New Visa, MasterCard Fees Stir Debate Within Industry

Visa and MasterCard are courting controversy by adding new fees, specifically a new acquirer licensing fee from MasterCard and a new fixed acquirer network fee (FANF) from Visa.

Visa card-accepting physical retailers will be assessed a FANF for each location, effective April 1, and the fee will increase according to the number of outlets.

The FANF will be assessed according to gross merchant sales volume on Visa cards for card-not-present merchants, merchant aggregators, and most fast food establishments. “Ultimately these changes should provide merchants and acquirers with financial incentive to route transactions to Visa,” says Visa’s Erica Harvill. “The more transactions they route, the lower the cost per transactions,” eventually lowering Visa’s acquiring fees in aggregate.

Harvill says Visa is taking this action in response to the Durbin Amendment’s reduction of interchange fees, which encouraged card competition by requiring that merchants be offered a choice of where to route transactions.

The DS Online MLS Forum community has responded to Visa’s changes with alarm. Forum member AMSPROCESSING notes that both a $2 monthly fee and a sliding scale monthly fee will be exacted from retailers who process both card-present and card-not-present transactions.

Ed Quinton is a certified merchant account instructor and assists history of credit cards companies.