Audit Advantage auditors have seen the disturbing trend of credit card processors ‘padding’ legitimate fees on your credit card processing statements. This article will cover the top 3 areas that processors will disguise additional profit that you may be unaware of.
As most merchants know, your credit card processing fees are a combination of pass-through fees (aka Interchange and Brand Fees) plus processor markup. The combination of these fees are the total processing fees you pay at the end of the month.
If you have and Interchange pass-through (i.e. Cost Plus) program, you probably see dozens of line items that are identified as “Interchange” or “Service” charges. Most merchants don’t know the true cost of these fees, and processors are quick to profit at your expense. These are the top 3 fees that processors typically inflate:
- Assessments: these are legitimate pass-through fees that are paid directly to the card brands (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express). These fees are consistent for all merchants and they should be passed through at cost. Here are the correct values that should appear on your statement.
- Visa Debit Assessments: 0.13% of Visa Debit volume
- Visa Credit Assessments: 0.14% of Visa Credit volume
- MasterCard Brand Volume Assessments: 0.13% of Mastercard volume
- MasterCard Brand Volume Assessments for transactions > $1,000: 0.14% of Mastercard transactions greater than $1,000
- Discover Assessments: 0.13% of Discover volume
- American Express Sponsorship Assessments: 0.15% of American Express volume
- Visa Acquirer Processing Fees (APF): The Acquirer Processing Fee applies to all U.S.-based credit card authorizations acquired in the U.S. regardless of where the issuer/cardholder is located. If your business is based in the U.S., the acquirer processing fee will apply to all Visa credit card authorizations.
- Visa APF Credit: $0.0195 on all Visa credit authorizations
- Visa APF Debit: $0.0155 on all Visa debit authorizations
- MasterCard Network Access Brand Usage Fee (NABU): This fee is assessed on each MasterCard authorization record for U.S. merchants for U.S. cardholders.
- MasterCard NABU Fee: $0.0195 on all MasterCard authorizations
Audit Advantage analysts will scrutinize these fees, and every other fee, on your credit card processing statement; saving you money. To learn how Audit Advantage can help, please contact us immediately.
Director of Audit Advantage