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Service Fee Program for Select Merchant Categories Introduced in Canada

Effective immediately, Visa will introduce a service fee program that permits acceptors in the tax, utilities, rent, education / tuition, childcare and fine segments to charge cardholders a fee of up to 0.75 percent for eligible debit card transactions and up to 1.75 percent for eligible credit, prepaid and international card transactions. There will be no change to existing interchange rates for these merchant categories.

Program Requirements

To charge a fee under the program, merchants are required to accept Visa in all card-absent environments where payments are accepted. The following conditions also apply:

  • The program only applies to the following merchant category codes (MCCs) and applicable transaction thresholds:
    • 4900—Utilities
    • 6513—Property Management / Rent
    • 8220—Universities and College for transactions greater than CAD $1,000
    • 8211—Private Elementary & Secondary Schools for transactions greater than CAD $1,000
    • 8351—Childcare for transactions greater than CAD $1,000
    • 9222—Fines
    • 9311—Taxes
  • The service fee is available for transactions in card-absent environments only, and is limited to up to 0.75 percent for debit card transactions and up to 1.75 percent for credit, prepaid and international card transactions on the final transaction amount. In addition, the service fee:
    • May not be greater than the service fee charged on a similar transaction using a similar form of payment through any other network at the same merchant.
    • Must be the same for all similar card products, regardless of the issuer.
    • Must be clearly disclosed to the cardholder before the transaction is completed and the cardholder must be able to cancel the transaction without penalty.
    • Should only be assessed on the final transaction amount, after all discounts and rebates have been applied.
    • May be assessed by the merchant or third party, with the assessor of the service fee clearly disclosed to the cardholder.
    • Must be recorded separately on the transaction receipt, regardless of the assessor.
    • May be recorded and processed as a separate transaction by the acquirer, if it is assessed by a third party.
    • Must not be identified as a "Visa Fee."
    • May be applied on recurring transactions.

For More Information

Contact your Visa Account Executive or call 416-860-8600 to speak with a Visa subject matter expert. Third party agents should contact their issuer or acquirer