2019 Spring Interchange Changes

More Changes this Spring Than in a Long Time!

The card companies are making several interchange adjustments and increases that are going into effect in April of 2019.


Effective April 2019, Visa is increasing several association fees for non-US issued cards and international transactions.

Visa is introducing Purchase Return Authorizations so refunds/credits will go through the same authorization process as sales. Potential benefits include consumers seeing their refunds more quickly, reducing questions to merchants regarding refund timing. MasterCard intends to move in this same direction. We will provide more information on how this will impact you, as we receive it.


Effective April 2019, American Express will change several Industry Pricing Categories and associated interchange tiers and rates for their OptBlue program.

MCC 6513 is now under the Services Industry Pricing Category. Merchants in this MCC with average Amex tickets between $250 and $3000 will see an interchange increase of 15 basis points.

MCC 7011 is now under the Travel and Entertainment Industry Pricing Category. Tiers and rates for this MCC are not currently changing.

Amex is introducing a Virtual Cards Industry Pricing Category. Any virtual Amex card processed will qualify for the associated tiers and rates, regardless of MCC.


Effective April 2019, MasterCard will no longer support pre-compliance or compliance dispute cases for unjust enrichment. Merchants that have credited the consumer twice (once through the chargeback and once by issuing a refund) will have to go through the Good Faith process to attempt to be made whole.

Ascent reminds you NOT to issue a refund after you’ve received a chargeback. When a chargeback is processed, the cardholder has already received their funds back, unless and until you are able to prove your case and potentially reverse the decision.


Effective October 2019, Discover is reducing the timeframe to initiate a dispute arbitration request from 30 calendar days to 10 calendar days. The timeframe to initiate a re-presentment request for a first chargeback is being reduced from 45 to 30 calendar days after the chargeback central processing date.

To prepare for these changes, Ascent recommends that any clients receiving dispute notifications via snail mail consider changing to notifications by email or fax to better accommodate the shorter response timeframes. If you would like to update your dispute notification method, please contact us at support@ascentprocessing.com.

Union Pay:

Union Pay is a card brand used by many Chinese travelers. Effective April 2019, Union Pay is adding new Regulated Debit interchange categories. If you are interested in accepting Union Pay cards, please contact support@ascentprocessing.com.