What are card brand (NABU, assessment) fees?

Dharma doesn’t mark these up.

What are these strange and mysterious fees? Card Brand Fees (also known as Card Association Fees) are the fees that are actually paid back to Visa/MasterCard/Discover. These are also commonly referred to as NABU fees (Network Access and Brand Usage fees). Most merchants don’t realize that the vast majority of the fees paid aren’t actually paid to the Card Associations, but instead to the banks that physically issue the cards. The Card Associations do make their money, though! There are literally dozens of different small circumstantial fees charged by the associations that apply in all different circumstances. Keep in mind that these are not charged by Dharma.  These are fees collected by Dharma and immediately passed through to the Corporate brand of card your customer used. In the interest of full disclosure we post all potential assessment fees, although many merchants may never be subject to many of these specific fees.

Visa Assessments

Visa Fee Pass-Through cost
Credit Assessments 0.13% of credit card volume and $0.0195/transaction. For a $100 credit sale, Visa takes about 15 cents.
Debit Assessments 0.13% of debit card volume and $0.0155/transaction. For a $20 debit sale, Visa takes about 4.2 cents.
FANF Fixed Acquirer Network Fee – Visa charges this flat fee based on how much volume you process per month. Read more here.
International Service Assessment Fee Any card you accept from outside the US will be subject to a 0.80% international surcharge from Visa.
International Acquirer Fee This fee applies under identical circumstances as above – there is an additional 0.45% surcharge from Visa.
Transaction Integrity Fee (TIF) This $0.20/transaction fee is assessed when a settled debit/prepaid card doesn’t meet CPS requirements – such as submitting AVS info on keyed sales and settling every 24 hours.
Zero Floor Limit Fee This $0.20/transaction fee is assessed when a settled transaction can’t be linked to a proper authorization.
Zero Dollar Verification Fee This rarely applied fee of $0.025/transaction applies when cardholder information (AVS, CCV) is verified without authorizing the sale.
Misuse of Authorization Fee This $0.09/transaction fee applies to all authorized transactions that do not have a matching settled sale.
Kilobyte Access Fee This $0.0047/transaction fee is charged for each authorized transaction submitted for settlement.
Settlement Network Access Fee This $0.0025/transaction fee is charged for all US-based settled transactions.

 

MasterCard Assessments

MasterCard Fee Pass-Through cost
Credit/Debit Assessments 0.12% of card volume and $0.0195/transaction for sales under $1,000. For a $100 sale, MasterCard takes about 14 cents.
Credit/Debit Assessments 0.13% of card volume and $0.0195/transaction for sales over $1,000. For a $2,000 sale, MasterCard takes about $2.62.
Digital Enablement Fee This fee is 0.01% of volume, and applies on Card-Not-Present sales for commercial cards, consumer credit cards, and signature debit cards.
Cross Border Assessment Fee (Domestic) Any card you accept from outside the US will be subject to a 0.60% international surcharge from MasterCard.
Cross Border Assessment Fee (Foreign) Any card you accept from outside the US that is settled in non-US dollars will be subject to a 1.00% international surcharge from MasterCard.
Acquirer Program Support Fee This 0.85% fee applies to any cards you accept from outside the US, just like the Cross Border Assessment Fee (domestic).
AVS Fee (Card-Present) MasterCard assesses a $0.005/transaction fee for using Address Verification Services in a Card-Present environment.
AVS Fee (Card-Not-Present) MasterCard assesses a $0.0075/transaction fee for using Address Verification Services in a Card-Not-Present environment.
Card Validation Code Fee There is a $0.0025/transaction fee for all transactions that are submitted with the Card Validation Code (also known as Card Code Verification or CCV).
Kilobyte Access Fee This $0.00444/transaction fee is charged for each authorized transaction submitted for settlement.
Acquirer License Fee This 0.0045% fee is assessed on all processing volume.
Processing Integrity Fee This $0.055/transaction fee is charged when transactions are not settled within 24 hours for Card-Present sales, or 72 hours for Card-Not-Present sales.
Account Status Inquiry Fee This rarely applied fee of $0.025/transaction applies when cardholder information (AVS, CCV) is verified without authorizing the sale.
Annual Location Fee This $15 fee is assessed to all merchants on a per-location basis. For each location you have, MasterCard will assess $15. This fee is billed in February.

 

Discover Assessments

Discover Fee Pass-Through cost
Credit/Debit Assessments 0.105% of card volume and $0.0185/transaction for all sales. For a $100 sale, Discover takes about 12 cents.
International Processing Fee Any card you accept from outside the US will be subject to a 0.40% international surcharge from Discover.
International Service Fee This 0.55% fee applies to any cards you accept from outside the US, just like the International Processing Fee.
Network Authorization Fee This $0.025/transaction fee is charged for each authorized transaction submitted for settlement.

 

American Express Assessments

AMEX Fee Pass-Through cost
Credit/Debit Assessments 0.15% of card volume is paid directly to American Express. On a $100 sale, this works out to 15 cents.
Card-Not-Present Surcharge American Express will charge 0.30% of all Card-Not-Present volume
International Assessement This 0.40% fee applies to any cards you accept from outside the US.