MALVERN, PA -- USA Technologies Inc. announced in early November that there will be no increase in Visa debit card processing rates to its customers. USAT's processing rates for all major credit cards also remain unchanged.
"There's been a lot of angst and confusion over processing costs for small-ticket transactions and we want to make it clear to our customers that our post-Durbin rate structure is the same as it was pre-Durbin. Nothing has not changed, and they can go forward with confidence," said USAT senior sales vice-president Mike Lawlor.
On Oct. 1, Visa and MasterCard increased the debit card interchange fee cap to 22¢ per transaction, as precipitated by the Durbin Amendment. The move disproportionately impacts merchants who sell products or services for less than approximately $11 per transaction. The National Automatic Merchandising Association, USAT and other cashless vending providers have been advocating for relief on the industry's behalf.
"As a leading provider of cashless payments systems to the small-ticket, unattended markets like vending, USAT moved swiftly and successfully, working with its card processing partners, to develop a solution to overcome the potential negative impact to our industry arising from recent increased debit card interchange fees," said Lawlor.
He said consumers could continue using Visa-branded debit and prepaid cards, as well as Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express credit cards, at more than 100,000 unattended points of sale served by USAT.
Lawlor said Visa credit and debit cards, combined with all major credit cards, represent approximately 85% of all cashless transactions on its network. "By continuing to accept Visa debit and prepaid cards and all major credit cards with no increase in processing rates to our customers, we believe we have shown our commitment to providing our customers with what we believe is the best, highest value, most scalable solution with the lowest total cost of ownership on the market today," he said.
The company said it currently continues to accept MasterCard-branded debit cards, and processing rates for them have also not changed. What remains uncertain is whether USAT will continue accepting them in the future. "We hope MasterCard chooses to continue to support small-ticket transactions like Visa has done," Lawlor told VT. "There's a strong possibility we may not be able to continue to accept MasterCard debit, since our customers are not willing to absorb the new 21¢ rate. The ball's in MasterCard's court, and we are looking at all options."
USAT is hosting a series of webinars for vending operators to help clarify the background of the Durbin rate increases, the potential impact on small-ticket markets like vending, and the stabilization of USAT's own debit and credit card processing fees.