Interchange helps maximize the value delivered to all stakeholders

Every credit card and merchant account provider has a different set of costs associated with its services. Some of them are unavoidable, but others can be negotiated. Remember to choose interchange-plus, and keep in mind that most of the flat fees can be negotiated. The goal of understanding a monthly processing statement is being able to answer the following questions: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.


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 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.


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.