Interchange Fees

CPS/Card Not Present – Visa Consumer Credit Interchange

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April 10, 2019

CPS card not present categories refer to Visa interchange rates that apply to many basic online and keyed transactions.

They’re the online equivalent of CPS retail categories. In this explanation, we’re only talking about credit cards. These rates and qualifications do not apply to debit or prepaid card transactions.

There are several possible CPS card not present categories. However, not all of them use the term “card not present” to identify themselves. The categories that fall under that general term include:

  • CPS Card Not Present: 1.80% + 10 cents
  • CPS Retail Key Entered: 1.80% + 10 cents
  • CPS Retail 2 Card Not Present: 1.43% + 5 cents
  • CPS Charity: 1.35% + 5 cents
  • CPS E-commerce Basic: 1.80% + 10 cents
  • CPS E-commerce Preferred: 1.80% + 10 cents

Note that Visa sets these rates, which are published on their website. Rates are subject to change, but we’ll update this as needed.

CPS – Custom Payment Service

Visa Custom Payment Service (CPS) program is not actually a service. Rather, it’s a set of criteria a business must meet in order to qualify for lower CPS interchange rates. If you don’t meet the criteria, you won’t qualify for those rates and will instead pay higher fees for different interchange categories.

CPS Criteria for Card Not Present Transactions

“Card not present” transactions refer to any credit card payments you accept where you don’t run the card through a credit card terminal or POS system. It includes online payments, electronic invoice payments, keying in card details, and recurring billing / card on file charging.

There are some rules that apply to all six CPS card not present credit categories, but each category may also have specific criteria that only applies to that category. For general criteria, the transactions must be:

Card Not Present

Each of these categories refer to “card not present” transactions. For the purposes of interchange, card not present (sometimes abbreviated as CNP) refers to transactions where you did not capture electronic data from the card. The only way to capture electronic data is by swiping the card through a credit card reader. (Or ‘tapping’ for contactless payments, such as Apple Pay.)

If you don’t swipe the card through a reader or tap it with a smart device, it will be considered “card not present” even if the customer physically hands you the card and you key in the card details.

CPS Card Not Present interchange only applies to card-not-present transactions.

Non-Rewards Consumer Cards

These categories only apply to basic (non-rewards) credit cards issued to consumers. They do not apply for commercial or business credit cards, and they don’t apply to “rewards” credit cards. (Including cash back rewards cards or points / miles cards.)

Address Verified

In order to qualify for CPS / CNP, you’ll need to use the address verification service (AVS) to confirm the customer’s address. AVS allows you to check the address provided by the purchaser with the address on file with the credit card company, helping to cut down on fraudulent transactions.

Clearly Marked with Contact Details and Order Numbers

The transaction must include ways to get in touch with your business. Acceptable methods include customer service phone number, email, or website URL. Additionally, the transaction must include an order number.

Settled Within One Day

For card-not-present transactions, shipping is sometimes involved. To qualify for CPS card-not-present rates, you’ll need to settle the transaction within 1 day of the shipping date.

The original date of the transaction is the authorization date. Shipping must occur within 7 days of that original authorization.

Settled for the Same Amount Authorized

For card-not-present CPS interchange, the amount of the settled transaction must be the same as the authorized amount. You must obtain at least 1 valid electronic authorization.

Ecommerce (not keyed) transactions are permitted one authorization reversal under CPS / Card Not Present requirements.

Accepted at an Eligible Retail Business

Most businesses that accept transactions without swiping are eligible for CPS / Card Not Present interchange rates. However, there are a few business types that are not eligible. Those include fuel dispensers and direct marketing companies.

Downgrades

If you don’t meet the above criteria on a particular transaction, that transaction “downgrades” to a different interchange category with a higher rate. You can’t completely eliminate downgrades, but they shouldn’t be the bulk of your transactions. If you’re seeing a lot of them, you’ll want to dig deeper to find out why they’re happening and how to correct them.

Check if you’re overpaying by grabbing a statement and looking for credit card processing downgrades.

CPS Card Not Present Interchange Rates

If you meet the criteria for a CPS card not present transaction, here’s what you can expect to pay at the interchange level.

Volume RatePer-Transaction Fee
CPS Card Not Present1.80%$0.10
CPS Retail Key Entered1.80%$0.10
CPS Retail 2 Card Not Present1.43%$0.05
CPS Charity1.35%$0.05
CPS E-Commerce Basic1.80%$0.10
CPS E-Commerce Preferred1.80%$0.10

Note that different transactions will qualify for different interchange categories. That’s why when you look at your statement, you often see many different interchange categories.

Individual Category Criteria

In addition to the general criteria noted earlier in this article, some of the interchange categories in CPS Card Not Present have specific criteria, as follows. We’ve also included known aliases / abbreviations you may see on processing statements. However, be aware that this list is not exhaustive and there is no requirement to use specific names. Your processor may use names that are not listed here.

CPS Card Not Present

CPS CRD NP
This the basic abbreviation for this category.

If prompted to answer if the card was present, select “no” if the card was not physically present. (E.g. for a payment made over the phone.)

However, if the card was physically present and you select yes, the transaction will instead be charged as CPS Retail Key Entered. The rates for the two categories are the same; it’s simply a classification difference.

CPS Retail Key Entered

CPS KEYED
You may see this category refered to as KEYED or variations.

If you select “yes” when prompted to answer if the card is present, it will qualify for CPS Retail Key Entered provided it meets the rest of the general criterial noted above.

CPS Retail 2 Card Not Present

RTL2 CNP
You may see this category listed on statements by an abbreviation, such as RTL2 CNP.

Retail 2 CNP only applies to a limited set of business types, including schools, direct marketing, fuel dealers, insurance underwriting, government services and fines, cable / satellite companies, and childcare.

The following MCCs are eligible:

  • 9211
  • 9222
  • 9399
  • 8211
  • 8220
  • 8299
  • 5960
  • 5968
  • 5983
  • 6300
  • 4899
  • 8351

CPS Charity

CPS CHARITY

Firstly, it’s important to note that not every charity qualifies for CPS Charity rates. Only those with specific merchant category codes (MCCs) are eligible. Organizations classed as “charitable and social service organizations” with an MCC of 8398 are eligible.

Churches, schools, and other non-profits are not eligible for CPS Charity.

In addition to meeting the general criteria noted earlier in this article, the 8398 charity must also provide a customer service phone number with the transaction to qualify.

CPS E-commerce Basic

ECOM BASIC

Transactions that qualify for E-commerce Basic rates will have an e-commerce indicator of “7.” Ecommerce indicators refer to the use of 3D Secure technology for enhanced fraud prevention. A “7” indicates that the authentication was either not successful or not attempted. This code will be returned when the card is not 3D Secure capable.

CPS E-commerce Preferred

ECOM PREF

On the other hand, transactions that qualify for E-commerce Preferred rates will have an e-commerce indicator of either “5” or “6.”

A “5” indicates that both the cardholder and the bank that issued the card are 3D Secure capable and that the authentication was successful.

A “6” indicates that either the cardholder or the bank that issued the card aren’t set up for 3D Secure, and therefore the authentication was unsuccessful. This code will be returned when the cardholder hasn’t set up 3D Secure on their card, or that the bank that issued the card isn’t 3D Secure capable.

For basic consumer credit cards, e-commerce basic and preferred have the same rates. It’s only for rewards cards that the costs change.

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Ben Dwyer

BY Ben Dwyer

Ben Dwyer began his career in the processing industry in 2003 on the sales floor for a Connecticut‐based processor. As he learned more about the inner‐workings of the industry, rampant unethical practices, and lack of assistance available to businesses, he cut ties with his employer and started a blog where he could post accurate information about credit card processing. As the blog gained in popularity, Ben began directly assisting merchants in their search for a processor. Ben believes in empowering businesses by providing access to fair, competitive pricing, accurate information, and continued support. His dedication to transparency and education has made CardFellow a staunch small business advocate in the credit card processing industry.

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