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 2018 Data

  • The average interchange fee per covered transaction was slightly lower in 2018 for transactions processed over dual-message networks than for those processed over single-message networks: $0.22 and $0.24, respectively.
  • By contrast, the average interchange fee per exempt transaction was considerably higher in 2018 for transactions processed over dual-message networks than for those processed over single-message networks: $0.54 and $0.25, respectively.
  • Since Regulation II took effect on October 1, 2011, neither the average interchange fee per covered transaction nor the average interchange fee per exempt transaction have changed significantly.
  • By contrast, the average interchange fee per exempt transaction increased slightly for dual-message networks in 2018 compared to previous years, while the average interchange fee per exempt transactions remained largely unchanged from 2017 to 2018 for single-message networks after declining in previous years.
  • Exempt transactions constituted 37.2 percent of total volume and 36.0 percent of total value for debit card transactions in 2018, with the proportions slightly higher for transactions processed over dual-message networks than for those processed over single-message networks. These proportions have changed little since Regulation II took effect.
  • The vast majority of prepaid card transactions were exempt from the interchange fee standard in 2018: 92.9 percent by volume and 94.1 percent by value. Overall, prepaid card transactions constituted 6.3 percent of total volume and 5.8 percent of total value for debit card transactions in 2018.

 

Average Debit Card Interchange Fee

Chart 1 Average Interchange Fee per Transaction. A line graph showing average fees since late 2011 through 2017 by network type: Dual-message networks and Single message networks.
a. Data for years prior to 2013 reflect a split between covered/exempt issuers, rather than covered/exempt transactions.

Accessible Version

Average Debit Card Interchange Fee by Payment Card Network
Network1 2018
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 37.4% 36.2% $38.04 $0.54 1.41% 62.6% 63.8% $40.07 $0.22 0.56% $39.31 $0.34 0.87%
Discover 96.4% 96.1% $36.82 $0.53 1.44% 3.6% 3.9% $39.32 $0.24 0.61% $36.91 $0.52 1.41%
MasterCard 55.0% 54.2% $39.53 $0.58 1.47% 45.0% 45.8% $40.88 $0.23 0.57% $40.14 $0.42 1.06%
Visa 32.1% 30.6% $37.30 $0.51 1.38% 67.9% 69.4% $39.92 $0.22 0.55% $39.08 $0.31 0.81%
     Visa dual‑message 29.7% 28.3% $37.29 $0.53 1.43% 70.3% 71.7% $39.87 $0.22 0.55% $39.10 $0.31 0.80%
     Visa single‑message11 76.1% 73.6% $37.33 $0.36 0.96% 23.9% 26.4% $42.54 $0.24 0.57% $38.58 $0.33 0.86%
Single‑message12 36.7% 35.6% $37.23 $0.25 0.67% 63.3% 64.4% $39.00 $0.24 0.61% $38.35 $0.24 0.63%
ACCEL 93.0% 92.8% $40.10 $0.21 0.52% 7.0% 7.2% $41.63 $0.24 0.57% $40.21 $0.21 0.53%
AFFN 88.3% 82.5% $34.13 $0.25 0.72% 11.7% 17.5% $54.77 $0.20 0.37% $36.54 $0.24 0.66%
ATH 16.9% 20.0% $46.77 $0.21 0.45% 83.1% 80.0% $38.10 $0.20 0.53% $39.57 $0.20 0.51%
Culiance13 100.0% 100.0% $46.89 $0.26 0.55% 0.0% 0.0% NA NA NA $46.89 $0.26 0.55%
Interlink 12.1% 10.0% $32.44 $0.35 1.09% 87.9% 90.0% $40.28 $0.24 0.60% $39.33 $0.25 0.65%
Jeanie 99.7% 99.7% $46.41 $0.25 0.54% 0.3% 0.3% $43.72 $0.15 0.34% $46.41 $0.25 0.54%
Maestro 19.9% 18.1% $32.27 $0.24 0.75% 80.1% 81.9% $36.27 $0.24 0.65% $35.47 $0.24 0.67%
NYCE 83.1% 82.0% $38.00 $0.30 0.80% 16.9% 18.0% $40.99 $0.22 0.53% $38.51 $0.29 0.75%
PULSE 61.9% 60.1% $40.86 $0.27 0.67% 38.1% 39.9% $44.07 $0.24 0.55% $42.08 $0.26 0.62%
SHAZAM 82.6% 79.9% $34.96 $0.26 0.73% 17.4% 20.1% $41.53 $0.21 0.50% $36.11 $0.25 0.69%
STAR 49.7% 46.6% $36.06 $0.20 0.54% 50.3% 53.4% $40.76 $0.24 0.58% $38.42 $0.22 0.56%
UnionPay 100.0% 100.0% $3.54 $0.02 0.44% 0.0% 0.0% NA NA NA $3.54 $0.02 0.44%
All networks 37.2% 36.0% $37.76 $0.44 1.16% 62.8% 64.0% $39.69 $0.23 0.57% $38.98 $0.31 0.78%

Note: Networks may offer multiple pricing programs to issuers. This table reflects each network's average interchange fee across all of its transactions and does not reflect what a particular issuer will earn by participating in a particular network or combination of networks.

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 of the previous year. 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 have traditionally processed signature-authenticated transactions, although some transactions may not require a signature. 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 transactions processed over Visa, a dual-message network. For data prior to 2018, single-message and dual-message transactions over Visa are not reported separately. Return to table.

12. 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. In some instances, a network that typically uses a single message to authorize and clear and transaction may use separate messages to authorize and clear a given transaction. As applicable, the totals for a particular single-message network include information on any dual-message transactions performed on that network. Return to table.

13. Prior to 2017, Culiance was known as Credit Union 24 Network. Return to table.

Data for Previous Years

Data revised as of June 24, 2019
Previous years' data are subject to minor changes based on revisions to underlying data.

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Last Update: July 18, 2019