What is Interchange?

Interchange is an unavoidable fee paid by a merchant to compensate for the value and benefits that the card holder receives when they use their credit card for payments. It enables banks that issue electronic payments to deliver tremendous value to merchants, governments and consumers.

Interchange rates are based on the value delivered by the issuing bank and the benefits of using electronic payments. Setting interchange at the right level is important because if interchange rates are set too high, merchants may choose not to accept cards; and, if interchange is set too low, issuing banks have no incentive to cover the risks of issuing payment cards. Setting interchange rates at the appropriate level also helps ensure that both issuers and acquirers deliver services that optimize the effectiveness of the payments system and spur development of innovative payment solutions. Flexible interchange rates make it possible for electronic payments to deliver maximum value at the lowest cost for both merchants and consumers. Interchange also promotes credit availability for small businesses and is a key driver for financial inclusion when set at the optimal level.

Payment processors are responsible for passing through the interchange rate set by the card brand to their merchants; this is typically done throughout the billing period, so that a merchant sees a final interchange rate on their regular bill.


Consumers derive significant value from electronic payments including convenience and safety when they make a purchase, increased opportunity for financial inclusion, access to rewards or incentives and the choice of thousands of debit, credit and prepaid payment products.


Merchants benefit from guaranteed payment; increased sales; fraud protection; lower processing costs than those associated with other forms of payment such as cheques and cash; and the ability to attract and retain customers with a fast, efficient buying experience.

Financial Institutions

By receiving interchange fees from the merchant’s bank, issuers are able to bear the risks and costs associated with extending electronic payments to their customers.

This information is updated periodically when new interchange rates are announced per respected card brand.

visa signal payments
Visa Canada Consumer Credit Interchange Rates 2021
Interchange ProgramClassic/Gold/PlatinumInfiniteVisa Infinite Privelege
Card Not Present1.40%1.65%2.40%
Performance Program - Card Present1.20%1.49%1.95%
Industry Program - Gas1.07%1.34%1.95%
Industry Program - Grocery and Food Retail1.00%1.20%1.95%
Industry Program - Everyday Needs1.20%1.30%1.95%
Recurring Payments1.25%1.53%1.95%
Emerging Segments0.98%1.17%1.95%
Performance Program - Card Not Present1.35%1.60%2.35%
Industry Program - Grocery and Food Retail1.23%1.42%1.95%
mastercard signal payments
Mastercard Canada Consumer Credit Interchange Rates 2021
Interchange ProgramCoreWorldWorld Elite
Card Present EMV0.92%1.22%1.56%
Unsecure Card Present (Mag Stripe)1.22%1.52%1.86%
Digital Commerce1.76%2.00%2.24%
SecureCode / 3DS1.50%1.70%1.90%
american express signal payments
American Express Consumer Credit Card Interchange Rates 2021
Tier 1 - Over $1000
Card Not Present2.30%
Card Not Present + Foreign2.70%
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Discover Canada Consumer Credit Interchange Rates 2021
Interchange ProgramCore Reward
CPSL - Recurring Payments1.37%
CPSL - Supermarket/Warehouse Clubs1.32%
CPSL - Petroleum1.18%
CPSL - Retail1.45%
union pay signal payments
Union Pay (UPI) - Card Present Interchange Rates 2021
Credit Card1.10%
Debit Card1.10%