HMS Small Ticket Program

October 25, 2012

Today’s edition of the Official Merchant Services Blog will discuss the best way for merchants to save money on fees when accepting credit or debit cards for smaller transactions. Host Merchant Services is committed to bringing its clients the lowest fees in the industry. Our Small Ticket Program is a feature that helps us do just that for those merchants who process transactions at $15 or less.

Many merchants have seen debit savings thanks to the Durbin Amendment, which caps the Interchange Fees that Visa and MasterCard charge for debit cards at $0.24 and 5 basis points. Smaller merchants do not see the savings when running transactions under $15, since the 24-cent per item fee and the 5 basis points amount to 2.1% of the total ticket, before any additional fees are incorporated.

The Small Ticket Program however, allows qualifying merchants to pay a per item fee of only 5 cents, while paying an interchange rate of 1.6% for Visa. MasterCard has set its small ticket rate at 4 cents and 1.55%. This program saves merchants money on lower transaction amounts, since the per item fee is less of a burden on them in terms of overall effective rate.

The Interchange category for small tickets is available for merchants who are on Interchange Plus pricing, and who qualify under the Visa business types listed below.  Merchants enrolled in flat rate pricing or any type of three-tiered pricing will not be able to utilize these savings, which is just another way Interchange Plus pricing is truly the best out there.

While some processing companies hide added percentage points in the difference that exists between small ticket and large ticket processing, Host Merchant Services gives the savings directly to you. Our Small Ticket Program offers a better Interchange category and a lower per item fee, saving you more money in processing fees for all purchases $15 or less.

Visa opened up the types of businesses that qualify for Small Ticket Processing in November, 2010. Now each of these industries qualify:

  • Local Commuter Transport
  • Limos & Taxis
  • Bus Lines
  • Bridge & Road Fees/Tolls
  • Grocery Stores/Supermarkets
  • Convenience Stores
  • Service Stations
  • Fast Food Restaurant
  • Drug Stores
  • Book Stores
  • News Dealers, Newsstands
  • Dry Cleaners
  • Quick Copy, Reproduction & Blueprint
  • Parking Lots & Garages
  • Car Washes
  • Motion Picture Theater
  • Video Tape Rental Stores
  • Post Stamps/Government Only


If you qualify under any one of these categories, contact Host Merchant Services for your small ticket savings right away. Host Merchant Services promises: we deliver personal service and clarity and as always, we want to keep merchants informed of any potential savings.

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Categories: HMS News, Industry News, Small Business

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