Visa’s Network Acquirer Processing Fee Explained

The major credit card networks — Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express — join together to set the fees for Interchange. As part of this process, every six months they review those fees and adjust them as needed. In 2012, a series of new fees have been added to payment processing. Some of them are even completely separate from Interchange.

Occasionally, these networks reduce processing fees instead of raising them.  Recently we broke down all the new fees introduced in 2012, and since most of them were increased, it would have been easy to miss the Network Acquirer Processing Fee, which was actually reduced for debit cards.

Visa introduced the Network Acquirer Processing Fee (APF) in July of 2009.  The Fee was set at $0.0195 on all Visa branded authorizations acquired in the U.S. regardless of where the issuer/cardholder is located. This fee is considered to be Visa’s version of the MasterCard NABU fee.

In 2012, The Network Acquirer Processing Fee on Visa-branded signature debit was reduced – going from $0.0195 per authorization to $0.0155 per authorization. The fee for credit card authorizations however remained at the original $0.0195 per authorization.

Since revenue from the APF fee goes directly to Visa, most processors assess the fee to businesses at cost. However, in the case of tiered pricing this fee is bundled with a business’s general qualified, mid-qualified and non-qualified rates. Although uncommon, it is possible for processors to markup the APF fee even for businesses that are billed via more transparent interchange plus pricing.

Host Merchant Services makes this fee clearly visible on our statement and we do not mark up the Network Acquirer Processing Fee in any way.