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Interchange Optimization

Downgrades and Interchange Optimization


In order for you to get the best interchange rate, the transaction detail has to conform to certain qualification criteria for the lowest possible rate in order to avoid downgrades, which can result in higher transaction fees established by credit card brands. For example, the following are two possible interchange rates for a single transaction; one that qualifies at the lowest rate and the other downgraded:

VISA: CPS/Card-Not-Present Qualified Rate: 1.80% + $0.10
VISA: EIRF (Electronic Interchange Reimbursement Fee) Downgrade Rate: 2.30% + $0.10

Note: The reimbursement aspect of EIRF refers to the card issuing bank’s higher fee when the qualification criteria are not met. The issuing banks receive a 50-basis point rate increase with the downgrade.



To qualify for the best interchange rate in this category, the following criteria must be met:

  • Address Verification System (AVS) request
  • Shipping product within 7-days of authorization
  • The original AUTH ID from your authorization must be included with the settlement transaction provided.
  • The order number or invoice number in the settlement transaction must be provided
  • The transaction settlement must be no longer than 7-days after the authorization date
  • The transaction settlement must be no longer than 3-days after the completion of the sale

By analyzing merchant statements, we have found that most are full of EIRF downgrades that cost you money. Our mission is to help you eliminate these costly processing mistakes! This is just one category of the many possible downgrades that can cause unnecessary expenditure and can easily be corrected.

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