To provide an incentive for issuing banks to issue more cards and acquiring banks to add more merchants and thus expand the network, the bank card brands established interchange. Interchange allocates the costs and revenues of the completed transaction between the issuing bank and acquiring bank.
Interchange fee is essentially a compensation vehicle. It helps ensure the cooperation and participation of the various parties in the payment processing system by balancing the incentives to increase the base of merchants accepting the card and the base of consumers using the card. The value of the card to cardholders is higher if more merchants take the card and the value of the card to merchants is higher if more cardholders use the card.
Interchange fees are subject to increasingly intense legal and regulatory scrutiny worldwide which may have a material adverse impact on revenue, prospects for future growth and overall business.
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