Interchange Rates are Changing: Now is the Time to Consider a Convenience Fee Solution

As a function of Visa’s forthcoming changes, card-not-present interchange rates will be increased, meaning that transactions made online or over the phone will incur greater fees. For those in the Accounts Receivable Management (ARM) sector who take payments online or over the phone, these upcoming fee increases mean now is the best time to implement a convenience fee model, in order to avoid increased costs to your business. As the only fully-compliant solution in the ARM industry, Payscout’s convenience fee model can help businesses offset these fees while ensuring full compliance. To learn more about how to better prepare your business to take advantage of these upcoming changes, contact sales@payscout.com.

Debit and Credit cards

July 2020 Interchange Updates (Previously April 2020)

Visa has recently announced upcoming changes to their U.S. interchange rates, aimed at better reflecting the value and usage of its products. These changes were previously scheduled for April 2020, but have since been modified to come into effect in July 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Interchange fees are the fees that are charged whenever a debit or credit card transaction is made, and typics made, wo components: a percentage fee based on the transaction volume (e.g. 1.65%), as well as a flat fee per transaction (e.g. $0.30). These rates vary depending on multiple factors such as the payment method, transaction amount, and business sector. 

Below are the upcoming changes that will come into effect in July 2020.

Downgrade Interchange

Electronic downgrade interchange rates for transactions that fail to qualify for Custom Payment Service (CPS) rates will be eliminated. CPS is a Visa program with requirements for credit and debit transactions, which if met, can result in interchange rates being lowered to the best available rates in the system. 

Currently, transactions which do not qualify for CPS rates are downgraded to Electronic or Standard interchange rates. Under the new changes, the interchange name for downgrade transactions will be renamed to “Non-Qualified”. The interchange rate for Non-Qualified transactions will be increased to 3.15% + $0.10 for consumer credit transactions and 3.15% + $0.20 for small business credit transactions.

Consumer Credit Merchant Segment Incentive Interchange

The Business-to-Business interchange rate on Small Business products will be eliminated as of July 2020. Several other changes will be implemented in October 2020 (to be confirmed), which are detailed later on in this article.

Supermarket Credit

A new Performance Threshold (“Supermarket Performance Threshold 0”) will be added to the top of the existing tiered Supermarket Credit criteria. This new threshold will have a transaction minimum of 350 million transactions, and a volume minimum of $17.5 billion. Additionally, the Supermarket Credit performance thresholds will be extended to Visa Signature and Signature Preferred transactions, and the existing performance threshold interchange rates will be modified. 

Commercial Level 2 Fuel Interchange

Commercial Level 2 Fuel Interchange rates will be increased from 2.05% + $0.10 to 2.20% + $0.10. This interchange rate will apply to all purchasing and corporate cards, and the following Merchant Category Codes (MCC’s): 

  • 4468 (Marinas, Marine Service and Supplies)
  • 5499 (Miscellaneous Food Stores- Convenience Stores and Specialty Markets)
  • 5541 (Service Stations (with or without Ancillary Services)
  • 5542 (Automated Fuel Dispensers)
  • 5983 (Fuel Dealers- Fuel Oil, Wood, Coal and Liquefied Petroleum)

Small Business Tier 5 Spend Qualification

A new spend qualification tier (“Tier 5”) for Small Business Products will be introduced. The new Tier 5 interchange rates will require an annual spending of $250,000 or greater. 

Small Business Interchange

Interchange rates and category names from the Small Business Platform will be modified. The interchange category for Travel Service MCCs will be renamed from Business Electronic to “Business Travel”. Additionally, card-not-present programs will be renamed as “Product 1”, and card present programs will be renamed as “Product 2”. For example, the Business Card-Not-Present program will be renamed as Business Product 1, and Business Retail will be renamed as Business Product 2.

October 2020 Interchange Changes

Furthermore, Visa has an additional series of upcoming changes coming into effect on 17 October 2020. Below are the key changes that will be taking place. 

Consumer Credit Merchant Segment Incentive 

Effective 17 October 2020, the Retail 2 Program will be eliminated, and new interchange rates for Insurance, Services, Education, Healthcare, Real Estate, and Advertising will be introduced. In addition, the Services interchange rates will feature a minimum ticket size qualification, meaning that the incentive interchange rate is only available for transactions of $100 or greater. The ticket size qualification for Education, Healthcare, and Real Estate transactions will be for transactions of $500 or greater

The new ticket size qualifications that are being introduced are designed to benefit higher ticket transactions from these sectors. As a provider specialized in the Education, Healthcare, and Retail sectors, Payscout can help you take advantage of these upcoming interchange rate changes. 

Consumer CNP Interchange

The interchange rate name for CPS-qualified card-not-present transactions will also be modified to “Product 1”. Additionally, card-not-present interchange rates will be increased, meaning that transactions made online or over the phone will incur greater fees. 

For those in the Accounts Receivable Management (ARM) sector who take payments online or over the phone, these upcoming fee increases mean that now is the best time to implement a convenience fee model, in order to avoid increased costs to your business. As the only fully-compliant solution in the ARM industry, Payscout’s convenience fee model can help businesses offset these fees while ensuring full compliance.

To learn more about how to better prepare your business to take advantage of these upcoming changes, contact sales@payscout.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *