Myths and Facts

In: Business and Management

Submitted By asphamartin
Words 1760
Pages 8
Interchange

Myths and Facts
Myth: Interchange fees are a “hidden tax” on consumers. FACT: Interchange fees are neither hidden nor a tax, and are not paid by consumers. An interchange fee is a small fee paid by a merchant’s acquiring bank to a cardholder’s issuing bank as part of an electronic payment card transaction. Interchange facilitates the global electronic payments system and serves as a critical tool to balance the benefits and costs of that system among its participants. This fee allows merchants to enjoy all the benefits they seek from card acceptance, including security, guaranteed payment, fraud protection and speed of service. Each merchant is able to negotiate its own card acceptance costs with its acquiring bank, and similarly, the merchant’s bank and card-issuing bank are also able to bilaterally negotiate their fees. To overcome the inefficiency of thousands of separate negotiations, however, MasterCard sets “default” interchange rates that may be used in the absence of separately negotiated arrangements. MasterCard publicly discloses all of its interchange rates on its website, and merchants are free to disclose these fees to their customers. For further information, please visit www.mastercardmerchant.com. Myth: Reducing and capping interchange will benefit consumers, so enacting the Durbin Amendment is a positive development. FACT: For more than four decades, interchange has been set to balance the costs, risks and rewards of electronic payments for cardholders, merchants and issuing banks. Even prior to the price caps enacted by the Durbin Amendment’s implementation, consumers saw the unintended negative impact as banks anticipated regulations by limiting cardholder benefits and raising fees. Since October 1, not only are consumers already paying more to own and use a debit card, but data suggests merchants will not pass on any savings at the…...

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