April 2009 interchange updates for Visa and MasterCard

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. 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 authorization. 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.