A1. IC++ is a standard industry pricing framework that acquirers use to charge for payment processing services to merchants. It consists of the following fees:
IC stands for Interchange: This is a fee the acquirer (Secure Trading Financial Services (‘STFS’)) pays to the cardholder’s issuing bank (i.e. the bank that issued the card used to make the payment). The interchange rates are set by the Visa and MasterCard Schemes. STFS does not retain any part of the interchange fees as the full amount is passed through to the cardholder’s issuing bank.
First “+” stands for Card Scheme Fees: These are the fees STFS pay to the Visa and MasterCard Schemes. Visa and MasterCard set these fees at an industry wide level. As with Interchange STFS does not retain any part of scheme fees as the full amount is passed through to Visa and MasterCard. This Card Scheme Fee is the element which is changing and being highlighted in the letter sent to STFS merchants.
Second “+” stands for the acquirer fee: This is the fee STFS charges to cover its costs and margin for providing the merchant acquiring services. This fee is agreed between STFS and merchants and is detailed in the Pricing Schedule STFS entered with the merchant.