Interchange Fees

Interchange fees are fees payable to the card issuer (cardholder's bank) by the acquirer and the scheme fees payable to Visa and MasterCard or any other operators of card schemes, such as American Express, etc.

In respect of Interchange fees payable to the card issuer:

  • for credit cards, the fee is generally a small percentage of the value of the transaction; whereas,
  • for debit cards, it is usually a small, flat fee.

Interchange fee levels also vary depending on the type of card, its associated risk, and the country where the transaction takes place.

It is argued that interchange fees lower overall costs by helping banks to share the costs of issuing cards and signing up retailers to accept cards.