Interchange and Wholesale Discount Rates
Interchange fees, also known as IC or IRF, are the fees that Acquirers like First Data Canada are required to pay to Card Issuers under Network rules. The Networks include Visa®, MasterCard®, Discover®, and UnionPay International and their rules ensure that Acquirers pay Card Issuers for each credit or debit transaction you process. American Express® operates a non-interchange based network and charges First Data a wholesale discount rate.
Interchange rates are set and regulated by Visa Canada, Mastercard Canada, Discover Canada and UnionPay International, whereas Wholesale Discount Rates are set by American Express in Canada. The Interchange Rate for any particular transaction depends on a variety of factors including method of acceptance, the type of business accepting cards (MCC), type of card, whether it is face-to-face, or many other variables. The result is that some transaction clear at higher interchange rates than others.
Provided below is the PDF that includes the Interchange Rates set by Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and UnionPay International for processing card payments in Canada, and the Wholesale Discount Rates charged set by American Express.
NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the rate changes that Visa and Mastercard were going to implement in April and May 2020 have been postponed until July and August 2020 respectively. The PDF below shows the new rates that will apply when the changes are implemented later this summer.