Interchange Fees

CPS Retail Debit and Prepaid – Visa Interchange

by

May 14, 2019

The terms “CPS Retail Debit” and “CPS Retail Prepaid” refer to Visa interchange categories that dictate part of the fee that businesses pay for certain debit and prepaid transactions.

The CPS Retail Debit and Prepaid interchange categories are largely the same as CPS Retail. The difference is the card type. CPS Retail applies to consumer non-rewards credit cards, while CPS Retail Debit and CPS Retail Prepaid apply to debit and prepaid cards, respectively.

Furthermore, the debit categories only apply to signature debit. (Sometimes called “running as credit.”) PIN debit transactions do not receive interchange fees. Instead, they’re charged PIN debit network fees. If you’re looking for that info, check our article on PIN debit costs.


CPS Retail Debit Rates

There are technically four debit categories under the larger “CPS Retail” umbrella, but two of them are simply “regulated” debit categories, meaning they’re capped by law.

Contrary to popular belief, debit cards are not charged a flat rate. Here are the rates for CPS Retail Debit:

Volume RatePer-Transaction Fee
CPS Retail Debit0.80%$0.15
CPS Retail Debit Reg0.05%$0.22
CPS Small Ticket Debit1.55%$0.04
CPS Small Ticket Debit Reg0.05%$0.22

 

We do our best to keep these rates up to date, but please note that they’re subject to change. The rates listed come from Visa’s published interchange schedule.

Regulated Debit

In the table above, two categories include the abbreviation “reg” for regulated. That means that the customer used a regulated debit card for the transaction. Regulated debit cards are debit cards issued by a bank with $10 billion (or more) in assets. (E.g. Wells Fargo, BofA, etc.)

Federal law caps interchange fees for regulated debit cards at 0.05% + 22 cents per transaction. You won’t see regulated interchange categories higher than that. However, there are no caps on what processors can charge. So even though the interchange fee is limited to 0.05% + 22 cents, your processor can add additional fees just like they do with other interchange categories.

CPS Retail Prepaid Rates

There are only two CPS Retail Prepaid categories, with the following rates.

Volume RatePer-Transaction Fee
CPS Retail Base Prepaid1.15%$0.15
CPS Small Ticket Prepaid1.60%$0.05

 

The primary difference between the two is transaction size. For transactions under $15, the “Small Ticket Prepaid” category will apply.

Criteria

To receive the rates noted above, you’ll need to meet specific criteria. Several requirements apply to all of the categories, as follows.

Cardholder and Card Present

Both the cardholder and the physical card must be present. That’s because you’ll need to physically run the card through a credit card machine and obtain a signature from the cardholder as part of the criteria for this category.

Eligible Business Type

Certain business types have their own interchange categories and are not eligible for CPS Retail Debit. Those business types include restaurants, hotels, car rentals, and “passenger transportation” services such as cruise lines, travel agents, railways, and airlines.

Most other business types are eligible.

Merchant Info Included in Authorization

Your business name, city, and state must be included with the electronic authorization request at the time of the transaction. Additionally, you’ll need to include authorization response data with the settled transaction.

Settlement Amount

For most businesses, the settlement amount for a transaction must match the amount authorized. There are exceptions for businesses where tipping is customary, as transactions may be authorized for the original order total and adjusted later to add a tip.

Tipped businesses that are excluded from the matching authorization and settlement requirement include taxis and limousines, bars and taverns, barber shops, salons, and health and beauty spas. Specific merchant category codes include:

  • 4121
  • 5813
  • 7230
  • 7298

If your business is not properly classed as an exempt tip-accepting business but you adjust transaction totals for tips, you will not receive CPS Retail Debit or Prepaid interchange rates. If you accept tips, be sure to check with your processor for accurate classification.

Settlement Time

In addition to the authorization amount matching the settlement amount, settlement must occur within one day of the original authorization. If you batch transactions beyond that time, you won’t qualify. Instead, your transactions will “downgrade” to a more expensive interchange category.

Small Ticket Criteria

In addition to the requirements above, the Small Ticket interchange category has two additional criteria.

  1. The transaction total must be under $15.
  2. The business must be an eligible business type. Some businesses, such as grocery stores, service stations, convenience stores, and direct marketing are not eligible for Small Ticket interchange even if they meet the other criteria listed.

CPS Retail Debit and Prepaid on Statements

If you’re on interchange plus pricing, your processor will typically list the interchange categories that your transactions qualified for. However, processors can (and often do) use different names than Visa does to refer to interchange categories. Often, you’ll see the above categories abbreviated. Less commonly, they may be listed under a different name entirely. The list below provides some common ways to might see the categories listed on your monthly processing statement.

(Note that if you’re on a flat rate or bundled pricing model, you won’t see interchange level detail on your statement.)

CPS Retail Debit

Also known as: RETAIL D.

Easy enough – the “retail” refers to CPS retail, and the “D” indicates debit. (As opposed to credit or prepaid.) The “regulated” category often simply adds an “R.” You’ll see RETAIL D R, for retail debit regulated.

CPS Small Ticket

Also known as: SML TKT D.

This one is a simple abbreviation of the category and the addition of a “D” to indicate debit. Once again, the “regulated” version will include an R on the end, leading to SML TKT D R.

CPS Retail Prepaid

Also known as: RETAIL PP

No tricks here – it’s simply “retail” and the letters “PP” for “prepaid.”

CPS Small Ticket Prepaid

Also known as: SML TKT PP

As with the debit small ticket category, the prepaid category simply abbreviates the first part and adds “PP” for “prepaid.”

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Ellen Cunningham

BY Ellen Cunningham

Ellen has a degree in English, which she puts to work every day researching and writing articles, processor reviews, and social media posts. She enjoys the challenge of explaining complex topics - making her a perfect fit for credit card processing - and strongly believes in CardFellow's mission of empowering business owners through education.When she's not busy following the latest industry news, Ellen can be found cycling the beautiful trails of southern New England, narrowly losing at pub quizzes, or practicing her trapeze skills in aerial circus class.

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