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The Story Behind Rising Credit Card Fees

Credit card processing companies cite increases in online purchases and the added card fraud risk as reasons for increasing interchange fees. While true, it is not the whole story. In the background, card issuers have been offering lavish travel perks and cashback bonuses, which, too, carry higher payment processing fees.

Credit cards cost 2x more to process than debit cards due to customer travel perks and cashback. The merchant is paying for all their customer’s rewards.

“The cost of credit card processing has been on the rise in recent years as premium cards, which have heftier fees, grow in popularity among consumers.”

Forbes, February, 14 2020

92% of credit card transactions are on premium/rewards cards, resulting in ever-higher merchant payment fees.

Wall Street Journal, January 18, 2018

What Can You Do?

You can shift all or some of the payment processing costs to the cardholder. The cardholder is choosing to use their premium credit card for the perks; you can offer them the choice of choosing a lower-cost method to pay without a fee or paying a small fee to use a high-cost credit card. Consumers already pay a fee for using credit at the pump, so why should your POS be any different?

IntelliPay Advantage — Reduced & No Cost Solutions

A one-size-fits-all payment solution doesn’t work for all businesses and verticals. Each business and vertical has unique needs and only IntelliPay offers a range of solutions in addition to a low-cost, traditional, merchant-pays-the-fees, processing solution. All our solutions are 100% compliant and in use by thousands of merchants. Each solution will help you reduce costs and improve margins.

No-Cost Solution

  • Service Fee

Service Fee

An alternative fee-based program for Government and Higher Education institutions enables these organizations to charge a fixed or variable fee on all online or in-person credit or debit transactions.

Your organization gets the invoice amount due, and IntelliPay collects the service fee, pays the processing costs, and manages the merchant account for you.


  • Add a fee to the amount due
  • Deposits invoice amount into your account
  • Deposits fee into IntelliPay’s account
  • Displays fee before payment

Does Not

  • Apply to all government payments
  • Prohibit fees to vary by tender type
  • Limit payment channels
  • Recurring transactions eligible
Service fee processing
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Please contact a consultant to see how since 2004, IntelliPay has been helping governments of all sizes save even more time and money by using other fee-based options for non-qualifying transactions.

Cost-Reduction Solutions

  • FairPay
  • Convenience Fee


Stop paying for your customers’ perks and vacations. Use our FairPay program and balance the scales. If your customers pay with a credit card, let them pay for their rewards. If they pay with a debit card, you pay for the processing fees (which is typically 2-3% lower than credit card fees.) FairPay is the fairest, 100% compliant surcharging program in the market!


  • FairPay adds up to a 3% fee when someone uses their credit card that’s tied to a rewards program.

Does Not

  • FairPay doesn’t add the fee when someone uses their debit card that’s tied to a bank account (no rewards).

Visit our FairPay page to calculate your payment processing savings using FairPay.

Get your questions answered. FairPay FAQs

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Stop paying for your customer’s cash back rewards and airline miles with your margins.  Get started with FairPay today.

Convenience Fee

IntelliPay’s Convenience Fee Model is for merchants that want to offset their merchant processing fees. Our solution is 100% compatible with Visa/MC Convenience Fee Processing program.

The Convenience Fee Model enables the merchant to charge a flat fee levied for the privilege of paying for a product or service using an alternative payment channel or a payment method that is not standard for the merchant.  For example, theatres are selling tickets online versus in their lobby.


  • Support all credit and debit cards
  • Add a flat fee to the amount due                   
  • Combine the fee and the amount due into one payment
  • Apply to online, pay-by-phone, and other digital (card not present) transactions
  • Deposit invoice amount into your account
  • Reduce merchants processing costs
  • Require merchant to offer an option that does not charge a fee

Does Not

  • Apply to in-person (card present) transactions
  • Separate amount due and fee
  • Permit a fee that is a percentage of the transaction
  • Talk with an Intellipay consultant about how convenience fee processing can reduce payment processing costs for your organization.
Convenience Fee Payment Processing
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To learn how convenience fee payment processing can boost your margins, talk with a consultant today.

Traditional Fee

  • Traditional Fee

Traditional Fee

This is the way most merchants accept payments today. No fees are assessed to the customer, and the merchant is responsible for all interchange, dues, assessments, PCI, and gateway fees on all online and in-person transactions.


  • Support all payment card types
  • Works with in-person (card present) and digital (card not present) transactions
  • Have different fees by card and transaction type
  • Deposit the invoice amount into your account

Does Not

  • Share processing costs with customers
  • Interfere with compliance rules
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While this may not be considered an reduced cost option, we do offer highly competitive rates with no junk fees. Please contact a consultant to see how IntelliPay can save you money on all your processing needs.

The Right Solution for My Business

Choosing a payment solution for your business doesn’t need to be overwhelming. At IntelliPay, we lay out all your options side by side below to make comparisons and the right decision easier. To get started, reach out to our team here.