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Merchant Account Fees

A Merchant Account has a variety of fees, some periodic, others charged on a per-item or percentage basis. Some fees are set by the merchant account provider, but the majority of the per-item and percentage fees are passed through the merchant account provider to the card issuing bank according to a schedule of rates called interchange fees, which are set by Visa and Mastercard. Interchange fees vary depending on card type and the circumstances of the transaction. For example, if a transaction is made by swiping a card through a credit card terminal it will be in a different category than if it were keyed in manually.

Annual Fee

The Annual fee can be charged by some providers to pay for costs of maintaining the merchant's account.

Batch Fee

A batch fee can be charged to a merchant whenever the merchant "settles" their terminal. Settling a terminal, also known as batching, is when a merchant sends their completed transactions for the day to their acquiring bank for payment. It is important to close a batch every 24 hours or a higher rate will be assessed by Visa or Mastercard.

Discount Rates

The discount rate comprises a number of dues, fees, assessments, network charges and mark-ups merchants are required to pay for accepting credit and debit cards, the largest of which by far is the interchange fee.

Early Termination Fee

The early termination fee can be charged by some providers if the merchant ends the contract before the end of the contract term.

Interchange Fee

Interchange fee is a term used in the payment card industry to describe a fee that the acquiring bank (merchant bank) pays the card-issuing bank (customer bank) when a merchant accepts credit cards using Visa and MasterCard for purchases. In a credit card transaction, the card-issuing bank in a payment transaction deducts the interchange fee from the amount it pays the acquiring bank that handles a credit or debit card transaction for a merchant. The acquiring bank then pays the merchant the amount of the transaction minus both the interchange fee and an additional, smaller fee for the acquiring bank.

Monthly Minimum Fee

The monthly minimum fee is a way to ensure that merchants pay a minimum amount in fees each month to cover costs from the provider to maintain the account and to create minimal profits. If a merchant's qualified fees do not equal or exceed the monthly minimum they will be charged up to the monthly minimum to satisfy their minimum fee requirements.

Statement Fee

The statement fee is a monthly fee associated with the monthly statement that is sent to the merchant. This statement shows how much processing was done by the merchant during the month and what fees were incurred as a result.

Transaction Fee

The Transaction fee (also known as an Authorization fee, but can also be a separate fee) is charged each time a transaction is sent to the card-issuing bank to be authorized.

Article written by Leanne E.