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Understanding Interchange and Assessments

Interchange is when the card payment transaction is passed between the merchant and the processor, between us and the payment brands (such as Visa® and MasterCard®), and between the payment brands and the bank that issued the card. A fee is charged on every transaction you process. The fee is paid by the payment processor to the issuing bank through the payment brands. It is charged to cover the cost to issuing banks for offering lines of credit and fraud mitigation.

Interchange fees are determined by the payment brands. The rate that you pay for a transaction varies depending on type of card (debit, credit, rewards card), type of transaction (the card is present, a phone order, an online order) and your average transaction volume. The fee charged is also tied to the level of risk for that transaction; the lower the risk, the lower the rate. So for example, a transaction conducted with a card that is present is a lower risk and fee than a card-not-present transaction.

In addition to interchange fees, the individual payment brands may charge a separate assessment fee, which covers the operating costs of managing their network.

Payment Brands Offer More Information

Understanding interchange rates can be complicated because the payment brands do not have one set rate that applies to every industry or every transaction. Additionally rates are adjusted throughout the year. To learn more about current interchange rates, visit the payment brands’ Web sites:
Discover (Web site not available, please contact Discover at 866.710.3356)