NABU Fee – Network Access Brand Usage
- Mastercard Assessment Fees
- Network Access Brand Usage (NABU) Fee
- Locating the NABU Fee
- How to Lower Your Costs
Mastercard Assessment Fees
Assessment fees, such as the NABU fee, are charges incurred as part of processing a credit card. Revenue generated from the NABU fee goes directly to MasterCard, meaning neither banks nor credit card processors profit from assessment fees.
Assessment fees are set by the card brands, and are subject to change.
Network Access Brand Usage (NABU) Fee
As of 2018, the NABU fee is set at $0.0195.
MasterCard began charging the NABU fee in April of 2009. Prior to the NABU charge, MasterCard assessed an Acquirer Access Fee to transactions run through its network.
Since revenue from the NABU fee goes directly to MasterCard, most processors pass the fee to businesses at cost. However, it is possible for processors to markup the NABU fee even for businesses that are billed via more transparent interchange plus pricing. You can check your statements to see if you’re being billed the NABU fee at cost or at a higher rate. CardFellow clients benefit from free assessment monitoring during statement audits.
Locating the NABU Fee
Every processor includes NABU fees in your costs, but not every processor lists them, or even refers to them by the same name. On interchange plus or tiered pricing, many processors will list NABU Fees or some variation as its own line item, as can be seen in the snippets from three different processing statements below.
Some processors spell out “Network Access and Brand Usage Fee” while others use the NABU abbreviation. In both cases, you can see the $0.0195 fee clearly listed, along with the number of transactions to which it applied (45, 28, and 167, respectively), and the total cost of the fee for that month’s processing.
However, some processors may group together several assessment fees under one different name. In the example below, the NABU fee has been rolled into a charge labeled as the “Mastercard Access Fee.” If you were to look at this statement, you may assume that you hadn’t been charged the NABU fee, as it’s not listed specifically. However, it’s still there – just grouped together with other fees.
As you can see from the snippet, the charge for this “Access Fee” is $0.0269 – higher than the NABU rate of $0.0195. This makes it trickier to determine if you’re paying the NABU fee at cost, since you may not know what other fees are included in the “Access Fee.”
Note that the NABU fee is only likely to be listed on interchange plus and tiered processing statements. If you use a “flat rate” processor (such as Square, PayPal, or Stripe) you will not typically see assessments listed, as all rates and fees are lumped into your one “rate.”
As noted before, CardFellow clients can rest assured that we check your assessments as part of our audit service for your account.
How to Lower Your Costs
Assessment fees are often passed at cost, and as such are non-negotiable. However, there are other ways to lower your overall processing costs. The most effective way is to lower the markup you pay to a processor. Businesses that try CardFellow save an average of 40% on processing by selecting a processor through our competitive processing marketplace.
It’s free to use, and you’ll see instant, fully-disclosed quotes from multiple processors, allowing you to easily and privately compare costs. Try it now!