Average Debit Card Interchange Fee by Payment Card Network

Background

The Board's Regulation II (Reg 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 2016 Data

  • In 2016, 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.
  • By contrast, in 2016, 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.
  • The average interchange fee per covered transaction and the average interchange fee per transaction processed over dual-message networks have changed little since Reg II took effect on October 1, 2011.
  • By contrast, the average interchange fee per exempt transaction processed over single-message networks has declined since Reg II took effect.
  • Exempt transactions constituted 37.0 percent of total volume and 36.1 percent of total value for debit card transactions in 2016, 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 Reg II took effect.
  • The vast majority of prepaid card transactions were exempt from the interchange fee standard in 2016: 90.4 percent by volume and 92.8 percent by value. Overall, prepaid card transactions constituted 5.5 percent of total volume and 5.3 percent of total value for debit card transactions in 2016.

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.

Accessible Version

Average Debit Card Interchange Fee by Payment Card Network
Network1 2016
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 37.8% 36.7% $36.48 $0.51 1.39% 62.2% 63.3% $38.24 $0.23 0.59% $37.58 $0.33 0.89%
Discover 99.8% 99.8% $40.73 $0.65 1.59% 0.2% 0.2% $33.61 $0.23 0.70% $40.72 $0.65 1.59%
MasterCard 53.0% 52.6% $37.97 $0.56 1.49% 47.0% 47.4% $38.56 $0.24 0.61% $38.25 $0.41 1.07%
Visa 33.0% 31.6% $35.73 $0.48 1.34% 67.0% 68.4% $38.17 $0.22 0.59% $37.37 $0.31 0.83%
Single-message11 35.6% 35.0% $37.65 $0.26 0.68% 64.4% 65.0% $38.72 $0.24 0.61% $38.34 $0.24 0.64%
ACCEL 94.4% 93.6% $39.82 $0.24 0.60% 5.6% 6.4% $46.15 $0.24 0.53% $40.18 $0.24 0.59%
AFFN 88.7% 83.7% $34.61 $0.24 0.69% 11.3% 16.3% $52.84 $0.20 0.38% $36.67 $0.24 0.64%
ATH 16.0% 20.0% $43.79 $0.21 0.48% 84.0% 80.0% $33.31 $0.20 0.59% $34.99 $0.20 0.57%
Credit Union 24 99.4% 99.4% $46.62 $0.23 0.49% 0.6% 0.6% $42.13 $0.21 0.51% $46.59 $0.23 0.49%
Interlink 10.2% 9.0% $33.16 $0.35 1.05% 89.8% 91.0% $38.06 $0.24 0.63% $37.57 $0.25 0.67%
Jeanie 92.3% 92.0% $46.04 $0.26 0.56% 7.7% 8.0% $47.87 $0.23 0.48% $46.18 $0.25 0.55%
Maestro 20.5% 19.9% $35.93 $0.26 0.74% 79.5% 80.1% $37.17 $0.24 0.64% $36.92 $0.24 0.66%
NetWorks 34.5% 31.8% $30.05 $0.31 1.03% 65.5% 68.2% $33.85 $0.24 0.70% $32.54 $0.26 0.81%
NYCE 72.3% 70.4% $37.21 $0.29 0.78% 27.7% 29.6% $40.73 $0.23 0.57% $38.18 $0.28 0.72%
PULSE 61.8% 58.7% $38.72 $0.28 0.73% 38.2% 41.3% $44.11 $0.24 0.54% $40.78 $0.27 0.66%
SHAZAM 81.4% 76.5% $34.50 $0.25 0.72% 18.6% 23.5% $46.43 $0.16 0.34% $36.71 $0.23 0.63%
STAR 49.2% 46.4% $37.70 $0.20 0.54% 50.8% 53.6% $42.20 $0.23 0.56% $39.98 $0.22 0.55%
UnionPay 100.0% 100.0% $43.29 $0.18 0.41% 0.0% 0.0% NA NA NA $43.29 $0.18 0.41%
All networks 37.0% 36.1% $36.87 $0.42 1.15% 63.0% 63.9% $38.41 $0.23 0.60% $37.84 $0.30 0.80%

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: Settled purchase transactions exempt from the interchange fee standard, including those for issuers exempt from the standard, as well as those for issuers covered by the standard that qualify for another exemption from the standard. These additional exemptions apply to transactions using (a) cards pursuant to certain government-administered payment programs, and (b) certain reloadable general-use prepaid cards. For a definition of exempt issuers, see https://www.federalreserve.gov/paymentsystems/regii-interchange-fee-standards.htm. Return to table.

3. Covered transactions: Settled purchase transactions covered by the interchange fee standard, including those for issuers covered by the 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 that are exempt from, or covered by, the interchange fee standard. Note: Certain transactions for issuers covered by the standard are exempt from the standard. Return to table.

6. % of total value of transactions: The percentage of the value of settled purchase transactions that are exempt from, or covered by, the interchange fee standard. Note: Certain transactions for issuers covered by the standard are exempt from the 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 July 14, 2017
Previous years' data are subject to minor changes based on revisions to underlying data.

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Last Update: July 14, 2017