As part of a major update of its point-of-sale (POS) system, payments behemoth Visa announced that it is planning to change merchant fees rates for United States-based merchants.
The plan was announced in a Visa document sent to banks detailing a program update that will be carried out in April and October. With regard to this step, the company plans to force retailers to avoid using checks and to change their new fee system for new businesses.
Visa plans to introduce higher rates for e-commerce platform purchases and lower rates for certain types of services, such as real estate, health care, and education. Standard Visa cardholders will thus pay an additional 9 cents for a $100 transaction, and premium Visa cardholders will pay 10 cents more than current rates.
For groups like large supermarkets, premium-card holders will see a 33 percent reduction in the exchange charge for a $50 purchase. The document which Visa dispatched reads:
“The U.S. credit interchange structure has been largely unchanged for the past 10 years. Based on the most recent review in the U.S., Visa is adjusting its default U.S. interchange rate structure to optimize acceptance and usage and reflect the current value of Visa products.”
Given the dramatic change in the global financial and payment landscape since the development of digital currencies, the involvement of major credit players such as Visa is a major bellwether to adopt.
Visa in recent months has made a number of investments and acquisitions related to crypto-currency and fintech space.
The company acquired financial technology firm Plaid for $5.3 billion in mid-January. Plaid’s products allegedly enable the convenient sharing of financial information with thousands of apps, while the company also serves Abra’s cryptocurrency wallet, and Coinbase’s crypto-exchange services are used by the company to obtain banking information from clients.