified), Financial Institutions - Manual Cash Disbursements, Financial Institutions - Automated Cash Disbursements, Intra-Government Purchases.

  • Merchants are not required to provide a transaction receipt automatically.
  • A cardholder may request a transaction receipt, if necessary
  • Merchants must provide transaction receipts upon request

June 2010

Effective June 1, 2010, PULSE is implementing a PULSE Pay Choice fee.

This Premium mark-up by each Network is an additional incentive paid to Issuing Banks that commit a specific amount of card issuing volume to a network. The Premium Fee will only be passed on transactions where the card belongs to a qualifying Issuer. The volume is estimated to be between 15% and 50% for each of the three networks. This is an additional per item fee assessed on top of the regular debit network fees. The rates are as follows:

  • The NYCE Premier Issuer Fee is an additional $0.011 per item, effective April 1, 2010
  • The ALL-STAR Fee is an additional $0.025 per item, effective April 1, 2010
  • The PULSE Pay Choice Fee is additional $0.05 per item, effective June 1, 2010

Effective April 1, 2010, NYCE is implementing a Premier Issuer fee and STAR is implementing an All STAR fee.

May 2010

The debit networks Accel and Pulse have announced several changes to their debit network pricing effective May 1, 2010.  The changed fees are as follows:

Accel

  • Retail merchants will be billed at 0.80% + $0.21 per transaction with no maximum fee per transaction.
  • Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) merchants will be billed at 0.95% + $0.18 per transaction and the maximum fee for QSR transactions has been eliminated.
  • Supermarket merchants will be billed a total of $0.31 per transaction.
  • Petroleum merchants will be billed at 0.80% + $0.19 per transaction with no maximum transaction fee. These transactions were previously bundled with Retail and will now post separately.
  • PINless Utility merchants will now post separately from regular PINless and will be billed a total of $0.660 per transaction.
  • All other PINless transactions will be billed at 0.75% + $0.21 per transaction with a maximum transaction fee of $1.28.

Pulse

  • Retail merchants will be billed at 0.86% + $0.21 per transaction with no maximum fee per transaction.
  • Supermarket merchants will be billed a total of $0.345 per transaction.
  • Petroleum merchants will be billed at 0.71% + $0.21 per transaction with a maximum transaction fee of $1.03.These transactions were previously bundled with Retail and will now post separately.
  • PINless Utility merchants will be billed a total of $0.755 per transaction.
  • All other PINless transactions will be billed at 0.80% + $0.27 per transaction.

 

April 2010

MasterCard

Currently, MasterCard's Assessment fee is 0.095%. MasterCard will increase the Assessment fee to 0.110%.

MasterCard is introducing new Interregional Interchange programs. A unique brand product classification has been defined for each of the consumer credit, debit, and commercial product families. The following brand products will qualify for the new Interregional Consumer Premium Interchange Structure.

  • MasterCard World Card
  • MasterCard World Elite
  • World MasterCard for Business
  • MasterCard Corporate World
  • World Elite MasterCard Business
  • MasterCard Corporate World Elite

Business Data Rate programs fees have been modified for both World and World Elite categories.

MasterCard is revising the qualification criteria for Commercial Face to Face and Commercial Data Rate II. Effective April 2010, zero will no longer be accepted as a valid tax value to qualify for these rate categories. Only non-zero tax values that fall within the specified valid range will be accepted. Therefore, if a commercial transaction has no sales tax, the transaction will downgrade to a lower Interchange level.

MasterCard is adding a new Interchange program for MasterCard Enhanced Small Business. The following card programs will be supported in the U.S. Small Business Sector:

  • MasterCard Business Card Card
  • MasterCard Professional Card
  • MasterCard Executive Business Card

MasterCard Pay with Rewards Service
This service provides cardholders with the ability to redeem their loyalty points as currency to pay for purchases at any merchant where MasterCard-branded payment cards are accepted. The cardholder will use a separately issued redemption card, which will be a MasterCard debit product, to initiate points redemption transactions at the POS. Participating card issuers will register redemption cards into the MasterCard Pay with Rewards service. At the time of redemption, a Pay with Rewards cardholder will present his or her redemption card as any other payment card today.

New Interchange Fees for Pay with Rewards (Consumer Core, Consumer Debit, Consumer World and Commercial) will start out at 0.90% + $0.00

Visa

Visa is implementing modifications to the No Signature Required program:

  • MCC 5993 (Cigar Stores/Stands) is being added as an eligible MCC
  • Standardize amount to equal to or less than US $25.00 to be eligible.
  • Transaction with cash back amounts will not be eligible.

Visa will adjust the following U.S. Visa Debit Interchange reimbursement fees.

Fee Program

Current Fee

April 2010 Fee

CPS Retail Debit

1.03% + $0.15

0.95% + $0.20

CPS Supermarket Debit

1.03% + $0.15 ($0.35 max)

0.95% + $0.20 ($0.35 max)

CPS Service Station Debit

0.70% + $0.17 ($0.95 max)

0.75% + $0.17 ($0.95 max)

CPS Automated Fuel Dispenser Debit

0.70% + $0.17 ($0.95 max)

0.75% + $0.17 ($0.95 max)

Interlink PIN Debit

Visa has announced changes in the pricing for Interlink debit transactions.

Fee Program

Current Fee

April 2010 Fee

Interlink Standard IV

0.75% + $0.17

0.95% + $0.20

Interlink Supermarket
Performance Threshold IV

$0.25

0.95% + $0.20 ($0.35 max)

Interlink Standard Fuel

0.70% + $0.17 ($0.95 max)

0.75% + $0.17 ($0.95 max)

Interlink Quasi Cash

1.80% + $0.10

2.30% + $0.10

NYCE PIN Debit

  • NYCE will implement a Premier Issuer fee of $0.011 per transaction. This will be an addition to the existing interchange fees.

March 2010

STAR PIN Debit has announced modifications to the current rates effective March 1, 2010. The changes are as follows: 

  • Retail merchants will be billed at 0.80% + $0.2125 per transaction. The maximum transaction fee is being eliminated.
  • Quick Service Restaurant merchants will be billed at 01.25% + $0.1925 per transaction. The maximum transaction fee is being eliminated.
  • Petroleum merchants will continue to be billed at 0.80% + $0.1725 per transaction however the maximum transaction fee is being eliminated.
  • Supermarket merchants will be billed at $0.3025 per transaction
  • Medical Retailer merchants will be billed at 1.20% + $0.2425 for each transaction equal to or less than $15.00. Transactions over $15.00 will be assessed the standard Retail rates.
  • Small Ticket Retailer merchants will be billed at 1.25% + $0.1925 for each transaction equal to or less than $10.00. Transactions over $10.00 will be assessed the standard Retail rates.
  • PINless transactions will continue to be billed at 0.65% + $0.1725 per transaction. The maximum transaction fee is being increased to $2.0425.

February 2010

NYCE PIN Debit

  • The switch fee will be decreased from $0.05 to $0.0425.
  • Retail merchants will be billed at 0.75% + $0.2125 per transaction. The minimum transaction fee will be decreased to $0.3025.
  • Quick Service Restaurant merchants will be billed at 0.55% + $0.1075 per transaction with a maximum fee of $0.5425. The minimum transaction fee will be decreased to $0.2275.
  • Supermarket merchants will be decreased to $0.3025.
  • Petroleum merchants will be billed at 0.85% + $0.1925 per transaction. The minimum transaction fee will be decreased to $0.3025.
  • Returns will be decreased to $0.0425 per transaction.
  • PINless Utility merchants will be billed at $0.6550 per transaction.
  • PINless Cable merchants will continue to be assessed 1.00% + $0.125 per transaction. The maximum transaction fee will be increased to $1.055.

CU24 PIN Debit

  • The switch fee will be increased from $0.025 to $0.028.
  • Retail merchants will be billed at 0.75% + $0.178 per transaction with a maximum fee of $0.828
  • Quick Service Restaurant merchants will be billed at 1.25% + $0.058 per transaction with a maximum fee of $0.478.
  • Supermarket merchants will now be billed $0.258 per transaction.
  • Drug Store and Pharmacy merchants will be billed at 0.75% + $0.178 per transaction with a maximum fee of $0.828
  • Petroleum merchants will be billed at 0.75% + $0.168 per transaction with a maximum fee of $0.728
  • Returns will now be billed $0.028 per transaction

 

November 2009

Accel, Jeanie, and Maestro have announced modifications to the current rates effective November 1, 2009. The actual changes are as follows: 

Accel

  • The maximum fee for Retail transactions has been eliminated

Jeanie

  • Retail transactions will be billed at 0.80% + $0.20 per transaction with a maximum fee of $0.80.
  • Supermarket merchants will now be billed a total of $0.35 per transaction.

Maestro

  • Retail transactions will be billed at 0.90% + $0.175 per transaction with no maximum fee.
  • Quick Service Restaurant transactions will be billed at 0.75% + $0.195 per transaction with a maximum fee of $0.975.
  • Supermarket merchants will now be billed 1.05% + $0.175 per transaction with a maximum fee of $0.375.
  • Cross-Border transactions will be billed at 1.60% + $0.025 per transaction with no maximum fee.

 

October 2009

MasterCard

MasterCard will increase Cross Border fees as well as the Acquirer Support fee. Only MC International transactions will be assessed the Acquirer Program Support Fee (previous 0.45%, increasing to 0.55%), and the Cross Border fee (previous 0.30%, increasing to 0.40%), as these fees apply to US merchants settling International transactions in USD. 

MasterCard is modifying the World Elite Restaurant and the High Value Restaurant Interchange rate programs significantly.

Rate Descriptions

Current Rate

New Rate

World Elite Restaurant

1.73 % + $0.10

2.20 % + $0.10

High Value Restaurant

1.73 % + $0.10

2.20 % + $0.10

MasterCard is slightly lowering Interregional POS Consumer interchange rates and expanding its Utilities program to Business Cards. with the addition of Interchange categories for Business Utilities, Business World Utilities, and Business World Elite Utilities.

Visa

Visa will assess an International Acquirer fee (IAF) to U.S. Acquirers. Impact is expected to be limited. Only Visa International transactions will be assessed the 0.45% IAF fee. 

Visa announced the implementation of fees for transactions that do not match authorization items to settlement items. 

  • The Misuse of Authorization System fee - There will be a fee assessed for transactions in which an approval authorization is obtained, but there is no matching settled transaction or authorization reversal.

{A merchant obtains an approval code and doesn't use it, Visa will assess a $0.045 per occurrence.  This fee will be effective October 2009.}

The Misuse of Authorization System fee only refers to authorizations that do not have corresponding settled transactions.  Merchants may process an Auth Only with the forced transaction processed a few days later (the original authorization is subsequently used).  Note: The auth amounts and settled amounts do not have to match. 

Misuse of Authorization fees are assessed on approved or partially-approved authorization transactions that cannot be matched to a clearing (settled) transaction or an authorization reversal.  Clearing must occur within 10 days of authorization for all merchant categories, with the exception of T&E segments, which must clear transactions within 20 days of authorization, regardless of the transaction date. Visa implemented this penalty fee to reduce the occurrence of "ghost authorizations" (authorizations that are approved but never cleared), as these can adversely impact a cardholder's open-to-buy, leading to increased declines and confusion at the point of sale. To clarify, authorization reversals will only occur for a cancelled sale, or a timeout.  An authorization reversal cannot be manually processed by the merchant.

Visa Operating Regulations allow for $1 status check transactions for automated fuel dispenser and select lodging merchants, but other merchants must utilize the $0 account verification message.

  • Zero Floor Limit Fee There will be a fee assessed for transactions in which a settled transaction can not be matched to an approved authorization.

{A merchant settles a transaction without a valid approval code (makes up an approval code), Visa will assess a $0.10 per occurrence.  This fee will be effective October 2009.}

Visa has made a modification to the Account Verification Service (AVS) fee. Visa is now charging $0.025 on AVS only transactions. AVS only transactions are considered Zero Dollar Account Verifications as this type of transaction occurs when no authorization is requested or obtained.

Discover

Discover has introduced a new International Processing Fee and an International Service Fee.

  • The International Processing Fee will be processed on all transactions, including Cash Advance, conducted at a merchant location in a country other than the country that the card was issued in.
  • The International Service Fee will be assessed on transactions conducted at a merchant location in the United States where the issuer of the card is in a country other than the United States. 

Discover has also introduced International Interchange rate categories and made modifications to several categories including increasing Consumer Core, Rewards, Premium Mid and Base and Commercial Base rates by 10 basis points.

Effective in October 2009, merchants in the U.S. and designated U.S. territories that accept the Discover card will be enabled to accept JCB and Diners Club cards under the Discover network.  JCB and Diners Club transactions will be processed at your Discover rate.   

American Express

Effective October 1, 2009 the American Express Monthly Flat Fee will increase to $7.95 per month. Monthly Flat Fee is mandatory (regardless of estimated Charge Volume) for these industries: Internet-Physical Delivery merchants; Mail Order/Telephone Order; Home Based Businesses.

Shazam Debit Network

  • Retail transactions will be billed at 0.75% + $0.19 per transaction which is a decrease from the current rate of 0.75% + $0.20 and there will no longer be a maximum per transaction fee. 
  • Quick Service Restaurant and Small Ticket merchants will be billed at 1.25% + $0.09 per transaction and there will no longer be a maximum per transaction fee. 
  • Petroleum merchants will be billed at 0.75% + $0.17 per transaction and there will no longer be a maximum per transaction fee. 
  • All other fees remain the same.

August 2009

PIN Debit

The debit network NYCE has announced several changes to their debit network pricing effective August 1, 2009. The changed fees are as follows:

  • There will be a new Petroleum category (MCC 5541 and 5542) with a debit rate of 0.85% + $0.20 per transaction with a minimum rate of $0.31 per transaction.
  • Standard (Retail) transactions will now be assessed a minimum rate of $0.31 per transaction.
  • QSR transactions (MCC 5814) will now be assessed a minimum rate of $0.235 per transaction.
  • All remaining fees for NYCE transactions remain the same.

July 2009

Visa

Visa has announced the introduction of the Acquirer Processing Fee (APF) effective July 1, 2009.  The APF, in the amount of $0.0195, will be applied on all Visa branded authorizations and will replace the current VIP variable access fee.  This fee will not apply to Interlink or Plus transactions.

June 2009

Debit

Effective June 1, 2009, there will be a new category for Maestro debit card transactions processed as cross-border.  These transactions will be billed at the rate of 1.40% + $0.025 per transaction. Maestro cross-border transactions are those Maestro transactions in which the cardholder's Maestro card is issued in a country other than the country in which the merchant is located. All other Maestro transactions will remain unchanged.

Effective June 1, 2009, the generic rate for an unidentified debit card transaction will be increased to a rate of 0.75% + $0.19 per transaction with no maximum fee.

In addition, effective as of the same date, ACCEL has announced changes to their debit network pricing.  As a result of these changes, the following new fees will take effect:

  • Retail merchants will now be billed at 0.75% + $0.18 per transaction with a new maximum fee of $0.73.
  • Grocery merchants will now be billed at $0.28 per transaction. 
  • All remaining fees for ACCEL transactions remain the same.

April 2009

Interchange Adjustments

Visa

Visa will modify several Consumer Credit and Signature Preferred Interchange fees. Visa is lowering Card Not Present, Key Entry and E-Commerce Interchange rates as well as lowering Hotel and Car Rental rate categories. Restaurants will be impacted by a 5 basis point increase on Visa Rewards cards. Visa will extend Small Ticket Interchange Rates to Service Stations when the transaction size is $15.00 or less. Visa will modify Interlink Interchange fees including the establishment a unique Interlink interchange category for Automated Fuel Dispenser (AFD) and Service Station transactions.

MasterCard

MasterCard will modify commercial Interchange rates. Some higher, some lower. The goal of these changes are unclear. MasterCard will launch the availability for issuers to enroll Consumer World accounts in the "World High Value" program to qualify for differentiated interchange. As of April 2009, Interchange rates for the new category will mirror those currently used for the Consumer World Elite cards, so there will be no immediate impact of this launch. In an upcoming April 2009 initiative, the MasterCard Acquirer Access fee that is currently in place and being billed at a pass through cost of $0.005 per authorization is being eliminated and replaced with Network Access and Brand Usage (NABU) fee which will be billed at a pass through cost of $0.0185 per item. This MasterCard change will greatly impact merchants with small transaction sales.

Debit

AFFN debit network has announced changes to their debit network pricing structure effective March 2009.

  • Retail transactions will now be billed at 0.65% + $0.155 per transaction with a new maximum fee of $0 .535 per transaction.
  • Major merchants will now be billed at 0.50% + $0.10 per transaction with a new maximum fee of $0.435 per transaction.
  • Grocery merchants will now be billed at $0.205 per transaction.
  • Returns will now be assessed at $0 .035 per transaction.

Interlink has announced an increase to their Retail per transaction rate.  As a result of these changes, Retail merchants will now be charged 0.75% + $0.205 per transaction with no maximum fee. Interlink is also creating a new category for Petroleum Fuel.  These merchants will be charged 0.70% + $0.205 per transaction with a maximum fee of $0.985 per transaction. 

Pulse has announced a rate increase effective April 1, 2009. The changes are as follows:

  • The Switch Fee is increasing from $.07 to $.08 Per Item for all PIN based activity and from $.06 to $.07 for all PINless activity.
  • Retail & Petroleum transactions will now be billed a total of 0.75% + $0.18 per transaction.
  • Grocery merchants will now be billed a total of $0.30 per transaction.
  • Returns will now be billed at $.08 per transaction.
  • PINless Utility will be billed at $0.665 per transaction; all other PINless activity will now be billed 0.80% + $0.16 per transaction with no maximum.

January & February 2009

Update

PIN Debit
Effective February 1, 2009, the following rates apply for STAR debit activity:

  • The STAR PINless debit interchange rate will remain at 0.65% + $0.14, with an updated maximum rate of $1.01 per item.  The associated break-even amount is $133.85. 
  • The STAR Petroleum interchange rate will change to 0.80% + $0.14 per item, with an updated maximum rate of $0.71 per item.  The associated break-even amount is $71.25.

Changes are scheduled  to the pricing  of the NYCE and STAR debit networks .  

NYCE  Effective January 1, 2009

  • The Switch Fee is increasing from $.0375 to $.05 Per Item. This impacts the following pricing categories: 
  • Retail transactions will be billed at 0.75% + $0.20 per transaction and there will no longer be a maximum per transaction fee.
  • Quick Service Restaurant merchants will be billed at 0.55% + $0.115 per transaction with a maximum of $.55 per transaction.
  • Grocery merchants will now be $0.31 per transaction.
  • Returns will now be billed at $.05 per transaction.

STAR  Effective February 1, 2009

  • Petroleum merchants will now be charged .80% + $0.1725 per transaction with a maximum transaction fee of $0.7425.
  • PINless Bill Payer transactions have a new maximum fee of $1.0425 per transaction.

 

Fall 2008

Update

MasterCard
MasterCard has announced changes to Maestro (The MasterCard Debit Network) PIN debit rates effective November 1, 2008.

  • Grocery and Warehouse merchants will be billed $0.28 per transaction.
  • All other retail transactions will continue to be billed at 0.75% + $0.175 per transaction however there will no longer be a maximum per transaction fee.

MasterCard's Maestro PIN debit is eliminating the QSR and Retail Maximum rate categories. MasterCard has also announced that effective April 1, 2009 US PIN Debit POS Interchange rates will apply to the total transaction amount, including cash-back amounts.

Visa

Visa has announced a New Government-to-Government (G2G) Program
Visa's new Government-to-Government (G2G) program will be available as of October 3, 2008. With this program, Visa will implement a new Interchange rate for purchases made at qualifying governmental agencies.

This new program will be limited to government purchases on GSA Purchasing Cards. Visa will implement changes to allow qualifying GSA Purchasing Card transactions, including GSA Purchasing Fleet, from participating government merchants to receive a new GSA G2G fee program rate of 1.65% and 10 cents. As a result of this new program, the existing program GSA Large Ticket interchange rate will be adjusted to 1.20% + $39 and the minimum transaction amount of $5000 for GSA Large Ticket will be removed. There are no requirements to submit Purchasing Card Level 2 or Level 3 data.

Please note that registration is required for the new G2G program. To participate in the Visa Government-to-Government (G2G) Program, the government merchant must register and meet eligibility requirements and transactions must include an MCC (Merchant Category Code) of 9399 or 9402 (Government Services or Government Postal Services).

Visa launches the Visa Tax Payment Program
Visa has announced a new incentive program and Interchange rate for qualified tax payments to take effect October 4th 2008. The Visa Tax Payment Program allows eligible government taxing authorities, or parties acting on their behalf to assess cardholder fees on approved tax types in the card-present, card-not-present and recurring tax payment environments.

The Visa Tax Payment Program allows a fixed convenience fee not to exceed $3.95 for Visa consumer debit products and a variable service fee solution for Visa consumer credit and commercial products. As a reminder, all fees must be clearly disclosed to the cardholder in advance of payment. The service/convenience fee charged for a Visa transaction must not be greater than any fixed or flat fee charged for a transaction with any other payment card. Please note that if a merchant chooses to discontinue accepting Visa Debit due to the $3.95 convenience fee cap, then a Limited Acceptance Registration will be required.

The program also offers an incentive Interchange rate to participants on consumer debit tax payments. To receive the consumer debit tax payment interchange rate, both the tax payment transaction and the convenience fee transaction must be CPS-qualified. Visa is not introducing new interchange rates for credit or commercial tax payments. To receive the most favorable interchange rate, all credit/commercial transactions also must be CPS-qualified. The tax payment and fee transactions must be submitted and processed as two separate transactions.

Registration in the Visa Tax Payment Program is required for all participants. Vantage clients will be automatically enrolled. Tax payment transactions must include an MCC of 9311 (Merchant Category Code). Only federal and state income, federal and state small business, and personal real estate and other property tax payments are eligible for the program. Licenses, fees, registrations and other government payments are not eligible. For clarification of any issue related to eligibility status of a particular merchant, please contact us.

Healthcare Auto-Substantiation
Effective January 1, 2009, the IRS requirement for an IIAS will be extended to include merchants with a pharmacy or drug store merchant category code (MCC). An IIAS is an inventory system that identifies at the point of sale over the counter (OTC) healthcare products that under IRS guidelines are eligible for purchases made with FSA and HRA funds. The eligible medical expenses are totaled and inserted in a designated field in the authorization request message and sent to the card issuer's system. The issuer can then approve the eligible healthcare amount in the purchase, subject to coverage under the cardholder's health plan, such as the type of coverage provided, and whether the cardholder is a covered participant. Merchants of OTC healthcare products have the option of developing their own IIAS, or using a third-party solution.

Discover
Discover Network has announced new pricing to take effect in October and November 2008. They have broken their changes into two distinct effective dates.

Effective October 3, 2008, three new interchange programs will be introduced: Real Estate, Insurance, and Commercial Utilities.

Effective November 1, 2008, pricing changes will take place to some existing programs for both the Discover Core and Rewards product offerings including Retail, Restaurants, Hotel, and Card-Not-Present merchants.

PIN Debit
Credit Union 24 (CU24) and Jeanie debit networks effective October 1, 2008.

CU24

  • Quick Service Restaurant merchants will continue to be billed 1.25% + $0.045 per transaction with a new maximum fee of $0.475 per transaction.
  • Drug store and Pharmacy retailers will be billed 0.75% + $0.145 per transaction with a maximum fee of $0.775.
  • Petroleum merchants will be billed 0.65% + $0.145 per transaction with a maximum fee of $0.525.
  • Grocery merchants will be billed $0.23 per transaction.
  • All other retail transactions will be billed 0.75% + $0.145 per transaction with a maximum fee of $0.775.

Jeanie

  • Quick Service Restaurant merchants will be billed 1.25% + $0.07 per transaction and a maximum fee of $0.54 per transaction will now apply.
  • Grocery and Warehouse merchants will be billed $0.29 per transaction.
  • All other retail transactions will continue to be billed at 0.75% + $0.20 per transaction with a new maximum fee of $0.75 per transaction.

July 2008

Update

Visa's fuel transaction qualification and maximum Interchange enhancements where announced in the Visa Business Enhancements News dated June 27, 2008.  Visa is changing the maximum allowed transaction amount for the CPS/Automated Fuel Dispenser (AFD) Interchange program for consumer credit and debit transactions from $75.00 to $125.00.  Visa is also implementing a new maximum Interchange amount of $0.95 for debit fuel transactions from MCCs 5541 and 5542 that qualify for the EIRF, CPS/AFD, or CPS/Retail Service Station interchange programs.

May 2008

Update

Effective May 1, 2008, the Pulse Debit Network will implement several changes to its pricing structure including the addition of a new Network Security Fee of 0.01% and establish a new category for Petroleum merchants.

April 2008

Interchange Overview

Visa and MasterCard have announced Interchange modifications to become effective April 2008.

Visa
Visa is implementing an International Service Assessment (ISA) fee on U.S. acquired transactions when the issuer country is foreign for both international purchase and cash advance transactions except on a U.S. military base, embassy or consulate.

Visa will modify Visa Signature Preferred card Interchange for Card Not Present (CNP), Retail and Corporate Electronic charge types as well are certain credit voucher rates.

Changes to the No Signature Required Program (US issued card transactions less than $25), which provides chargeback protection on eligible transactions for fraudulent transactions in a card present environment, is being expanded to include Supermarket Credit and Debit plus:

  • hardware stores
  • dairy product stores
  • gift, card novelty and souvenir shops
  • variety stores
  • candy, nut and confection stores
  • bakeries
  • book stores

PIN Debit
Visa will implement changes to Interlink Supermarket and Interlink Standard rates.

Effective April 1, 2008, the following debit networks will modify their price structures as follows:

  • Alaska Option will increase their transaction fee to $0.26 per transaction.
  • Jeanie Debit Network will increase retail transactions to $0.20 + 0.75% per transaction, Quick Service Restaurant transactions to $0.17 per transaction, and Supermarket transactions to $0.28 per transaction.

MasterCard
MasterCard is enhancing systems to recognize Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories so transactions between merchants and cardholders will not longer be subject to cross border fees.

In an effort to penetrate growing market segments, MasterCard is introducing new incentive Interchange rates, including Core, Enhanced, World, World Elite and Debit Interchange, to apply to Insurance and Real Estate merchant categories.

To further growth in the Bill Payment market segment, MasterCard is reducing the Interchange rates associated with most consumer credit Utility transactions. Core, Enhanced and World Utilities Interchange will decrease by $0.10 and Debit Utilities will drop by $0.30.

MasterCard is requiring that Vehicle Rental transactions being submitted for Commercial T&E Rate III must include the Rental Rate with their current addendum detail.

MasterCard is requiring that transactions qualifying for Commercial Data Rate II and Commercial Face-to-Face Interchange programs include a non-zero tax amount that is within a range of 1% to 30% of the transaction amount, unless the transaction is presented as 'tax exempt' or as 'tax not collected'. Vantage will populate a 'tax exempt' indictor when tax amount is equal to zero to safe guard against potential downgrades.

Discover
Effective April 4th, Discover is reducing the timeliness for all Prime Submission Level programs by 1 day. Timeliness refers to the number of days from when a transaction is processed until it is submitted through Interchange to Discover (most industries set at 2 days). Your best practice is to settle daily.

Also effective April 4th, Discover is increasing Supermarket rates by +0.05%, decreasing Debit Express Services Interchange by -0.05%, increasing Debit Petroleum by +0.02% and Commercial Electronic by +0.04%.

January & February 2008

Overview

MasterCard
MasterCard has announced increases to their cross border assessment for each transaction acquired in the US for non-US issued cards processed. Effective January 2008, this fee will increase to 0.30% (30 basis points) for transactions settled in U.S. dollars.

Also effective January 1, 2008, MasterCard will increase its Acquirer Program Support Fee which is assessed on International Interchange categories. Merchants accepting International cards may notice a slight increase in the effective costs of Interchange of 0.15% (15 basis points), however, these categories will continue to be price lower than domestic card Interchange.

PIN Debit
Debit networks, Shazam and ACCEL, have announced changes. Effective January 1, 2008, Shazam will add Quick Service Restaurant (QSR), Small Ticket Retailer, Petroleum, Retail Max, QSR Max charge types and increase Retail and Grocery transactions. Effective February 29, 2008, ACCEL debit network will increase their Retail Max, Grocery, QSR and QSR max fees.

 

Fall 2007

Overview

Visa and MasterCard have announced several Interchange, and compliance changes including expansion of existing products, new Interchange programs, rate changes to existing Interchange programs and modifications to qualification logic.

Visa
Visa is expanding its CPS Small Ticket program to include transactions processed from unattended terminals. Visa is also expanding their Utility program to include Business Card transactions. Visa is updating MCC 7841 from Video Tape Rental stores to DVD/Video Rental. Visa will begin to enforce the Card-Level value is included with transactions.

MasterCard
MasterCard is breaking out Level II and Face-to-Face commercial transactions for Business Card, Purchasing Card, Fleet & Petroleum categories. Corporate Standard, Data Rate II and Face-to-Face rates will increase for Commercial, World, World Elite, World Corporate, and World Elite Corporate. Data Rate III Interchange for these categories will decrease.

MasterCard Cross Border Assessment Fee Changes effective January 1, 2008, the cross border transaction assessments are being increased from .10% to .30%. This card type / charge type accommodates transactions where the acquirer settles the transaction using the merchant’s currency code. For US merchants settling in US$, then we expect this to be the impact to your pricing.

Spring 2007

Overview

The following is a recap of the modifications to the Card Association Interchange programs for spring 2007.

Visa
Visa will introduce three additional interchange rates within the commercial card products structure: Business-to-Business (B2B), Retail and Card Not Present (CNP). While all three are within the commercial card rate structure, these rates will vary dependant upon they type of card (Purchasing, Business or Corporate). Interchange qualification for transactions from T&E merchants remains unchanged and T&E merchants are not eligible for any of the new rates; transactions from T&E merchants remain eligible for Commercial Electronic and Commercial Standard rates. Visa is also adjusting existing commercial card rates and introducing Visa Commercial Signature Preferred Interchange. All transactions must comply with applicable qualification and processing requirements.

Business-to-Business: Transactions eligible for the B2B rate must be CPS qualified (not qualifying for Level 2 rates) and be processed by merchants operating in qualified Merchant Category Codes (MCCs). Transactions with the qualifying MCCs can be face-to-face or accepted in a card not present environment. Visa considered many factors when selecting the eligible MCCs including, but not limited to, fostering growth in under-penetrated market segments and providing a lower rate for merchants in these categories as they tend to have higher degrees of commercial spending versus consumer spending. Visa will review MCC eligibility periodically to ensure that the appropriate categories are targeted and aligned with the goals of increasing Visa acceptance and fostering growth in Visa volume. The eligible MCCs are:

780 Landscaping and Horticultural Services
1799 Special Trade Contractors  Not Elsewhere Classified
2741 Miscellaneous Publishing and Printing
2791 Type Setting, Plate Making and Related Services
2842 Specialty Cleaning, Polishing and Sanitation Preparations
4214 Motor Freight Carriers and Trucking  Local & Long Distance, Moving & Storage Companies & Local Delivery Services
5021 Office and Commercial Furniture
5039 Construction Materials  Not Elsewhere Classified
5044 Photographic, Photocopy, Microfilm Equipment and Supplies
5046 Commercial Equipment  Not Elsewhere Classified
5047 Medical, Dental, Ophthalmic and Hospital Equipment & Supplies
5051 Metal Service Centers and Offices
5065 Electrical Parts and Equipment
5074 Plumbing and Heating Equipment and Supplies
5085 Industrial Supplies  Not Elsewhere Classified
5099 Durable Goods  Not Elsewhere Classified
5131 Piece Goods, Notions and Other Dry Goods
5137 Men's, Women's and Children's Uniforms & Commercial Clothing
5139 Commercial Footwear
5169 Chemicals and Allied Products  Not Elsewhere Classified
5192 Books, Periodicals and Newspapers
5193 Florist Supplies, Nursery Stock and Flowers
5198 Paints, Varnishes and Supplies
5199 Non durable Goods  Not Elsewhere Classified
6300 Insurance Sales, Underwriting and Premiums
7311 Advertising Services
7333 Commercial Photography, Art and Graphics
7349 Cleaning, Maintenance and Janitorial Services
7361 Employment Agencies and Temporary Help Services
7372 Computer Programming, Data Processing and Integrated Systems Design Services
7375 Information Retrieval Services
7379 Computer Maintenance, Repair and Services Not Elsewhere Classified
7392 Management, Consulting and Public Relations Services
7399 Business Services  Not Elsewhere Classified
7829 Motion Picture and Video Tape Production and Distribution
8734 Testing Laboratories (Non-Medical Testing)
8931 Accounting, Auditing and Bookkeeping Services
8999 Professional Services  Not Elsewhere Classified

Retail: Transactions eligible for the Retail rate must be CPS qualified (not qualifying for Level 2 rates), from merchants operating in Non-T&E MCCs and occur in a face-to-face swiped card environment.

Card Not Present (CNP): Transactions eligible for the Card Not Present rate must be CPS qualified (not qualifying for Level 2 rates), from merchants operating in non-T&E MCCs and occur in a non face-to-face keyed card environment.

Please note that if transactions eligible for the new B2B, Retail or CNP fail CPS qualification, the best rate they can qualify for is Commercial Electronic. Interchange qualification for transactions from T&E merchants remains unchanged and T&E merchants are not eligible for any of the new rates; transactions from T&E merchants remain eligible for Commercial Electronic and Commercial Standard rates. Visa Purchasing Large Ticket and GSA Large Ticket interchange rates remain unchanged as a result of these enhancements.

Visa Purchasing, Corporate and Business Interchange qualification best to worst:

Visa Purchasing Cards
•  Level 3 (CPS, Level 2, Level 3 data)
•  Level 2 (CPS, Level 2 data)
•  CNP, Retail, B2B (CPS data)
•  Purchasing Electronic (failed CPS)
•  Commercial Standard (exceeds timeliness)

Visa Corporate Cards
•  Level 3 (not eligible)
•  Level 2 (CPS, Level 2 data)
•  CNP, Retail, B2B (CPS data)
•  Corporate Electronic (failed CPS)
•  Commercial Standard (exceeds timeliness)

Visa Business Cards
•  Level 3 (not eligible)
•  Level 2 (CPS, Level 2 data)
•  CNP, Retail, B2B (CPS data)
•  Business Electronic (failed CPS)
•  Commercial Standard (exceeds timeliness)

MasterCard
In addition to pricing changes that will take effect in April 2007 and in June 2007, MasterCard is also introducing additional segmentation of its product suite in both the Consumer and Commercial card arenas.

Core Value and Enhanced Value Interchange
The MasterCard Enhanced Value platform applies to consumer credit cards that meet minimum rewards value requirements for cardholders. Consumer credit cards that do not meet minimum rewards value requirements will be recognized as consumer credit Core Value products and will be eligible to qualify for reduced interchange rates.

Each of the previously existing consumer credit card categories will now have rates associated with both a Core Value and Enhanced Value card. In April 2007, the interchange rates will be identical for these two products with few changes to the current pricing structure. You will also note that both Core Value and Enhanced Value pricing will change in June 2007 for eight of the categories listed. In addition, a Petroleum rate program is being introduced for both segments.

Consumer Credit World Interchange
MasterCard will be modifying interchange in April 2007 for several categories that fall under the Consumer Credit World Interchange programs as well as adding a Petroleum rate program in the Consumer Credit World Interchange Program.

Consumer Credit World Elite Interchange
This category was introduced by MasterCard in October 2006 with a rate structure identical to the existing World MasterCard rates. Effective in April 2007, changes will be made to eleven of the categories and a Petroleum rate program will be added to this segment.

Consumer Debit Interchange
MasterCard has elected to maintain all existing U.S. region Debit MasterCard interchange rate levels. Both of the existing Petroleum rate programs will now also have a maximum fee of $.95 in keeping with the newly introduced Petroleum rate programs in other segments. PIN Debit interchange will also remain unchanged at this time.

Commercial Interchange
MasterCard has also elected to maintain all existing commercial card interchange rates. In order to expand acceptance of Large Ticket transactions, two new Commercial Large Ticket rates will be introduced in April 2007.

In addition to the above mentioned changes to Commercial Interchange, MasterCard is also introducing the following commercial card programs: World MasterCard for Business, Corporate World MasterCard, and World Elite MasterCard for Business and MasterCard Corporate World Elite. Corporate World and Corporate World Elite rate programs will mirror Commercial Card rates but Business World and Business World Elite will have a separate rate structure.

Taxi and Petroleum Interchange
Also effective in April 2007, MasterCard is adding MCC 4121 (Limousines and Taxicabs) to the Consumer Credit Core Value, Enhanced Value, World and World Elite Convenience Purchases interchange rate programs for transactions that are less than or equal to $25.00.

MCC 5541 (Service Stations with or without ancillary services) and MCC 5542 (Fuel Dispenser, Automated) are being removed from the Consumer Credit, World and World Elite Convenience Purchases and Merit 3 interchange purchases but can now qualify for the new Consumer Credit Core Value, Enhanced Value, World and World Elite Petroleum interchange rates.

Please contact your Relationship Manager if you have any questions regarding these updates.

 

Fall 2006

Overview

MasterCard and Visa have announced several changes that will go into effect on October 13th, 2006. While most of these changes will not impact our merchants directly, they include new interchange programs and updates to existing interchange programs.

Visa
Visa recently announced that they would provide access to Interchange rates for merchants. Visa Interchange rates are now publicly available on their web site at www.visa.com/merchant. As discussed on this site, Interchange is a major component of your discount rate pricing.

MasterCard
MasterCard has defined a Zero Interchange Program under MasterCard's Business Service Arrangement. We would anticipate the need to use the zero interchange logic in the event of an exceptional circumstance that would warrant an immediate adjustment to merchant level fees, such as a natural disaster. To support this program, we will be adding a Zero Interchange Program Flag and will house a Zero Interchange Start Date and a Zero Interchange End Date. These dates will define the period of time for which interchange fees would not be applied to the eligible merchant.

MasterCard will be implementing Interchange fee programs and rates to support the launch of their new World Elite MasterCard program, which offers affluent cardholders enhanced services and rewards. While Interchange rates on the new World Elite programs currently mirror the existing MasterCard World Card programs.

MasterCard is introducing three new Interchange programs specifically for Utility merchants: Consumer Credit, World Utilities and World Elite Utilities. Eligible merchants must register with MasterCard to participate in this program. Transactions that meet qualification requirements will be assessed at a reduced Interchange fee.

MasterCard is changing how they recognize Puerto Rico, specifically when assigning the Cross-Border fee (established in April 2006). Puerto Rico is currently recognized as part of the U.S. region. Effective October, 2006, MasterCard will recognize Puerto Rico as part of the Latin America and Caribbean region. This change affects U.S. merchants accepting Puerto Rico-issued MasterCard credit cards.

MasterCard will require that U.S. merchants processing mail order / telephone order or recurring billing transaction include a customer service telephone number.

MasterCard is expanding its Small Ticket Interchange program to include seven additional merchant categories: Bus Lines, Tolls & Bridge Fees, News Stands, Laundries, Dry Cleaners, Quick Copy / Reproduction Services and Car Washes. This update will align the MasterCard Small Ticket program eligibility with Visa's Small Ticket program.

Spring 2006

Overview

Visa
Visa is making several modifications to Small Ticket programs. The changes include expansion of MCCs eligible for Visa CPS Small Ticket Interchange rates, reduction on the CPS Small Ticket Debit Interchange rate and introduction of a No Signature Required program.

Visa is extending the existing CPS small Ticket Interchange, also known as Small Ticket Payment Service, to seven additional merchant category codes (MCCs). New additional eligible MCCs include Bus Lines, Tolls & Bridge Fees, Newsstands, Laundries, Dry Cleaners, Quick Copy & Reproduction Service and Car Washes. Transaction qualification criteria have not been modified and requirements to meet the category are the same as today (current eligible MCCs include Local Commuter Transport, Taxicabs & Limousines, Restaurants, Fast Food, Auto Parking Lots & Garages, Motion Picture Theaters and Video Tape Rental Stores.

Visa is introducing a new Visa No Signature Required program, which eliminates the signature requirement on qualified transactions under $25 to seventeen merchant categories. The program applies to face-to-face, swiped transactions and intends to provide protections from No Signature chargebacks on consumer and commercial cards. No specific Interchange rate category is associated with the program and registration is not required. Eligible MCCs include all 14 small ticket MCCs listed above plus Misc Food Stores, Service Stations and Drug Stores & Pharmacies.

Visa has announced modifications to the Commercial Card Interchange structure. Those changes include an increase to Business and Purchasing Level II Interchange rate; additional eligible MCCs for Visa's Purchasing Large Ticket Interchange rate and changes to Level II and Level III qualification requirements.

Visa is separating the Commercial Product Level II rate into two categories. Business Card and Purchasing Card will increase while Corporate Card will remain the same. Large Ticket Interchange program will now include all non-travel services MCCs. The Interchange rate and registration requirements remain the same.

Visa tax exempt transactions will no longer be able to qualify for Level II Interchange. There is a concern that Level 2 merchants may not have been trained properly to enter tax amount.  A qualifying Level 2 transaction should pass AVS, invoice/order number, customer code and tax amount.  Previously a transaction would qualify as Level 2 if $0 was entered for the tax amount; however, tax exempt transactions will no longer qualify for Level 2.  Transactions containing a $0 tax amount will qualify as Visa Commercial Electronic, which is a downgrade resulting in a surcharge. Please make sure enter a correct tax amount (between 0.1% and 22% of the base amount) in order to qualify for the best rate. 

Level III qualification requirements will also be modified. Visa will expand the minimum Level III requirements to include additional data for Level III. Currently all of our Level 3 merchants use 3DSI to process their credit cards.  3DSI is aware of Visa's requirements for Level 3 transactions and is currently reviewing the documentation to determine if any action or modification needs to be made to the 3DSI products. If any action or modification will be necessary, 3DSI will make sure to expedite this to accommodate the April due date.

MasterCard
MasterCard has announced changes effective April, 2006. Rate changes to MasterCard Consumer Credit & World MasterCard including Merit III, Supermarket, Warehouse and Standard plus changes to Small Ticket Debit Interchange. New MCCs that can qualify for Small Ticket Debit Interchange include Bus Lines, Tolls, Bridge and Road fees, News Dealers and Newsstands, Laundry Services, Dry Cleaners, Quick Copy and Care Washes. MasterCard will increase rates on MasterCard Face-to-Face and Corporate Data Rate II.

MasterCard has also announced the addition of the MasterCard Cross-Border Assessment Fee to be billed on any transaction in which the country code of the merchant differs from the country code of the cardholder. An example of Cross-Border would be a U.S. merchant who is processing a foreign card. The assessment fee will change depending on using local currency or currency other than that of the merchants location. US merchants settling in US currency will incur a 10 basis point assessment from MasterCard when accepting a foreign card/currency.

We will keep you posted with additional information as it becomes available.

 

Fall 2005

Overview

Effective October 2005

Visa will allow credit card issuers to move consumers between different card products, including rewards programs, at the card level, without the need to issue a new card. This is part of Visa's effort to eliminate the need for Issuers to re-issue a new card number whenever a cardholder is approved for a new card product. Visa will implement processing that will allow Issuers the flexibility to define product attributes at the card level, for each transaction. This enhancement also prevents the need for cardholders and merchants to make changes to a recurring payment account number when the cardholder is approved for a new card product, and is currently limited to U.S. Consumer Credit programs, and applies to Visa Traditional and Visa Traditional Rewards products.

To support this enhancement, Visa has redefined the last position of the Authorization Code using the following values:

A= Visa Traditional
B= Visa Traditional Rewards
C= Visa Signature
D= Visa Infinite

Client Impact
Clients should be aware of these new processing rules involving the identification of the card product for Interchange qualification purposes as this will potentially increase the costs to merchants to process credit card transactions. It may be difficult to predict the impact of these changes on your business, because the price you will pay depends in large part on the types of cards your customers use when they pay you.

The Bottom Line
If you currently have a tiered rate structure with a qualified, mid-qualified and non-qualified bucket pricing, then you will find that many of the transactions that once were consider qualified will move to the mid or non qualified rate bucket. Traditionally, most merchants only paid attention to the qualified rate, so providers have build huge margins into their mid and non-qualified pricing. Merchants today must pay even closer attention to MC and Visa downgrades when analyzing statements for savings. Contact Vantage Card Services to speak with one of our payment consultants who can help you evaluate the impact this latest round of card association Interchange changes.

Additional savings analysis should be considered if on your current rate structure you pay the same rate for both MasterCard and Visa. MasterCard will increase the base rate for retail swipe card transactions by 0.09%. Visa’s base retail rate will remain unchanged. If you currently pay the same rate for both MasterCard and Visa transactions, you will want to consider changing to a custom price structure.

Spring 2005

Overview

MasterCard and Visa are competing card associations and have different Interchange pricing and qualification schedules. Effective April 1, 2005, both organizations will institute changes to their Interchange programs. MasterCard and Visa Interchange is the single largest component of your merchant discount rate pricing. All banks and merchant processing companies operate from the exact same Interchange, Dues and Assessment costs. Card Association Interchange is the fee paid by the merchant to the cardholder's issuing bank for processing a transaction through the system. Interchange is priced at the transaction level and depends on the combination of your industry category code, the method by which you accept the card, the card product you accept and sometimes even varies by transaction size. You will likely have card transactions throughout any given day all qualifying at different Interchange levels.

Rewards Card Interchange Rate Categories
In April 2005, both Visa and MasterCard established new Rewards Card Interchange rate categories. World MasterCard is an elite program that provides card members with premiere services and benefits including a dollar-for-dollar rewards program and an unlimited spending limit. Visa has two card programs:

Visa Traditional Rewards – Consumer CREDIT card programs that meet the minimum rewards standards (example: point accruals for merchandise, travel, etc). These cards may not have markings for merchants to know they are considered a Traditional Rewards card.

Visa Signature – These cards are clearly marked with the Visa Signature brand mark, have no pre-set spending limit and typically feature more extensive card member rewards and benefits that a Traditional Rewards card.

Both World MasterCard and Visa Rewards & Signature transactions incur a higher Interchange.