MasterCard adds a Network Access and Brand Usage Fee

Effective April 17, 2009, MasterCard will assess a Network Access and Brand Usage Fee (NABU) of $.0185 for all U.S. issued transactions settled with MasterCard.

These costs are certain to be passed along to all merchants.  All merchant agreements include language to pass along costs to merchants from Visa, MasterCard, and more recently, Discover.

Merchants will likely see these costs in their June statements. If you are on “pass through interchange” pricing, the costs will be a line item, without mark up. If you are any other type of price plan, the costs may be hidden within other costs, or they may be a separate line item, depending on your overall price plan.  The costs may be passed through as is, or part of a broader cost increase for your fees.

The MasterCard NABU fee comes at the same time of annual Visa and MasterCard interchange updates, and therefore will be included with other fee changes customers will experience in their May or June merchant statements.