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Frequently asked questions about changes to your pricing

Why are my fees and charges changing?

Our fees and charges are designed to cover the costs we incur for processing your card transactions.  If our costs change, we’ll usually pass these changes on by updating our fees and charges.

In addition, we want to ensure that our fees and charges are competitive, in line with market rates and applied consistently across customers with similar transaction profiles.

My fees and charges were changed recently. Why are you changing them again?

Our fees and charges are reviewed on a regular basis. If the review determines that we’re not covering our costs, or if you’re not being charged in line with market rates or other customers with a similar transaction profile, they may be updated again.

How have you determined my pricing?

  • Your pricing is determined by a number of factors, including:

    1. The costs we incur when processing your card transactions – this includes the fees we pay to the Card Schemes and Card Issuers 

    2. Your transaction profile, which includes:
    ·        the overall volume and type of card payments that you take
  • ·        the average amount of each transaction

We monitor market rates and aim to keep our prices in alignment with these wherever possible and apply them fairly across our different customer profiles.

How do changes from Card Schemes, such as Visa and Mastercard, affect my pricing?

When we, the Card Acquirer, process a transaction on your behalf we incur charges from the Card Schemes (for example Visa and Mastercard) for each transaction. These charges include Interchange and Scheme Fees, so whenever these change we’re likely to adjust your rates to ensure they continue to cover our costs. 

What is Interchange?

Interchange is a fee paid to the Bank who issued the card used for the transaction. The amount of Interchange is set by the Card Schemes and varies based on the type of card (credit, debit or commercial card), the country where the card was issued and how and where the transaction is taken.

What are Scheme Fees?

Scheme Fees are paid directly to the Card Scheme for the use of its network. As with Interchange, Scheme Fees also vary based on the type of card used, where it was issued and how and where the transaction was taken.

Do all Card Acquirers include the cost of Interchange and Scheme Fees in their pricing?

All card acquirers are subject to the Interchange and Scheme Fees levied by the Card Schemes. How they choose to build these costs into their fees and charges may differ: some may include them in the base MSC rate applied to all transactions of a certain card type  while others may apply them as a separate fee as and when they are incurred.

What is the Card Not Present (CNP) fee?

This is a new fee that we’re introducing to cover the increased costs that Visa and Mastercard charge for processing ecommerce and mail / telephone order transactions. 

If this fee forms part of your pricing package it will be shown on your charges schedule, and will be charged in addition to your base Merchant Service Charge (MSC) rate for CNP transactions. 

What is the international transaction fee?

The Interchange and Scheme fees we pay on International transactions are higher than on domestic transactions. So, to cover this additional cost, we charge an international transaction fee.  

If this fee forms part of your pricing package it will be shown on your charges schedule and will be charged in addition to your base Merchant Service Charge (MSC) rate for transactions where the card is issued outside of the European Economic Area.  

What is a non-secure transaction and why does it attract an additional non-secure fee?

A non-secure transaction is a transaction that doesn’t use secure authentication, so a face to face transaction that doesn’t use chip and pin or contactless, an ecommerce transaction that doesn’t use 3D Secure or a MOTO transaction that doesn’t use the CVV2/ CSC. The costs associated with processing non-secure transactions are higher than those for secure transactions, so to cover this additional cost we may charge a non-secure fee.

If this fee forms part of your pricing package it will be shown on your charges schedule and will be charged in addition to your base Merchant Service Charge (MSC) rate for non-secure transactions.

What is a chargeback fee? 

If a cardholder disputes a transaction that you’ve processed we have a duty to respond to this. We request evidence from you to present to the Card Issuer. We liaise with them in order to defend the case. The chargeback fee is designed to cover our administration costs for this process.

What is an authorisation fee?

When an authorisation is requested, either automatically by your payment solution or manually in advance of the transaction being processed, the authorisation checks that the card is valid and has available funds at that time.

We process this authorisation for you, using the appropriate Card Scheme’s network to contact the card’s issuing bank.  The authorisation fee covers our costs for running the automated authorisation service as well as any manual voice authorisations.

Am I allowed to pass on these transaction charges to cardholders when I process their transaction?

No, the Card Schemes do not allow merchants to pass on charges to cardholders (known as ‘surcharging’), although there is an exception for some Commercial and International card types and International fees.  This is covered in your Merchant Terms and Conditions.

What’s a minimum monthly charge?  

The minimum monthly charge ensures that we cover the costs of providing and servicing your account.  Where your monthly transaction charges (Merchant Service Charges, CNP Fees, International Transaction Fees and Authorisation Fees) are less than this, we’ll make an adjustment to bring them up to the minimum value.

What is a monthly terminal rental fee? 

This is the monthly fee that relates to the hire of your card machine(s). Any changes to terminal rental fees are designed to reflect the cost of providing the card machine(s) and to drive consistency in the way these costs are passed onto our customers. 

Has my merchant acquiring services agreement with you changed?

Yes, but only in terms of fees and charges. Our letter is a notice of variation to your contract, advising you of the changes and giving you the period of notice required by your terms and conditions. So you should keep a copy for future reference.

My PCI DSS charges are not shown on the enclosed charges and fees schedule, why is that?

The PCI DSS fees and charges that you currently pay are still in place and remain unaffected by this letter.  If they are due to change - for example, because your compliance status or the service you use to tell us about your status has changed - we will write to you separately. 

How can I see a copy of the Merchant Terms and Conditions?  

Here's a copy of the most recent standard Merchant Terms and Conditions (PDF 882KB).

Where can I see my current fees and charges?

Please refer to your most recent statement for these.  If you need help understanding your statement please visit our help and support page

How can I find more information about the right way to process card transactions safely and securely?

You can find lots of useful information about using your account and processing card transactions securely in the Procedure Guide (PDF 974KB).

I’d like to discuss this letter further - who should I call?

If you have any questions regarding your new pricing and the impact of the changes, please give us a call on 0800 046 6801 *.

I need to raise an additional outlet (Merchant ID) – will this attract the new rates too?

Yes, any new Merchant ID raised between now and the effective date will attract the rates detailed in your letter.

 

If you have any further questions that are not answered here then please call our Customer Services Team on 0800 046 6801* who will be happy to help.

*Calls to 0800 numbers are free from UK landlines and personal mobiles otherwise call charges may apply. Calls may be monitored or recorded in order to maintain high levels of security and quality of service.