Training Resource Reduces Direct Merchants’ Struggle With Credit Card Fees | Training Resources
Training Resource Reduces Direct Merchants’ Struggle With Credit Card Fees

“Understanding Interchange” Offers Direct-Sellers Innovative Perspectives and Saving Opportunities. announced today that it has released Understanding Credit Card Interchange In Card-Not-Present Environments.  According to the publisher, this primer is the first comprehensive guide developed to provide direct sellers with the tactical knowledge to minimize credit card Interchange fees.

Boston, MA (May 20, 2008) Merchants selling products and services directly to consumers and other businesses rely heavily on credit cards to receive payment.  Until just several years ago, merchants were not privy to the underlying rules and rates imposed upon them by the Card Associations.  Most merchants therefore had no sure means to understand their fees, control costs, or engage in competitive bidding activities.  In 2006, however, the two largest U.S. credit card associations, Visa® and MasterCard®, released their respective Interchange rates.  Interchange generally represents the largest portion of the fees merchants pay on each sales transaction.  In aggregate, Interchange adds billions of dollars to U.S. merchants’ costs every year.

According to The Merchant’s Guide principal, Mike Shatz, “The publication of rates by the Associations was initially regarded as a blessing by merchants.  These merchants soon learned, however, that in order to optimize their credit card costs, they had to master a very large rule set consisting of hundreds of Interchange rates and qualifiers.”  Shatz goes on to say, “While the release of the rates represented a bona fide cost savings opportunity, the complexity discouraged many merchants from pursuing Interchange optimization altogether.”

Understanding Interchange was created to consolidate this complex rate set into a manageable reference that direct merchants can use to manage their card operations.  In particular, the guide presents:

  • An overview of the different credit card systems and the fundamental concepts behind merchant discounts;
  • Interchange rates commonly applicable to direct merchants;
  • Mathematical relationships that make it possible for merchants to understand the impact of Interchange on product pricing and other marketing related decisions; and
  • The operational requirements for obtaining the best possible Interchange rates.

Understanding Interchange includes dozens of computational examples and a companion spreadsheet to help merchants become proficient with these concepts.

Mr. Shatz firmly believes that most merchants are leaving money on the table, especially those whose business models include recurring billing and micropayments.  “The Associations frequently create reduced-cost Interchange programs,” says Shatz. “In many cases, merchants simply don’t know how to identify and apply these opportunities.”  Shatz continues, “Knowing about the right programs and qualifications can often save merchants thousands of dollars in annual Interchange fees.”

Understanding Interchange is intended for merchants of all sizes.  The primer also serves as a useful training resource for companies operating within the credit card industry itself.  The 70-page guide is available exclusively through The Merchant’s Guide, LLC.  The softbound version retails for US$179.00.  The guide is also licensed electronically at a discount for quantities of six or more.  Interested buyers can purchase directly from TMG’s website:, or place an order toll-free via telephone at 866-782-5861.

About The Merchant’s Guide:

The Merchant’s Guide provides Direct Marketers and Web merchants accepting electronic payments with methods to lower fees and improve revenues by publishing the informative training guide: Understanding Merchant Account Fees. Focusing on the topics of merchant accounts, payment processing fees and credit card interchange, Understanding Merchant Account Fees is ideal for merchants who process payments using Card-Not-Present models including electronic commerce, mail order, telephone order, catalogs, continuity programs and direct response media.