As predictable as the leaves changing colors in the fall, so too do we see changes to the Interchange and Network Fees from the major card brands. This October, several new and revised fee structures are coming from Mastercard. Meanwhile Visa, Discover, and American Express are rolling out some updates as well, but theirs are more systemic in nature and won’t be affecting merchants.

As for the Mastercard fee changes, not all are applicable to most merchants. With that said, we’ve detailed a few below that may affect some merchants’ day to day transaction processing costs. You can also view a full list of fee changes by clicking here.

As always, Wind River will be passing through any new fees affecting our customers with no mark-ups or changes.

Mastercard Interchange Fee and Processing Program Expansions and Additions

Mastercard New Variable Interchange Program in the US Region

Mastercard will be expanding the Variable Interchange Program (VIP) to support the Business-to-Business (B2B) card spend in the U.S. region. This won’t affect most merchants, but it is a change we wanted to note.

Mastercard New Installment Payment Product Codes and Interchange Program in the US Region

Additionally, Mastercard will be introducing a new installment payment consumer credit interchange program to allow issuers in the US to provide installment payment products to consumers. Merchants that currently run installments directly through their payment gateway will not be affected by this program.

Mastercard Acquirer Merchant Advice Code Transaction Processing Excellence Program in the US Region

Lastly, Mastercard is introducing a new Transaction Processing Excellence (TPE) program for merchant advice codes (MACs). MACs are a set of codes that Mastercard supports to enable issuers to communicate additional information regarding a transaction response to merchant service providers and merchants.

These MACs indicate further actions on subsequent transactions that merchants should take to continue serving cardholders. Program fees will be accessed under this program if certain processing behaviors are breached in the Authorization System.

The purpose of this program is to discourage merchants from additional authorization attempts following a declined response.

Program fees will be assessed each time a merchant resubmits a card-not-present authorization request that is declined by the issuer receiving one of the following advice messages a second time within the past 30 days of the original attempt:

  • Merchant Advice Code 03: Do not try again due to either the account being closed or fraudulent reasons. Merchant should obtain another form of payment from the cardholder.
  • Merchant Advice Code 21: Do not resubmit due to payment cancellation of the recurring agreement by the cardholder.

If you have any questions or would like further explanation of the above, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d be happy to discuss these updates with you and help you understand if they’ll affect your business.