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Frequently Asked QuestionsWhat is Interchange Plus Pricing?

Interchange Plus (aka “cost plus”) Pricing is a straightforward way to price. If you have cost plus pricing, it is more transparent because it is much more difficult to have hidden fees. In interchange plus pricing, processors take all the bank fees, card brand fees etc., pass them straight through to the merchant, then add a small fee (basis points) for their services.

Interchange is the percentage assessed to each transaction. It is paid by the merchant to the bank that issued that particular credit card to help offset the issuing bank’s cost of carrying the cardholder debt for the merchant. The processing bank and/or processor do not receive any part of interchange fees. The interchange fee structure is quite complex, with each card brand assessing different interchange rates based on the type of card used, size of sale, fraud deterrents used at the point of sale, whether the card was present or not, rewards provided, and type of merchant, among many others.  Interchange rates are set by the card brands (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, Amex) and are the same for every processor.  

Ascent primarily uses interchange plus pricing. Overall, the best way to tell what you are being charged is to take all your fees and divide that by how much you processed in credit card sales. This is known as your effective rate. We can help you calculate your overall effective rate here.

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