by Jennifer Guy, Credit Card Specialist

Credit Card Changes for October 2015

I have fielded questions from several people about the changes that are happening in October of 2015.

Every 6 months, MasterCard, Visa and the other card brands, announce whatever changes are being made to the rates, policies, fees, or structures.  Often we hear about new categories or new promotions.  Usually, there are some changes in the rates, either up or down by very small amounts.

You can count on me to keep you up to date on the ones that affect you.


This October, there is a major change for retail merchants,  EMV. I repeat – RETAIL merchants have to upgrade their terminals to accept chip card in order to avoid being liable for fraudulent transactions.     THIS DOES NOT AFFECT CARD NOT PRESENT MERCHANTS  – so it won’t affect most of you.

If you do have a retail aspect of your business where people walk in and give you credit cards to make their purchases, then you should consider upgrading your terminal.  You can talk to me about it (609-921-3139), read more about it at here.

Fraud liability does not shift in the case of card-not-present  transactions.  The following link is from  It is an faq page with the answers to the questions about EMV –


Amex Opt Blue has arrived.  Most of the major processors are offering American Express in the same manner as Visa/MC/Discover.  It appears on the same statement as your Visa/MC/Discover, and is being processed with the same structure of rates and fees (although their rates are still higher than others).  The thing that seems to differentiate the processors is the how much they charge to provide this service.  Some processors are charging a tiny bit, 10-20 basis points, but some are charging 70 basis points or more.  I think this will equalize over time as processors lose business because of it, but at the moment, it is something watch for.


Rates are always going up and down.  Most of the changes don’t affect you and this October there are no plans for the rates that most commonly show up on your statements.  When the rates will affect you, I will let you know through this newsletter.


MasterCard is introducing an increase to  AVS (Address Verification Service) fees.  MasterCard is increasing the Address Verification Service Fee on both Card Not Present and Card Present transactions to $0.01. This represents an increase of $0.0025 on Card Not Present transactions and $0.005 on Card Present transactions.

ALF (MasterCard Acquirer License Fee): MasterCard has also announced that it is increasing its Acquirer License Fee (ALF) from 0.0047% to 0.0362%.

This is not exhaustive – if you have a question about a change, don’t hesitate to call me – I’m happy to discuss it and help you resolve any issues you might have.


Jennifer Guy

Credit Card Specialist


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