skip to main navigation skip to secondary navigation skip to content
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
skip secondary navigation
Federal Reserve Board of Governors

Regulation II (Debit Card Interchange Fees and Routing)

Average Debit Card Interchange Fee by Payment Card Network

Background

The Board's Regulation II provides that an issuer subject to the interchange fee standard (a covered issuer) may not receive an interchange fee that exceeds 21 cents plus 0.05 percent multiplied by the value of the transaction, plus a 1-cent fraud-prevention adjustment, if eligible. Transactions made using certain reloadable general-use prepaid cards and debit cards issued pursuant to government-administered payment programs are exempt from the interchange fee standard, even if the card is issued by a covered issuer.

As used below, "covered transactions" are transactions made using debit cards issued by covered issuers, excluding transactions made using prepaid or government program cards that are exempt from the interchange fee standard. All other transactions are referred to as "exempt transactions."

Highlights for 2015 Data

  • The average interchange fee per covered transaction has changed little since Q4 2011, when Regulation II had taken effect.
  • For exempt transactions, the average interchange fee per transaction processed over dual-message networks has changed little since Q4 2011, while the average interchange fee per transaction processed over single-message networks has declined.
  • Exempt transactions constituted 38.2% of total volume and 37.0% of total value for transactions processed over dual-message networks, higher than for single-message networks (35.2% and 35.0%, respectively); these proportions have changed little since Regulation II took effect.
  • The average interchange fee per covered transaction was similar for transactions processed over dual-message networks (which are mostly signature-authenticated) and those processed over single-message networks (which are mostly PIN-authenticated): $0.23 and $0.24 respectively.
  • The average interchange fee per exempt transaction was considerably higher for transactions processed over dual-message networks than for those processed over single-message networks: $0.51 and $0.26 respectively.
  • For transactions processed over dual-message networks, the average interchange fee per exempt transaction was considerably higher than that for covered transactions ($0.51 vs. $0.23).
  • For transactions processed over single-message networks, the average interchange fee per exempt transaction has been steadily declining since Regulation II took effect, and in 2015 was only slightly higher than that for covered transactions ($0.26 vs. $0.24).
  • 95.0% of prepaid card transactions (by value) were exempt from the interchange fee standard.
  • Prepaid card transactions exempt from the standard constituted 3.0% of transaction value for covered issuers.

Average Debit Card Interchange Fee

Chart 1 Average Interchange Fee per Transaction. A line graph showing average fees since late 2011 through 2016 by network type: Dual-message networks and Single message networks.
1. Data for years prior to 2013 reflect a split between covered/exempt issuers, rather than covered/exempt transactions.

 

   Average Debit Card Interchange Fee by Payment Card Network
Network1 2015
Exempt transactions2 Covered transactions3 All transactions
(exempt and covered transactions)4
% of total
number of
transactions5
% of total
value of
transactions6
Average
transaction value7
Average
interchange fee
per transaction8
Interchange fee
as % of average
transaction
value9
% of total
number of
transactions5
% of total
value of
transactions6
Average
transaction value7
Average
interchange fee
per transaction8
Interchange fee
as % of average
transaction
value9
Average
transaction value7
Average
interchange fee
per transaction8
Interchange fee
as % of average
transaction
value9
Dual-message10 38.2% 37.0% $36.49 $0.51 1.39% 61.8% 63.0% $38.38 $0.23 0.60% $37.66 $0.34 0.89%
Discover 99.6% 99.5% $41.67 $0.65 1.56% 0.4% 0.5% $43.38 $0.24 0.55% $41.67 $0.65 1.55%
MasterCard 50.8% 50.3% $37.98 $0.57 1.50% 49.2% 49.7% $38.77 $0.24 0.61% $38.37 $0.41 1.06%
Visa 34.2% 32.7% $35.77 $0.48 1.34% 65.8% 67.3% $38.29 $0.23 0.59% $37.43 $0.31 0.84%
Single-message11 35.2% 35.0% $39.07 $0.26 0.65% 64.8% 65.0% $39.34 $0.24 0.60% $39.25 $0.24 0.62%
ACCEL 93.2% 92.8% $43.26 $0.21 0.48% 6.8% 7.2% $45.66 $0.24 0.53% $43.43 $0.21 0.49%
AFFN 88.3% 86.9% $34.55 $0.25 0.72% 11.7% 13.1% $39.48 $0.21 0.54% $35.12 $0.25 0.70%
ATH 14.2% 20.0% $50.58 $0.25 0.50% 85.8% 80.0% $33.44 $0.19 0.57% $35.87 $0.20 0.56%
Credit Union 24 99.5% 99.5% $48.17 $0.23 0.47% 0.5% 0.5% $42.93 $0.20 0.47% $48.14 $0.23 0.47%
Interlink 10.2% 9.4% $35.43 $0.35 0.99% 89.8% 90.6% $38.95 $0.24 0.61% $38.59 $0.25 0.65%
Jeanie 89.7% 88.9% $46.13 $0.19 0.42% 10.3% 11.1% $49.73 $0.19 0.38% $46.50 $0.19 0.41%
Maestro 17.0% 16.9% $36.77 $0.27 0.72% 83.0% 83.1% $37.14 $0.24 0.64% $37.07 $0.24 0.65%
NetWorks 25.7% 22.8% $28.30 $0.30 1.06% 74.3% 77.2% $33.01 $0.24 0.72% $31.80 $0.25 0.79%
NYCE 64.4% 62.3% $38.19 $0.29 0.77% 35.6% 37.7% $41.90 $0.23 0.55% $39.51 $0.27 0.69%
PULSE 59.3% 56.6% $38.63 $0.29 0.74% 40.7% 43.4% $43.05 $0.24 0.55% $40.43 $0.27 0.66%
SHAZAM 79.2% 73.7% $35.92 $0.26 0.72% 20.8% 26.3% $48.75 $0.16 0.33% $38.59 $0.24 0.61%
STAR 49.9% 47.5% $38.95 $0.22 0.56% 50.1% 52.5% $42.95 $0.24 0.55% $40.95 $0.23 0.55%
UnionPay 100.0% 100.0% $4.22 $0.02 0.38% 0.0% 0.0% NA NA NA $4.22 $0.02 0.38%
All networks 37.2% 36.3% $37.33 $0.43 1.14% 62.8% 63.7% $38.72 $0.23 0.60% $38.20 $0.30 0.80%

1. Networks listed are defined as payment card networks under the Board's Regulation II. Presto!, by the network's policy, is accessible exclusively through one merchant, which is affiliated with the network. Presto! statistics are included in the "Single-message” statistics and the "All networks" statistics but are not listed individually. Statistics for the "Dual-message," "Single-message," and "All networks" rows are weighted averages based on each network's number or value of transactions. Return to table.

2. Exempt transactions: Transactions processed by issuers exempt from the interchange fee standard, as well as transactions processed by issuers otherwise covered by the interchange fee standard that qualify for another exemption from the standard. Exempt issuers have total worldwide banking and nonbanking assets (including assets of affiliates), other than trust assets under management, of less than $10 billion as of December 31, 2015. Exempt transactions for covered issuers are transactions made with certain debit cards provided pursuant to government-administered payment programs and certain reloadable general-use prepaid cards. Return to table.

3. Covered transactions: Transactions processed by issuers subject to the interchange fee standard that do not qualify for another exemption from the standard. Return to table.

4. All transactions: Exempt transactions and covered transactions. Return to table.

5. % of total number of transactions: The percentage of settled purchase transactions made with cards that are exempt from, or covered by, the interchange fee standard. Return to table.

6. % of total value of transactions: The percentage of the value of settled purchase transactions made with cards that are exempt from, or covered by, the interchange fee standard. Return to table.

7. Average transaction value: The value of settled purchase transactions divided by the number of settled purchase transactions. Return to table.

8. Average interchange fee per transaction: Total interchange fees divided by the number of settled purchase transactions. Return to table.

9. Interchange fee as % of average transaction value: Total interchange fees divided by the value of settled purchase transactions. Return to table.

10. Dual-message network: A payment card network that typically uses separate messages to authorize and clear a transaction. These networks normally process signature-authenticated transactions, although some transactions, such as small-value purchases, may not require any cardholder authentication. In some instances, a dual-message network may use a single message to authorize and clear a given transaction and may require the entry of a PIN for cardholder authentication in that transaction. As applicable, the totals for a particular dual-message network include information on any single-message transactions performed on that network. Return to table.

11. Single-message network: A payment card network that uses a single message to authorize and clear a transaction. These networks normally process PIN-authenticated transactions, although some transactions, such as small-value purchases, may not require any authentication (PIN-less) or may use signature authentication. Return to table.

Data for Previous Years

Data revised as of May 5, 2015

Visit the Excel viewer Leaving the Board for more information. Filter and sort features have been added to the column headers in the Excel spreadsheet to assist you with searching and to allow for the creation of custom datasets. Click on the arrow button in each column header to view and select the different filter and sort features.
 

Return to topReturn to top

Last update: July 22, 2016