What are the most common Interchange Downgrades and How Can I Avoid Them?

The Visa, MasterCard, and Discover Card Associations all maintain Interchange Downgrade rates for credit and debit card transactions that do not meet the requirments for the transaction to clear at the card type's correct Interchange Rate. Downgraded Interchange Rates are higher than the card's normal Interchange Fee, so it's always in a merchant's best interest to avoid downgrades whenever possible. Always clearing transactions at the correct Interchange, and avoiding downgrades allows merchants to obtain the lowest possible processing costs. Interchange Plus Pricing gives merchants access their exact Interchange Rates and Fees, and allows them to work with their merchant service provider to identify and eliminate downgrades, thus lowering card acceptance costs.

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