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 0.14% of credit card volume and $0.0195/transaction. For a $100 credit sale, Visa takes about 16 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 (ISA) Any card you accept as a US-based merchant, in USD currency, from outside the US will be subject to a 0.80% international surcharge from Visa.
International Acquirer Fee This fee applies under nearly identical circumstances as above – there is an additional 0.45% surcharge from Visa for non-US issued cards that are processed in the US.
Transaction Integrity Fee (TIF) This $0.10/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.
Base II System File Fee This $0.0018/transaction fee is charged for each authorized transaction submitted for settlement.

 

MasterCard Assessments

MasterCard Fee Pass-Through cost
Credit/Debit Assessments 0.1275% of card volume and $0.0195/transaction for sales under $1,000. For a $100 sale, MasterCard takes about 15 cents.
Credit/Debit Assessments 0.1475% of card volume and $0.0195/transaction for sales over $1,000. For a $2,000 sale, MasterCard takes about $2.97.
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 (Non USD) 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.
Annual Location Fee This $15 fee is assessed to all merchants on a per-location basis, and is billed monthly at $1.25/month. This fee does not apply to merchants processing under $200/month, and does not apply to charitable/religious organizations (MCC 8398 and 8661).
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 $0.01/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).
Pre-Authorization Integrity Fee $0.045/transaction fee applies to pre-authorizations that are not fully reversed or cleared within 30 calendar days of the authorization date.
Undefined Authorization Integrity Fee $0.045/transaction fee applies to undefined authorizations that are not fully reversed or cleared within 7 calendar days of the authorization date.
Final Authorization Integrity Fee 0.25% volume fee ($0.04 minimum) applies to final authorizations that are not fully reversed or cleared within 7 calendar days of the authorization date or when the final authorization amount does not equal the clearing amount or when the final authorization currency code does not match the clearing currency code.
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.
Processing Integrity Fee Detail Reporting This $0.012/transaction fee applies to any authorization that generates a processing integrity fee for pre authorizations, final authorizations or undefined authorizations.
Account Status Inquiry Fee This rarely applied fee of $0.025/transaction applies when cardholder information (AVS, CCV) is verified without authorizing the sale.

 

Discover Assessments

Discover Fee Pass-Through cost
Credit/Debit Assessments 0.13% of card volume and $0.0195/transaction for all sales. For a $100 sale, Discover takes about 15 cents.
International Processing Fee This 0.55% fee applies to any cards that settle in dollars that differ from the home country, so it’ll apply just like the International Processing Fee whenever you run an international sale.
International Service Fee Any card you accept from outside the US will be subject to a 0.80% international surcharge from Discover.
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 Assessment This 0.40% fee applies to any cards you accept from outside the US.
Noncompliance fee American Express will charge 0.75% of the sales volume when the sale does not settle within 7 days of authorization. This fee may also apply when calling for a voice authorization on a sale. If applied, this fee will be removed from one of your next few deposits.