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SAN FRANCISCO -- Visa Inc. is set to make three notable changes to its merchant fee structure, including the implementation of a new Fixed Acquirer Network Fee. The financial services company expects the changes -- which will be applied across its network starting in April -- to reduce acquirer fees "in the aggregate."
"Debit regulation has altered the competitive landscape. To enable Visa to compete in the new environment, we have revised our business strategy in a manner designed to benefit merchants, financial institutions and Visa," the company said in a statement.
As part of this revised strategy, Visa explained that it is changing its fee structure with the intent of lowering the cost of Visa acceptance, while allowing continued investments in its network. In step one, Visa will lower variable acquirer processing fees for all Visa-branded products and across all merchant segments, including small merchants. Second, it is expanding acquirer and merchant incentives to lower merchants' processing costs. Finally, the company is implementing a new Fixed Acquirer Network Fee that will be assessed to acquirers based on a merchant's size and its number of locations.
"Under this new structure, we have taken particular care to make sure the benefits can reach even the smallest retailers and charitable organizations. The acquirer fixed fee is expected to be $2 per month for approximately 60 percent of merchants and $5 or less per month for approximately 80 percent of merchants," Visa stated. "Ultimately these changes should provide merchants and acquirers with financial incentive to route transactions to Visa. The more transactions they route, the lower the cost per transaction."