Understanding Interchange

Find out what interchange is and the value it delivers

What is interchange?

Interchange is a small fee paid by a merchant's bank (acquirer) to a cardholder's bank (issuer) to compensate the issuer for the value and benefits that merchants receive when they accept electronic payments. It enables banks that issue electronic payments to deliver tremendous value to merchants, governments and consumers.

Interchange helps maximize the value delivered to all stakeholders

Merchants

Merchants benefit from guaranteed payment, increased sales and lower processing costs than those associated with paper payments such as cash and checks. Electronic payments also provide them with the ability to attract and retain customers with a fast and efficient buying experience.

  • For the past 10 years, on average for every $1.00 of interchange paid, U.S. merchants benefit from $1.60 in increased sales paid for by the issuer as a result of guaranteed payment
  • In the U.S., on average, the value derived from accepting credit cards is more than five times the amount paid in interchange
  • The value provided to merchants from electronic transactions is about 1.5 to 2.5 times the total cost of acceptance for debit and about 2.5 to 3 times the total cost of acceptance for credit
  • Average debit and credit transactions range from two to four times the size of a cash transaction in developed markets to over 20 to 30 times respectively in others

Governments

Governments experience significant efficiencies while promoting financial inclusion when they distribute social benefits, collect receivables and enable services via electronic payments.

  • Electronic payments help safeguard against waste, fraud and abuse
  • Using electronic payments to deliver social benefits is more efficient and secure
  • Black and grey economies fueled by untraceable and untaxable cash payments flourish where electronic payments use is low

 

Consumers

Convenience and safety, increased opportunity for financial inclusion, access to rewards and incentives and the choice of thousands of innovative credit, debit and prepaid payment products are among the many benefits consumers derive from electronic payments.

  • Payments allow consumers to access money whenever and wherever they want
  • Interchange makes it possible for issuers to provide consumers with interest-free periods on credit cards
  • Electronic payments provide consumers with a more secure and efficient way to pay - whether in-person, online or in-app

Our role 

MasterCard does not earn revenue from interchange.

Where not fully regulated by the government, MasterCard sets interchange rates based on the value delivered by the issuing bank and the benefits of accepting electronic payments. Setting interchange at the right level is important because if interchange rates are set too high, merchants may choose not to accept cards; and, if interchange is set too low, issuing banks have no incentive to cover the risks of issuing payment cards.

Setting interchange rates at the appropriate level also helps ensure that both issuers and acquirers deliver services that optimize the effectiveness of the payments system and spur development of innovative payment solutions. 

Flexible interchange rates make it possible for electronic payments to deliver maximium value at the lowest cost for both merchants and consumers. Interchange also promotes credit availability for small businesses and is a key driver for financial inclusion when set at the optimal level.

 

U.S. region interchange programs and rates

What you need to know

Learn more about interchange and the benefits of the system it helps support through the following resources:

Interchange Facts and Myths

Consequences of the Mandated Decrease of Interchange Fees in the United States

Impact of Regulation in Australia

MasterCard Intra-EEA Fallback POS Interchange Fees

The MasterCard Europe EEA sub-region includes the 28 Member States of the European Union: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark (including Aland Islands), Estonia, Finland, France (including French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion, Mayotte, Saint Martin [French Part]), Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal (including Azores and Madiera), Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain (including Canary Islands, Ceuta and Melilla), Sweden, United Kingdom (including Gibraltar) and Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway (including Svalbard and Jan Mayen).

These rates are limited to EU countries only, until they are adopted in Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

MasterCard reserves the right to change the below rates at any time. Any changes will be published promptly on this website. 

MasterCard Consumer Card Interchange Fees

Fee tier MasterCard Consumer Credit MasterCard Consumer Debit
Debit MasterCard Consumer
MasterCard Consumer Prepaid
PayPass 0.30% 0.20%
MasterPass Wallet 0.30% 0.20%
Chip 0.30% 0.20%
Enhanced Electronic 0.30% 0.20%
Merchant UCAF 0.30% 0.20%
Full UCAF 0.30% 0.20%
Base 0.30% 0.20%

MasterCard Commercial Card Interchange Fees

Fee tier MasterCard Corporate, MasterCard Electronic Corporate MasterCard BusinessCard, MasterCard Electronic BusinessCard, MasterCard Professional Card, MasterCard Prepaid Commercial MasterCard Fleet Card MasterCard Purchasing Card
MasterPass Wallet 1.60% 1.35% 1.35% 1.35%
Chip 1.50% 1.25% 1.25% 1.25%
Enhanced Electronic 1.60% 1.35% 1.35% 1.35%
Merchant UCAF (*) 1.60% 1.35% 1.35% 1.35%
Full UCAF (*) 1.75% 1.50% 1.50% 1.50%
Base 1.90% 1.65% 1.65% 1.65%
Large Ticket Level 1 (**) N.A. N.A. 1.00% + 20.00 € 1.00% + 20.00 €
Large Ticket Level 2 (***) N.A. N.A. 0.75% + 45.00 € 0.75% + 45.00 €
Incentive (****) -0.30% -0.30% -0.30% -0.50€

(*) Applicable only through the use of MasterCard SecureCode® via Universal Cardholder Authentication Field (UCAF) authentication.
(**) Applicable to transactions over 3,000 €. The enriched data incentive is not applicable.
(***) Applicable to transactions over 10,000 €. The enriched data incentive is not applicable.
(****) If the acquirer meets the requirements and provides the required additional data, MasterCard will calculate the fee amount by deducting the incentive rate from the applicable interchange. Incentive not applicable to PayPass, Large Ticket Level 1 and Large Ticket Level 2.

The following table shows the associated requirements for each of the interchange tiers.

MasterCard Interchange tiers Transaction type Card Terminal PIN verification (face-to-face) SecureCode (e-commerce) Transaction amt limit Timeliness (*)
MasterPass Wallet              
PayPass Face-to-face Contactless M/Chip Contactless N.A. N.A. <= 25 € <= 4 days
Chip Face-to-face No EMV No N.A. No <= 4 days
Enhanced Electronic Face-to-face No Mag stripe No N.A. No <= 4 days
Merchant UCAF E-commerce No N.A. N.A. Merchant No <= 4 days
Full UCAF E-commerce No N.A. N.A. Issuer & Merchant No <= 4 days
Base All No No No N.A. No N.A.
Large Ticket Level 1 All No No No N.A. >3,000 € <= 4 days
Large Ticket Level 2 All No No No N.A. >10,000 € <= 4 days

(*)Timeliness: Days between the presentation of the clearing record to MasterCard and the transaction date.

Maestro Interchange Fees

Fee tier Maestro Consumer Maestro Consumer Prepaid Maestro Prepaid Commercial Maestro Small Business
MasterPass Wallet 0.20% 1.50% 1.50%
PayPass 0.20% 0.45% + €0.05 0.80%
Chip 0.20% 0.40% + €0.05 1.25%
Chip - Late Presentment 0.20% 0.75% + €0.05 1.65%
PIN-verified 0.20% 0.50% + €0.05 1.35%
Signature Verified 0.20% 0.75% + €0.05 1.65%
Secure E-commerce 0.20% 1.05% + €0.05 1.50%
Mail Order/Telephone Order 0.20% 1.05% + €0.05 1.50%

The following table shows the associated requirements for each of the interchange tiers.

MasterCard Interchange tiers Transaction type Card Terminal PIN verification (face-to-face) SecureCode (e-commerce) Transaction amt limit Timeliness (*)
MasterPass Wallet              
PayPass Face-to-face Contactless M/Chip Contactless (EMV) N.A. N.A. <= 25 € <= 5 days
Chip Face-to-face No EMV No N.A. No <= 5 days
Chip - Late Presentment Face-to-face No EMV No N.A. No N.A.
PIN-verified Face-to-face No No PIN N.A. No N.A.
Signature Verified Face-to-face No No No (Signature) N.A. No N.A.
Secure E-commerce E-commerce No N.A. N.A. Merchant & Issuer No N.A.
Mail Order/Telephone Order MO/TO No N.A. N.A. N.A. No N.A.

(*)Timeliness: Days between the presentation of the clearing record to MasterCard and the transaction date.

MasterCard Consumer Card Purchase at ATM Interchange Fees

Fee tier MasterCard Consumer Credit MasterCard Consumer Debit, Debit MasterCard Consumer, MasterCard Consumer Prepaid
Purchase at ATM 0.30% 0.20%
Purchase at ATM (late presentment) 0.30% 0.20%

MasterCard Commercial Card Purchase at ATM Interchange Fees

Fee tier MasterCard Corporate, MasterCard Electronic Corporate MasterCard Corporate, MasterCard Electronic Corporate MasterCard Fleet Card MasterCard Purchasing Card
Purchase at ATM 1.50% 1.25% 1.25% 1.25%
Purchase at ATM - Late Presentment 1.90% 1.65% 1.65% 1.65%

Maestro Purchase at ATM Interchange Fees

Fee tier Maestro Consumer, Maestro Consumer Prepaid Maestro Prepaid Commercial Maestro Small Business
Purchase at ATM 0.20% 0.40% + €0.025 1.25%
Purchase at ATM (late presentment) 0.20% 0.75% + €0.025 1.65%

The following table shows the associated requirements for each of the Purchase at ATM interchange tiers.

MasterCard Interchange tiers Transaction type Card Terminal PIN verification (face-to-face) SecureCode (e-commerce) Transaction amt limit Timeliness (*)
Purchase at ATM Purchase at ATM No CAT Level 1 No N.A. No <= 4 days
Purchase at ATM - Late Presentment Purchase at ATM No CAT Level 1 No N.A. No N.A.

(*)Timeliness: Days between the presentation of the clearing record to MasterCard and the transaction date.

Global wholesale travel transaction program interchange rates

MasterCard intra-country (POS) interchange fees

Domestic interchange fees for EEA countries and Russia only