Interchange Fees

Interchange Fees are the largest component of the costs to accept credit card payments and are set by the payment card brands. These fees are the wholesale merchant account rates for the various types of credit card transactions. There are hundreds of interchange rates, which vary based on payment card brand, payment card type (credit, debit, specialty), merchant category code, amount of transaction being processed, and the amount of data being passed through as the payment is processed. The schedule of Interchange Fees is published twice yearly in April and October.

How are Interchange rates and fees set?

Interchange Rates are priced at the transaction level and vary based on:

  • Payment card brand (MasterCard, Visa, Discover)
  • Payment card type (debit, credit, rewards, signature, business, corporate, purchasing, international)
  • Industry category (by merchant category code)
  • Method of acceptance (swiped, keyed)
  • Transaction amount
  • Registration requirements (special program incentives for meeting certain criteria)
  • Qualification edits (amount of card data submitted, data matching)
  • Federal Reserve regulations

What are Dues, Assessments & Access fees?

These rates and transaction fees are paid to the card company brands like MasterCard, Visa and Discover.

The money they earn from these fees is reflected in the stock price of these publicly traded companies whose responsibilities include card branding campaigns; R&D into new payment services and payment security; governance of the rules and regulations between card issuing and merchant acquiring banks; and growth and maintenance of their payment technologies and networks.

Dues, assessments and access fees are priced the same for all bank processors and service providers.