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Interchange Cost Plus

Simple, predictable and transparent pricing.
Retail - cost + .15% and .08¢ per transaction
Restaurant - cost + .05% and .05¢ per transaction
Online - cost + .25% and .10¢ per transaction
24/7 Live U.S. Support
Free Next Day Funding
No Set Up Fees
No Long Term Contracts

WHAT ARE CREDIT CARD INTERCHANGE FEES? THE DEFINITION

Credit card interchange fees are fees paid to card-issuing banks whenever a customer makes a purchase with their credit/debit card. Interchange fees cover the risk of fraud for a transaction, plus handling costs for sending the payment to the acquiring bank and, ultimately, the merchant’s bank account.

WHAT’S THE AVERAGE INTERCHANGE FEE?

The average credit card interchange fee varies among the different card brands that most consumers use. Average interchange rates for the four most common brands are as follows:

  • Mastercard: 1.45% to 2.90%

  • Visa: 1.30% to 2.60%

  • American Express: 1.80% to 3.25%

  • Discover: 1.55% to 2.45%

Note that these figures reflect the average of all possible interchange rates, not the actual averages that you’ll see in your business. You’ll have to analyze your actual interchange costs over time for a more accurate estimate. Your ability to break out your interchange costs will also depend on the type of processing rate plan you’re using.

CHANGES TO INTERCHANGE FEES IN 2023

Visa and Mastercard typically update their interchange fee schedules twice each year, in April and October. These fee schedule updates usually involve raising some rates while lowering others. In 2022, both Visa and Mastercard announced a new rate schedule in April after delaying making any changes to their fee schedules for nearly two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new fee schedules were controversial, as they brought significant increases to some fees for card-not-present transactions. These changes resulted from a massive uptick in online fraud during the pandemic when eCommerce activity soared to record levels. Coming at a time when rampant inflation had reappeared for the first time in forty years, these price increases were not well-received by the business community.

Nonetheless, merchants can still avoid the worst of the rate increases by implementing credit card tokenization and encouraging the use of digital wallets. Note that using tokenization requires a payment gateway, regardless of whether the transaction occurs online or through a POS system.

2023 has brought only minor adjustments to the interchange fee schedules.

In fact, Visa is still using its 2022 schedule for the time being. The most significant change is that Visa has now capped credit card surcharges to a maximum of 3%, down from the previous 4% limit. Under this new rule, it’s a little less likely that merchants will be able to recover their full credit card processing costs through surcharging.

HOW TO USE INTERCHANGE RATES TO GET THE BEST RATES ON CREDIT CARD PROCESSING

By now, we hope you have a clearer idea of what interchange fees are and how they affect your processing costs. While interchange fees are an inevitable cost of doing business, there are a few things you can do to mitigate those costs. Here are some strategies to consider that can save you money on interchange fees:

  • Switch to an interchange-plus or membership pricing plan: Interchange-plus pricing plans clearly break out your processor’s markup fees and the interchange fees. They also offer some of the lowest processing rates you’ll find anywhere. Note that while interchange-plus pricing is available from most merchant account providers, there are only a few that offer membership pricing plans.

  • Use a PIN pad for card-present transactions: PIN debit transactions have significantly lower interchange fees than credit cards, but you’ll need to have the customer enter their PIN to qualify for those rates. If your current processing hardware doesn’t include a PIN pad, you’ll want to buy a model that’s compatible with your credit card terminal. The savings in interchange fees will easily pay for the cost of the additional device.

  • Implement tokenization on your processing platform: As we’ve discussed above, there’s no reason not to use tokenization at this point. As long as you have a payment gateway, you should be able to activate this feature without any additional cost.

  • Implement a surcharging or cash discounting program: With the high cost of interchange fees, many providers are now offering surcharging programs, which promise to save you money by shifting the cost of credit card processing onto your customers. Surcharging is only allowed if your customer pays with a credit card, and carries the risk of lower sales if your customers object to the extra charge. As a more consumer-friendly alternative, we recommend cash discounting, in which the processing costs are built into your advertised prices. Customers who use a credit card pay full price, but those using a debit card or other payment method get a discount at checkout.

Despite the expense and headaches of maintaining a merchant account, the bottom line is that you’ll almost certainly make more money from increased sales by accepting cards than you’ll pay out in interchange fees. This will also hold true if you sign up with a top-notch merchant services provider that won’t charge you excessive processing rates and fees.

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Why Choose Diversified Payments?

Industry Low Rates

One of the biggest concerns that merchants have when choosing a payment processing company is pricing. Nobody likes hidden fees or surprise charges, which is why Diversified Payments has a pricing structure that is transparent and easy to understand.

When you work with Diversified Payments, you'll know exactly what you're paying for. We offer simple and straightforward pricing, with no hidden fees or charges.

A Wide Range Of Payment Processing Options

Our payment processing options include traditional point-of-sale terminals, mobile payments, online payments, and virtual terminals, which allows you to accept payments through your computer or smartphone. With these options, you can choose the ones that work best for your business, giving you greater flexibility and control.

In addition, we provide several payment methods, such as debit and credit cards, ACH transfers, and e-checks, enabling you to give your customers a choice of payment methods, which can improve their experience and satisfaction.

Unparalleled Support

At Diversified Payments, we understand the importance of providing exceptional customer service and support to our merchants. We know that payment processing can sometimes be complex, which is why we have a team of experts who are always ready to help you out.

Our customer service team is available 24/7 to assist you with any issues or questions you may have.

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