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Reduce Your Transaction Integrity Fees

As I am working through statements from day to day, I started to notice that some restaurant locations were paying very steep discount charges. What I discovered was those same businesses were also being assessed a high number of TIFs (Transaction Integrity Fees).

Just what does this fee mean and how does can it impact your business? Starting in April 2012, Visa introduced this new $.10 for each debit card that does not qualify for the CPS (Custom Payment Service) interchange rate. 

You might be wondering how a debit transaction does not qualify? After all, you are simply swiping the customers credit card, right? Well there are several possibilities. 
  • Transactions are not settled (batched) within 2 days 
  • AVS (Address Verification) is not requested for key-entered sales 
  • Internet sales do not include order number of customer service number 
  • Hotels are not providing all the requested data 
Therefore, depending on your business practice, you could be assessed a TIF fee. Additionally, those sales will also downgrade to the EIRF or Standard interchange category, meaning you will be paying a higher percentage rate for those sales.   What can you do to reduce your merchant account fees. It’s simple. 
  • Make sure you batch out every day. All merchant account providers should be able to program a feature into your terminal that will auto batch each day after you close shop. 
  • Make sure to enter AVS information accurately for each card you manually enter 
  • If you run an online business, make sure to get the customer order or service number for each sale. 
  •  If you run a hotel, get everything required. 
By following these suggestions, you can qualify more sales for the best rates and more money in your pocket.

Read the new Green Sheet review on Merchant Statement Analysis:


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In the last few years, I have personally seen merchant accounts incur more and more monthly fees that have never existed before.  For example:

 $0.83 NYCE
 $0.75 PULSE
 $1.00 STAR
 $0.75 JEANIE
 $0.67 ACCEL
 $1.25 MC annual
 $1.25 MC location
 $2.00 Visa FANF
 $8.50 TOTAL
This is like an additional monthly statement fee.  The PIN Debit annual fees are broken out as monthly but represent a $55 annual fee.   Keep in mind this is in addition to other fees that are also going up constantly.

Discount Fees
Transaction Fees
Interchange and Association Fees
PCI Compliance
PCI Non-Compliance
Breach Protection
Monthly Statement
Online Reporting

Therefore no one should be surprised that everyone is paying more than ever to accept plastic.  And dont be surprised that one rarely sees these fees listed in agreements.  Maybe its in the fine print 20 pages in.  My question is what has changed from a business standpoint to warrant these constant increases?  Is there any added …