By now, most merchants have heard of the Durbin amendment that took effect in October 2011 and the Federal Reserve’s mandated interchange controls on all debit transactions. Go here to read more about it.
The result was that most merchants experienced significant reductions in their debit card processing fees which they have been enjoying since. Visa has responded to the “altered competitive landscape” the Durbin amendment has created by announcing a new Fixed Acquirer Network Fee (FANF).
This new FANF expands VISA’s current approach to assessing merchant fees beyond applying interchange on sales volume. The FANF fee will be applied as a monthly fee (in addition to interchange) starting at $2.00 a month per merchant for card present transactions, card not present transactions, and e-commerce transactions. These monthly fees scale higher based on the number of locations a merchant has and the monthly sales volume of each type of transaction. In addition, VISA has announced a reduction in their variable debit fees which they believe will offset the FANF increases. Visa’s claim is that the changes in these fees will offset FANF for most merchants. Wind River does not believe this is the case.
Some payment processors bundle new fees and add margin to them before passing them onto the merchant. Wind River Financial does not. We maintain transparency by directly passing through only those fees that VISA charges. We also take great pains in making sure to provide the best available service to our merchants, so we are in direct contact with VISA to clarify the new fee structure and minimize the impact for all of our merchants. Further, the payment industry as a whole, through the Electronic Transaction Association, has sent a letter to VISA requesting a delay of this new fee implementation until further definition takes place.
Wind River Financial appreciates your business and we will be providing the specific program information as soon as we have received VISA’s response to our inquiries as well as the ETA’s request for delay.