US merchants paid $88.39 billion in card fees in 2016

Credit, debit, and prepaid general purpose and private label cards issued in the United States generated $5.936 trillion in payments for goods and services in 2016.

US payment card and interchange fees 2016Card fees, which include processing fees and interchange fees, paid by US merchants to handle all card payments, were $88.39 billion, according to The Nilson Report.

“When you add up all of the spending and divide by the fees merchants pay, the average is $1.49 for every $100 in card sales,” commented David Robertson, Publisher of The Nilson Report.

Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, and private label (store, gasoline, medical, etc.) credit cards accounted for a combined $3.347 trillion in purchase volume. This amounted to 56.38% of all card spending including debit and prepaid. Credit cards accounted for $69.79 billion in processing fees, equal to 78.96% of total processing fees paid by merchants.

Visa, Mastercard, and PIN-based EFT system debit card payments generated $2.589 trillion in 2016 and accounted for 43.62% of all spending for goods and services including credit cards. Debit cards generated $18.60 billion or 21.04% of the total processing fees paid.

The weighted average of processing fees paid as a percentage of purchase volume from all credit, debit, and prepaid general purpose and private label cards was 1.49% in 2016.