Visa and Mastercard are planning to increase fees that many merchants pay when they accept customers’ credit cards. From a report: The fee increases are scheduled to start in October and April, according to people familiar with the matter and documents viewed by The Wall Street Journal. Many of the increases are for online purchases. The changes could result in merchants paying an additional $502 million annually in fees, according to CMSPI, a consulting company that works with merchants.
Increases in network fees will make up a little more than half of that revenue, CMSPI estimated. The rest will come from increases in interchange fees, also called swipe fees. Merchants pay these fees when shoppers pay via credit card. The economy of interchange fees is largely hidden from shoppers. But the fees are a major source of contention between the card networks and merchants large and small, from giant online retailers to corner coffee shops. U.S. merchants paid an estimated $93 billion in Visa and Mastercard credit-card fees last year, according to the Nilson Report, an industry publication. That was up from about $33 billion in 2012. Merchants pass along at least some of that cost to consumers in the form of higher prices. More small businesses have started offering discounts to shoppers who pay by debit card, cash or check.