Understanding Interchange

Find out what interchange is and how it contributes to a fair and balanced payments system

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 benefits merchants receive when they accept electronic payments. 

A fair and balanced system

Not only does interchange balance the benefits and costs of electronic payments, interchange also ensures that each participant pays their fair share of costs associated with processing and protecting payment card transactions. 

Our role 

MasterCard derives no direct benefit from interchange fees. Accordingly, there is no incentive for MasterCard:

  • To drive interchange fees upward as this would negatively impact merchant acceptance; or 

  • To decrease interchange fees as this would negatively impact the ability for banks to issue cards. 

To overcome the inefficiency of thousands of separate negotiations, MasterCard sets “default” interchange rates that may be used in the absence of separately negotiated arrangements. We also administer the collection and remittance of interchange fees through the settlement process. 

Setting interchange rates 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.

In fact, the aim of setting interchange fees at the optimal level is to ensure that issuers and acquirers will deliver services that optimize the effectiveness of the payments system and spur development of new and innovative payment solutions. Flexible interchange rates are essential to ensuring that merchants and consumers receive maximum value for electronic payments at the lowest cost. Interchange also promotes credit availability for small businesses and is a key driver for ensuring financial inclusion when it is set at optimal level.

U.S. region interchange programs and rates

MasterCard Intra-EEA Fallback POS Interchange Fees

On 2 June 2014 MasterCard announced it would implement new interim Intra-EEA cross-border POS (point of sale) interchange fees(1) on MasterCard and Maestro consumer cards, which became effective from 1 July 2014.

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

The MasterCard Europe EEA sub-region includes the 28 Member States of the European Union [Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark (including Faroe Islands, Greenland), Estonia, Finland, France (including French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion, Mayotte, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Martin [French Part]), Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and United Kingdom (including Falklands, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan Da Cunha Helena, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands)], Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway (including Svalbard and Jan Mayen, Antarctica), San Marino, and Holy See (Vatican City State)

(1) Interchange fees apply only to the purchase part of the transaction. 

MasterCard Consumer Card Interchange Fees

Fee tier MasterCard Consumer, MasterCard Electronic MasterCard Prepaid Consumer, Debit MasterCard Delayed Debit MasterCard World MasterCard World Elite/ World Signia Debit MasterCard, MasterCard Debit
PayPass 0.16% + €0.025 0.87% 1.17% 0.15% + €0.025
MasterPass Wallet 0.16% + €0.025 0.87% 1.17% 0.15% + €0.025
Chip 0.16% + €0.025 0.87% 1.17% 0.15% + €0.025
Enhanced Electronic 0.16% + €0.025 0.87% 1.17% 0.15% + €0.025
Merchant UCAF 0.16% + €0.025 0.87% 1.17% 0.15% + €0.025
Full UCAF 0.17% + €0.025 0.87% 1.17% 0.16% + €0.025
Base 0.18% + €0.025 0.87% 1.17% 0.17% + €0.025

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% 1.95% 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, Maestro Prepaid Consumer Maestro Delayed Debit Maestro Prepaid Commercial Maestro Small Business
MasterPass Wallet 0.15% + €0.015 0.16% + €0.025 1.50% 1.50%
PayPass 0.13% + €0.015 0.16% + €0.025 0.45% + €0.05 0.80%
Chip 0.13% + €0.015 0.16% + €0.025 0.40% + €0.05 1.25%
Chip - Late Presentment 0.15% + €0.015 0.18% + €0.025 0.75% + €0.05 1.65%
PIN-verified 0.14% + €0.015 0.16% + €0.025 0.50% + €0.05 1.35%
Signature Verified 0.15% + €0.015 0.16% + €0.025 0.75% + €0.05 1.65%
Secure E-commerce 0.16% + €0.015 0.17% + €0.025 1.05% + €0.05 1.50%
Mail Order/Telephone Order 0.16% + €0.015 0.18% + €0.025 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, MasterCard Electronic MasterCard Prepaid Consumer, Debit MasterCard Delayed Debit MasterCard World MasterCard World Elite/ World Signia Debit MasterCard, MasterCard Debit
Purchase at ATM 0.16% + €0.025 0.87% 1.17% 0.15% + €0.025
Purchase at ATM - Late Presentment 0.18% + €0.025 0.87% 1.17% 0.17% + €0.025

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, Maestro Prepaid Consumer, Cirrus Maestro Delayed Debit Maestro Prepaid Commercial Maestro Small Business
Purchase at ATM 0.13% + €0.015 0.16% + €0.025 0.40% + €0.025 1.25%
Purchase at ATM - Late Presentment 0.15% + €0.015 0.18% + €0.025 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.