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Table of Contents

Lead Story

Legislative outlook:
Some clouds but no rain

Patti Murphy
The Takoma Group


Industry Update

New fees, more money for Visa, MasterCard

RBS, Heartland PCI compliance revoked: What's next?

A token of payments to come

Raising the ACH bar

Virtucard for virtual goods


Bill Pirtle

Breaches across America
installment two

Selling Prepaid

Prepaid in brief

Boom time for prepaid game card market

Global payroll done with SaaS

The state of escheatment


Be the toast of hosts

Scott Henry

Sluggish economy spurs faster payments

Nasreen Quibria
Association for Financial Professionals

Mobile payments? Not yet

Biff Matthews
CardWare International


Street SmartsSM:
Who are you?

Jon Perry and Vanessa Lang

Pull back the expense curtain

Jeff Fortney
Clearent LLC

Downshifting to rev up sales

Christian Murray
Global eTelecom Inc.

PCI versus tricky technology

Michael Wright
Panoptic Security Inc.

Five magical questions in making sales

Daniel Wadleigh
Marketing Consultant

Company Profile

UseMyBank Services Inc.

Data Delivery Services Inc.

New Products

Instant mobile processing

MerchantWare Mobile
Company: Merchant Warehouse

A most literate check reader

Company: Parascript LLC


See it, believe it



Resource Guide


A Bigger Thing

The Green Sheet Online Edition

April 13, 2009  •  Issue 09:04:01

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New fees, more money for Visa, MasterCard

MasterCard Worldwide and Visa Inc. are revising fee schedules, upping the ante for merchant acquirers. MasterCard recently unveiled a new Network Access and Brand Usage (NABU) fee of $0.0185 per transaction to be assessed acquirers beginning in April 2009. Visa will levy a new U.S. Acquirer Processing Fee (APF) of $0.0195 per transaction three months later.

Unlike interchange, which benefits bankcard issuers, these new fees will flow directly to MasterCard and Visa. It's a move that should pay off handsomely for the two companies' shareholders. Adil Moussa, a Senior Analyst with Aite Group, estimates MasterCard, alone, will boost per-transaction revenues by more than 300 percent, from $42 million to $152 million in one year.

"This is a direct result of MasterCard and Visa going public," Moussa said, adding that he expects more new fees in future years. "They have to make their shareholders happy."

In the details

The NABU fee of $0.0185 will be billed by MasterCard for "each acquired financial detail" record, according to ISOs and merchant level salespeople (MLSs) who have received notice of the fees.

The fee is based solely on clearing records; it does not apply to authorizations that don't get settled, addendums, manual cash advances, chargebacks, reversals and other special situation categories. It takes the place of the Acquirer Access Fee MasterCard has been billing as a pass-through cost of $0.005 per authorization.

Only transactions involving both U.S. merchants and U.S. cardholders are subject to the new MasterCard fee.

Meanwhile, Visa will begin assessing its APF of $0.0195 on July 1. It will be assessed per authorization acquired in the United States, regardless of where the issuers or cardholders are based. Also covered are Visa POS Check and Visa ReadyLink authorizations. The APF does not apply to Zero Verification Messages or Authorization Reversals.

Visa also said it will eliminate the VIP Variable Access Fee now imposed on all Visa transactions, according to those who have received notice of the plan.

On the merchants

Both MasterCard and Visa also revealed new interchange rates. A document detailing MasterCard's fee schedule, available on its Web site (, takes up 115 pages.

Visa interchange adjustments include extending the Small Ticket Interchange Rate to Service Stations for transactions of $15.00 or less. More information is on Visa's Web site,

MLSs and merchant representatives The Green Sheet spoke with said they expect MasterCard's and Visa's new fees will ultimately hit merchants hard.

Jennifer Hatcher, Group Vice President for Government Relations with the Food Marketing Institute, said preliminary estimates indicate the two new charges, combined, could raise a supermarket's operating costs by as much as $3,000 per store per year. "It would take $300,000 in grocery sales just to pay that fee increase for one year," she claimed.

We solicited comments about the new MasterCard fee on GS Online's MLS Forum and found few agents eager to pass on new fees to clients. "It is starting to look like the card companies think the merchants are a bottomless well to draw from," read a comment from The Dustman.

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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