Merchant Account Fixed Acquirer Network Fee (FANF) Explained
What is a Fixed Acquirer Network Fee? A Fixed Acquirer Network Fee (also known as an Acquirer License Fee or ALF) is a monthly fee that Visa and MasterCard charge merchant services providers on a monthly basis in exchange for allowing them access the Visa and MasterCard networks. The FANF was more or less created out of thin air by Visa in 2012 in response to the Durbin amendment, and it has since persisted as a non-negotiable fee that is often passed on to merchants. Although it is technically assessed each month, the FANF is usually charged to merchants on a quarterly basis and can often seem like a new or undisclosed fee if it is unexpectedly large. The FANF varies according to each merchant’s payment environment, number of locations, processing volume, and Merchant Category Code (MCC).
As a general rule, most card-present payment environments will be charged a negligible FANF, but card-not-present businesses could pay a very large FANF. The credit card processor Clearent has provided several useful tables outlining the various FANF criteria. Standard-risk, card-present business types can see their FANF pricing below:
High-volume, card-present business types are subject to separate FANF pricing. Their pricing is displayed below:
Businesses that accept card-not-present transactions will be charged an additional FANF on top of their card-present FANF. The card-not-present FANF is calculated strictly according to processing volume. FANF calculations for card-not-present businesses also apply to fast food transactions and self-checkout transactions. In April 2018, Visa adjusted its FANF pricing. Merchant e-Solutions has provided a useful table displaying the change in pricing for each processing volume:
It may not be possible for you to negotiate your FANF with your credit card processor because it is a fee directly imposed by Visa and MasterCard. However, you can use the tables above to calculate what your FANF should be and ensure that your processor isn’t marking up your FANF inappropriately.