Credit Card Processing

Kilobyte Access Fee (Visa and Mastercard)

by Ben Dwyer

Visa and Mastercard both charge a Kilobyte Access Fee as one of their assessment fees for credit card processing. As of 2018, Visa’s fee is set at $0.0047 while Mastercard’s is $0.0035. The fee is charged for each authorization transaction submitted to the card network for settlement. Let’s look at what that means and how to determine your costs for the Kilobyte Access Fee.

Assessment Fees

Both Visa and Mastercard charge assessment fees as a way to make money from credit card transactions. Assessment fees are typically small (often fractions of a penny) but multiple assessment fees can apply to the same transaction.

The Kilobyte Access Fee is a common Visa and Mastercard assessment that you will be charged when accepting credit cards. You’ll pay it through your credit card processor.

Kilobyte Access Fee

Both Visa and Mastercard’s Kilobyte Access Fee will be charged for every authorization transaction that you submit to the card network for settlement. Basically, if you’re processing a Visa or Mastercard transaction, you can expect to pay the Kilobyte Access Fee.

Fortunately, the KB fees are small: Visa charges $0.0047 and Mastercard charges $0.0035. However, just because the card companies set these rates doesn’t mean that’s all your processor will charge. In some cases, processors “pad” the assessment fees, resulting in higher costs for you. Unfortunately, the Kilobyte Fee is often one of the ones left off statements as a line item, instead lumped in with other fees or disclosed with no information on the number of transactions to which it applied.

You can try to check your monthly processing statement for these fees to determine if you’re paying them at cost or if your processor charges extra, but remember that the fee may not be listed separately, which makes it difficult to determine what you were charged.

Note: CardFellow clients do not need to check their statements. CardFellow’s agreement with processors prohibits padding assessments, and CardFellow checks that your processor charges correctly as part of your statement audits. Please contact us if you would like a statement audit or have questions about your assessment charges.

Locating the KB Fee on Your Processing Statement

As mentioned above, processors commonly omit the Kilobyte Fee as a line item. That can make it difficult or impossible to locate.

In some cases, the fee will be listed, but won’t include any information on the number of transactions on which the fee was charged, so it’s not possible to do verification math. The statement snippets below show two examples of the fee listed on statements, but neither are ideal.

kilobyte fee example

In the first example, the snippet doesn’t include the number of transactions, but simply says the total amount charged was $0.04.

In the second example, the snippet includes the number of transactions and the rate charged, but the rate is actually lower than Mastercard’s Kilobyte Fee rate of $0.0035. Instead, the processor lists it at $0.0014. It’s not clear if/where the processor is charging the rest of the cost.

Note that the examples above are from interchange plus processing statements. You may be able to find the Kilobyte Fee on interchange plus and tiered processing statements, but you will not see it on flat rate statements.

Lowering Processing Costs

Many businesses pay more than they have to for processing. While assessment fees, such as the Kilobyte Access Fee, are small and non-negotiable, other components of cost are larger. You may be able to reduce other fees. If you want to see if you could save on processing, try CardFellow’s price comparison tool to see pricing tailored to your business from multiple processors. It’s free, fast, and private, with no obligation. See your costs now!

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