Insights

April 2024: Card Brand Updates

 

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It’s that time again – every April and October major credit card brands like Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and AmEx unveil updates to their interchange fee structures and programs. Understanding these changes is crucial for merchants, but we recognize that navigating through these reports can be daunting.

That’s why we’ve taken the initiative to thoroughly review these updates and highlight the key changes that will impact merchants the most. 

VISA  

Modifications to Consumer Credit Interchange Rates CANCELED
Visa initially announced that the would modify the rates to their Product 1, Healthcare, Education, Real Estate and Services Consumer Credit Programs. However, these changes were canceled due to the recent Visa and Mastercard Interchange Settlement agreement.

Visa Commercial Solutions fee 
Visa will introduce a new commercial solutions fee of 0.01%, applicable to all transactions conducted with commercial cards, whether card-present or card-not-present. The commercial card volume includes business, corporate, and purchasing credit, debit and prepaid.

Visa Partial Authorization
As of April 13,2024, Visa will require the below MCCs to start supporting partial authorizations for debit and prepaid purchase transactions.  Merchants must include a partial auth indicator in their auth request.  Failure to do so will result in a $.01 USD fee to all declined debit or prepaid cards due to NSF.

Taxi Cabs and Limousines
Miscellaneous General Merchandise
Grocery Stores and Supermarkets
Miscellaneous Food Stores – Convenience Stores and Specialty Markets Service Stations (with or without Ancillary Services)
Automated Fuel Dispensers
Electric Vehicle Charging
Eating Places and Restaurants
Fast Food Restaurants
Drug Stores and Pharmacies
Miscellaneous and Specialty Retail Shops

Visa Authorization Validity
Visa will update their authorization validity and clearing time starting April 13, 2024 

CNP (cardholder-initiated) transactions: 10 Calendar Days
Transactions with an estimated authorization indicator for any of the following merchants: Cruise line, Lodging, Vehicle rental: 30 Calendar Days
Transactions with an estimated authorization indicator for any of the following merchants: Aircraft rental, Bicycle rental, including electric scooters, Boat rental, Clothing and costume rental, DVD and video rental, Equipment and tool rental, Furniture rental, Motor home rental, Motorcycle rental, Trailer parks and campgrounds: 10 Calendar Days
All other CP transactions: 5 Calendar Days
All merchant-initiated transactions: 5 Calendar Days

Visa will also introduce the Extended Authorization Service, giving you the option to extend the authorization of card-not-present (CNP) cardholder-initiated transactions for up to 30 days. Visa will charge a 0.08% Extended Authorization Service Fee for an approved CNP cardholder-initiated authorization request. Japan is currently excluded from this service.   

Restrictions on Standing Instruction MITs delayed until July 2025
Visa is delaying plans to restrict standing instruction merchant-initiated transactions (MITs) initiated by tokens to credential-on-file (COF) tokens only. Standing Instruction MITs initiated with Device Tokens provisioned after July 30, 2025 will be declined. Any standing instructions for MITs requested after this date must utilize Card on File tokens. Because COF tokens are delinked from the cardholder device, standing instruction MITs are not disrupted when consumers upgrade their device. However, standing instruction MITs that were initiated with Device Tokens provisioned on or before July 30, 2025 will continue to be honored. Merchants are advised to work with their payment providers or wallet providers to initiate the process toward supporting merchant COF tokens. Please note that Visa uses the device token provisioning date (and not the transaction date) to determine which transactions to restrict post the MIT device token sunset. 

MASTERCARD  

Acquirer Brand Volume Fee Increase
Beginning April 15, 2024, Mastercard will increase their acquire brand volume fee by 0.01%. 

Service Fee  Current Rate  Effective Rate April 15, 2024 
Debit Assessment  0.13%  0.14% 
MC Credit Assessment Fee < $1K  0.13%  0.14% 
MC Credit Assessment Fee >$1K  0.14%  0.15% 

Network Access and Brand Usage Fee Modifications
Presently, Mastercard applies the Network Access and Brand Usage fee solely to U.S. domestic authorizations.

Starting April 15, 2024, Mastercard will adjust their Network Access and Brand Usage (NABU) Fee to encompass non-domestic authorizations and refund/credit transactions within the U.S. region.  

Moreover, Mastercard will extend the NABU fee to cover refund transactions for domestic transactions. 

Digital Enablement Fee Modifications
Mastercard will be adjusting their Digital Enablement Fee for CNP transactions. All CNP transactions will increase from $0.20 to a fixed $0.40 for any transaction equal to or greater than $1000

Mail Order Telephone Order (MOTO) Fee
Mastercard is set to implement new transaction fees for Mail Order Telephone Order (MOTO) transactions.  

A fee of 0.015% will be levied on all domestic and cross-border MOTO sale and refund transactions. It’s important to note that this fee will not be applicable to e-commerce or recurring card-not-present transactions.  

Additionally, certain transactions are exempt from this fee, including payment transactions (OCT), transactions eligible for the MC Wholesale Travel Program, and collection-only processing 

Discover  

Discover is eliminating the Emerging Markets category 
Discover will update the eligibility criteria for the PSL Emerging Market interchange program. Beginning April 12, 2024, transactions processed with a consumer credit card will no longer qualify for Emerging Market and will shift into either Retail,CNP, or Ecomm programs.

Discover removing Subscriptions from Recurring rates
Beginning April 12, 2024, Discover will be implementing changes to their PSL Recurring Payments interchange program by updating MCC’s eligible for the program. The following MCC’s will no longer be eligible for PSL Recurring, but will qualify for other existing interchange programs: 

  • 5968 – Subscriptions
  • 7977 – Country/Golf Clubs 
  • 8351 – Childcare Services 

American Express 

Adjustments to Credit Change Rates
Beginning April 12, 2024, American Express Optblue will increase their credit interchange rates by 10–15 basis points for Merchants utilizing the OptBlue Retail, Services, and Other categories.

DEBIT Network Interchange Program & Rate Changes 

NYCE – NEW Assessment Fee
Since February 1, 2024, NYCE’s assessment fee of 0.95% for volume <50K month has been applied to NYCE Network PIN and PINless approved card-present transactions. This fee is triggered when merchants meet the monthly volume threshold and encompasses merchants that are not uniquely identifiable, irrespective of their monthly volume 

ACCEL and STAR – Merchant Location Participation Fee Increase
Beginning September 2024, Accel will increase the merchant location participation fee to $18 per merchant location or eCommerce website and STAR will increase their merchant location participation annual fee from $16 to $18.

As we wrap up this discussion on the latest updates from card brands, it’s essential to keep an eye on the horizon. The next round of updates is slated for October, promising further adjustments that could impact your operations. 

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