Update: Effective June 30, 2013 MasterCard’s NABU fee will increase from $0.0185 to $0.0195.
Update: Effective January 8, 2012 MasterCard’s NABU fee will apply to authorization transactions instead of settlement transactions. The NABU fee will remain for refund requests.
MasterCard charges a fee of $0.0185 on all settle or refunded credit and signature debit card transactions. MasterCard calls this charge a Network Access Brand Usage fee.
Revenue generated from the NABU fee goes directly to MasterCard. It is not collected by credit card processors or issuing banks.
MasterCard began charging the NABU fee is April of 2009. Prior to the $0.0185 charge, MasterCard assessed a $0.005 Acquirer Access Fee to transactions run through its network.
Since revenue from the NABU fee goes directly to MasterCard, most processors assess the fee to businesses at cost. However, in the case of tiered pricing the NABU fee is bundled with a business’s general qualified, mid-qualified and non-qualified rates. Although uncommon, it is possible for processors to markup the NABU fee even for businesses that are billed via more transparent interchange plus pricing.