Credit Card Processing

Visa Network Participation Fee


March 21, 2018

Visa has scrapped what it was calling the Network Participation Fee in place of the Fixed Acquirer Network Fee due to become effective on April 1, 2012.

We’re leaving this article here for historical reference, but will not be updating it. Instead, new information about the Fixed Acquirer Network Fee (FANF) can be found at the post linked above.

Visa has announced a new Network Participation Fee and pricing structure in response to the Durbin Amendment. Part of the amendment allows merchants to choose routing networks for their debit card transactions.

Visa Network Participation Fee

Though details are sparse at the moment, Visa is planning a lower, more aggressive pricing for structure for debit card transactions that will allow the company to compete with PIN debit networks that stand to grab market share once the Durbin rules go into effect.

Visa is planning to lower its variable debit interchange rate in October, and charge a fixed Network Participation Fee. Early speculation is that Visa’s new Network Participation Fee will be an incentive-based fee — moving lower as a merchant routes more debit transactions through Visa’s network.

In Visa’s latest quarterly earnings conference, Chairman Joseph W. Saunders said, “We expect the lower fees to help us win debit routing volume and to effectively compete on the issuing side of the business.”

Exact details of fees aren’t currently available. However, we will update this post as Visa releases clearer, more specific details about the Network Participation Fee.


MasterCard announced that it plans to take a different route than Visa in response to the Durbin debit changes. Instead of imposing an incentive-based fee, MasterCard has said the company will work with issuers and acquirers to maintain debit transaction volume.

Here are some good articles on the topic:
MasterCard Will Sweet-Talk Debit Issuers One by One
Visa Outlines New Fee Structure To Defend Its Debit Business

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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