Visa began charging an acquirer processing fee (APF) on July 1, 2009 on all authorizations acquired in the United States. The acquirer processing fee is a flat transaction fee that is currently assessed at $0.0195.
Update: July 23, 2012
Visa now charges a separate acquirer processing fee for debit and credit card transactions. The APF for credit card transactions is $0.0195, and the APF for debit card transactions is $0.0155.
Merchants that are assessed fees by a processor on a tiered pricing model will not benefit from the lower APF for debit card transactions.
Visa added its acquirer processing fees shortly after going public, and many industry experts feel confident that the fee was imposed in response to shareholder demand for increased revenue.
Unlike MasterCard’s network access and brand usage (NABU) fee, Visa’s acquirer fee is charged on all authorized transaction regardless of whether the transaction is actually settled.
The Green Sheet, a credit card processing industry newsletter, has an informative article about Visa’s APF that was written shortly before Visa began charging the fee.
The acquirer processing fee is referred to by processors in several different ways on merchant processing statements. Some of the common references are:
- ACQR Processor Fee
- Network Access Fee