October is typically a month when new pricing adjustments occur in the merchant processing business. The credit and debit card brands, specifically Visa, MasterCard and Discover, make adjustments to their pricing structures and/or services. Once this occurs, the merchant processing companies then generally restructure some of their pricing to prevent profit loss, spread out new costs or otherwise either stay competitive or profitable. Some account managers will choose to absorb certain costs or prevent some merchants from seeing increases in their billing, however it is also possible that some of these posted increases will be used as an excuse to increase fees across the board and not simply for the actual items affected. For this reason, it is always important to read the fine print, or at least the monthly announcements on each processing statement.
Here is a quick breakdown of the recent changes from October, 2013, effective from the beginning of the month. The changes may look small at first, but remember that these tiny amounts add up when they are per transaction. For the card issuing companies, this can mean a huge increase in revenue (although, to be fair, theoretically the increases are designed to deal with corresponding costs already being incurred).
The New Costs
All Discover transactions now have