Interchange Plus Mertchant Account | Cost Plus Merchant Account
Interchange Plus is the common name for a pricing structure for accepting credit card transactions by merchants. “Interchange Plus” is not a very common form of billing. More commonly, merchant accounts are priced in tiered pricing.
Interchange plus is the most transparent form of pricing for Merchant Account services. Interchange is the cost that your Merchant Account Provider gets charged by VISA and Mastercard. The Interchange fee is an important factor in determining the actual cost of accepting credit cards.
Interchange plus means that the Merchant Account Provider passes through whatever they are getting charged plus a markup for their services. Depending on the size of your business you can get a markup anywhere from 0.05% to 1.00% plus $0.02-$0.20 / transaction.
In Europe, the most common commercial contract between a merchant and the bank (the acquiring bank) consists of a fixed commission percentage called the Merchant Service Commission or MSC.
Based on characteristics such as volume, national/international traffic and risk, the acquirer negotiates a fixed MSC for all transactions with the merchant. This is called a blend rate because it blends in all different rates buying in one selling rate for the acquiring bank. Calculated in the blend rate is an insurance for the acquiring bank against changing buying rates.
Interchange Plus pricing means that the acquirer charges you a variable MSC consisting of the cost price plus a fixed markup.
This MSC will then vary between transactions depending on the characteristics of the transaction such as card type, channel (point of sale, e-commerce or call center) and security measures involved (Card Verification Code, 3-D Secure).
This gives merchants insight in the cost of their payment traffic and can also realize a lower total payment cost.
In the USA and for corporate merchants, interchange-plus pricing is common practice.