September 7, 2006, 12:00 AM

MasterCard will post interchange rates online

MasterCard will publish U.S. interchange rates on its site by Nov. 1, bending to pressure from retailers and trade groups for disclosure of the fees. Previously, MasterCard released interchange rate schedules only to merchant banks and acquirers.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

 

MasterCard Worldwide will publish U.S. interchange rates on its site by Nov. 1, bending to pressure from retailers and trade groups for disclosure of the fees. Interchange is the fee collected by merchant banks and acquirers and passed on to card issuers. It is a major component of the discount rate retailers pay for card acceptance and considered the be the floor below which discount rates cannot go.

Previously, MasterCard released interchange rate schedules only to merchant banks and acquirers.

Retailers have filed antitrust suits against MasterCard and Visa, challenging interchange rates. How the card companies set interchange also has been the subject of congressional hearings.

“We have heard the merchant concerns loud and clear,” says Joshua Peirez, group executive, global public policy. “We were the first in the industry to publish our merchant rules and procedures on our web site, making them available free of charge or restrictions to any merchant who wants access to them. Merchants have since told us they would like us to publish our U.S. interchange rate schedule.”

The interchange rate schedule will be available at MasterCardMerchant.com.

 

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