Visa allows issuance of two distinct card types – Consumer and Business. Depending on your customer demographics, most card-present or “retail” merchants will receive predominantly Consumer cards. Read on to see how different cards qualify for different interchange rates.
Visa Retail Rates
CPS stands for “Custom Payment Service”. The CPS classification is typically known as the best rate structure offered by Visa, and CPS requirements are often the “minimum” qualification requirements for more advanced interchange rates. Read all about CPS here. In a nutshell – you have to first qualify for CPS rates before other more advantageous rate structures will apply. The “CPS Retail” category encompasses traditional consumer credit cards, as opposed to rewards/business/purchasing cards. Barring a few exceptions (below), most merchants are able to receive this interchange rate. Read on to see how different types of CPS Retail cards are assessed.
Standard rates are the worst rates that you can receive on Visa cards. Typically, you’ll receive Standard rates when your sales don’t meet any of the basic qualifications. This can include not submitting AVS data, not settling your sales on time, or failing to submit otherwise required data, based on your merchant type. You want to avoid this rate classification at all costs!
Visa EIRF – Electronic Interchange Reimbursement Fee
“EIRF” is an acronym for “Electronic Interchange Reimbursement Fee” – and it’s a card-type you’d prefer not to receive, if possible. This is the rate category that many cards will “downgrade” to. Some business types (like restaurants) will auto-downgrade to EIRF for many card types, and an EIRF classification can be totally normal. For standard retailers though, an “EIRF” classification often indicates that data was missing from the transaction when processed, which resulted in a downgrade.
Visa Hotel & Car Rental
Hotels, Lodging merchants, and auto-rental merchants have special interchange rates from Visa. Because these merchants often take “extended authorizations” where transactions may be altered later on, there are different requirements. Visa allows for a longer authorization timeframe for these merchant types, but you’re required to submit additional information to take advantage of these rates.
Visa Card-Not-Present Rates
The “Card-Not-Present” category is for key-entry Visa sales that meet CPS criteria (including AVS, keying on time, etc). Barring a few exceptions, most merchants are able to receive these interchange rates, and they’ll apply for most key-entry sales.