Visa Plans to Adjust Swipe Fees for First Time in 10 Years
Visa is planning to adjust the rates merchants pay for credit and debit card processing, according to a new report from Bloomberg. Visa’s fees will vary based on the type of transactions a merchant processes. This will accommodate for new business structures, such as ride sharing services.
Bloomberg quotes a document that Visa sent to banks about the upcoming changes: “The U.S. credit interchange structure has been largely unchanged for the past 10 years. Based on the most recent review in the U.S., Visa is adjusting its default U.S. interchange rate structure to optimize acceptance and usage and reflect the current value of Visa products.”
The proposed fee structure will include higher fees for e-commerce sites and other card-not-present transactions, as well as lower fees for education and real estate transactions. Traditional Visa cards and Premium Visa cards will have two different fee structures, which will also vary by merchant.
Visa is planning to implement these changes in April and October, giving merchants a chance to adjust for the projected fees. By lowering swipe fees for select industries, Visa hopes to ultimately encourage more customers to use cards instead of cash or a check.
Interchange fees have long been a point of conflict for Visa and Mastercard. In 2015, Google sued the networks for excessive fees, following a similar lawsuit in 2013. That resulted in a $5.7 billion settlement. Walmart sued Visa in 2014 for inflated swipe fees, and Kroger temporarily banned Visa cards in 2018 because of disproportionately high fees. The new structure could eliminate some of the struggles merchants have faced in the past with Visa swipe fees.