September 19, 2008, 12:00 AM

Online payment processor offers low-fee RevolutionCard

CardinalCommerce Corp. will soon offer its e-retail clients the option to accept RevolutionCard, a credit card that charges a fee of 0.5%. On a typical $169 web purchase, the new card`s fee would be 85 cents, versus $3.29 with MasterCard.

Katie Evans

Managing Editor, International Research

A new credit card accepted at some 300,000 bricks-and-mortar retail locations will soon be available to online merchants. Online payment processor CardinalCommerce Corp. says it will begin offering RevolutionCard acceptance to its e-retailer clients next month.

The big inducement for retailers is the low fee charged to merchants-only 50 basis points, or 0.5% of the purchase amount, roughly a fourth of the interchange rates on Visa and MasterCard transaction. On a typical $169 online purchase, for example, the RevolutionCard fee would be 85 cents, versus $3.29 with MasterCard.

The card also requires the consumer to enter a four-digit personal identification number, which has reduced chargebacks and disputes by 90% in physical stores compared with cards that only require a signature, says Duncan Evans, senior vice president and general manager of the RevolutionCard Network. Online retailers accepting the card are also seeing fewer disputes, but Evans could not cite a specific percentage, saying it varies by type of merchant.

Evans declines to say how many consumers have signed up for RevolutionCard. But he says part of the company’s strategy is to work with merchants to offer consumers incentives to sign up and use the card. For instance, the Tom’s Stores chain of gas stations in Pennsylvania has been reducing gas prices by 10 cents a gallon for motorists who pay with RevolutionCard.

While Buy.com, No. 33 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, and a few other Internet retailers have begun accepting RevolutionCard, it’s mostly been accepted offline to date. Retail chains that accept the card include Walgreens, Office Depot, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Barnes & Noble and Circuit City. However, several large Internet merchants will be accepting the card soon, says Matt McDowell, vice president of merchant services at CardinalCommerce. Nine e-retailers, all of them in the Top 500, have signed up to accept the card, says McDowell, who declined to name the merchants.

The RevolutionCard Network is part of Revolution Money Inc., a subsidiary of Revolution LLC, a company backed by AOL founder Steve Case.

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