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June 19th 2019

U.S. Merchant Card Fees Reach All-Time High

The cost of accepting card payments is the highest it’s ever been, and still rising. Recent reports have stated that the total cost of accepting cards in the U.S. has now exceeded $100 billion a year for the first time: however, CMSPI analysis suggests that the actual cost to merchants of processing could be even higher!


Over recent years, the merchant community has been hit by declining cash volumes; weak regulation; high fraud rates; and a whole host of replacement fees following the Durbin Amendment. As a result, processing customer transactions in the U.S. has never been so costly: and as the global networks continue to line their pockets at the expense of the merchant community, it’s now more critical than ever that merchants conduct a thorough, holistic review of their card processing fees.

There are numerous ways a merchant can seek to reduce their Merchant Service Charges, and these generally fit into 3 core categories: PIN debit routing optimisation; negotiating and streamlining ongoing processor fees; and an in-depth audit of your historic invoices.

"$100bn in merchant card fees is enough to be the 65th biggest country by GDP in the world... These fees have got out of control - from our experience, a significant portion of this figure will be made up of overcharges too, which are hidden in complex charging structures."

"It's imperative that merchants audit their card supply chain to understand where their money is going - there's so much that can be done to optimize costs with the right expertise."

George Willis | Head of Global Business Development

Although some merchants may be confident that their arrangements are fully optimized and their costs are minimized, without going through a comprehensive benchmarking process – and without the in-depth market insight to appreciate the nuances behind the different fee categories – achieving this level of optimization would be extremely complex.

We’re supporting some of the world’s biggest merchants to achieve full visibility into their underlying charges, and to significantly reduce the costs associated with their entire payments supply chain. Get in touch by clicking below to find out if we can deliver similar results for your business.