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Merchant Service Fees

Learn about Interchange Plus pricing and Merchant Service Fees at ASB.

Regulatory changes to Visa and Mastercard interchange fees

From mid-November 2022, Visa and Mastercard interchange fees were capped as part of the Retail Payments System Act 2022. Interchange fee caps are as follows:

  • Consumer credit card transactions capped at 0.80% (previously charged up to 2.25%)
  • Online debit card transactions capped at 0.60% (previously charged up to 1.50%)
  • Contactless debit card transactions remain capped at 0.20%

Note: This excludes transactions processed using prepaid or commercial credit cards, as well as international issued cards.

Components of a Merchant Service Fee

A Merchant Service Fee (MSF) is charged for transactions accepted though a merchant facility (excluding EFTPOS transactions). ASB prices the Merchant Service Fee using an 'Interchange Plus' pricing structure which is comprised of two components: (read more in the dropdowns below)

Interchange Fee

A fee that is charged on transactions accepted via your merchant facility. It is a variable fee which is dependent on the card type used, and the processing environment. Certain industries also have dedicated interchange fees such as charities or government organisations etc. It is directly passed through to the organisation who issued the card.

For example, the Interchange Fee assigned to a transaction processed via a terminal using a credit card issued by an NZ based bank will typically be lower than where an equivalent credit card issued by an international bank has been used. There are also differences in interchange fees between debit and credit cards, and if the card is accepted instore via a payment terminal or online via an ecommerce store.

To view current Interchange Fees please visit the Visa and Mastercard websites.

ASB Merchant Service Fee ('Plus')

A fee commonly referred to as the 'Plus' component of 'Interchange Plus' pricing. It is tailored to a business and is a fixed rate applied to each approved transaction. It covers three components associated with the processing of transactions.

  • Scheme Fee: Charged by Visa, MasterCard and UnionPay who provide the underlying card payment services
  • Network Fee: Charged by our payment network partners (e.g. Worldline, Verifone or Windcave) for the processing of each transaction. Please note – Windcave is no longer available for new merchant facilities.
  • ASB Fee: A fee the acquiring bank (ASB) charges for providing card payment services such as customer support, transaction processing, settlement of funds and fraud prevention

A monthly statement is provided for each merchant facility. This provides a breakdown of Interchange Fees by card scheme (Visa, Mastercard and UnionPay) and the ASB Merchant Service Fees by card type, which combined make up the total Merchant Service Fee charged.

Which payments incur merchant service fees

Note: There are no fees charged by ASB for the acceptance of EFTPOS transactions where a customer inserts or swipes their card and selects CHQ or SAV on the payment terminal. EFTPOS transactions can be accepted through the Online EFTPOS solution which will incur fees other than Merchant Service Fees.

Contactless Payments

A contactless payment is a quick and convenient payment method made by tapping a credit or debit card or device (such as a phone or watch) on a payment terminal. Accepting contactless transactions enhances your customers' payment experience, opening up more payment options such as digital wallets (e.g. Apple Pay and Google Pay) and payments via devices.

Contactless credit card transactions can have a lower interchange fee than if the credit card is inserted or swiped at the payment terminal. 

For example, a standard domestic visa credit card used to complete a contactless transaction would incur an Interchange Fee of 0.65% whereas if the same card was swiped or inserted into the payment terminal it would incur a 0.80% Interchange Fee.

Note, if domestic Visa or Mastercard debit cards are accepted via contactless they will incur a 0.20% Interchange fee and a Merchant Service Fee. If the same card is swiped or inserted, and CHQ or SAV is selected, then the transaction will be processed as an EFTPOS transaction and no fees will be incurred.

Surcharging

You may choose to pass the cost of your Merchant Service Fees onto your customers via a 'surcharge'. Click here for more information.

Next steps

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