Let’s face it, interchange rates are confusing, and it’s easy to overlook rate qualification requirements.
In the past, reaching the best qualification levels (called level 3) required complex software with expensive support contracts. Now it is easy to qualify for level 3 without the costs and complexity by using optimization.
In most cases, you will not qualify for level 3 without software that handles the requirements. However, there is a middle level of qualification called Level 2 that businesses can qualify for without difficulty or optimization technology. There are also low-rate programs accessed without passing any special data, simply by making sure you have a B2B MCC code assigned to your merchant account. The MCC code that your processor assigned to your account depends on your original application and how it was interpreted by the processor.
Here is a list of MCC codes that currently qualify for special B2B rates that average around 2.2%.
These MCC codes don’t guarantee that all business, purchasing, and corporate cards will qualify at the lower tiers, but they do generally lower costs by a fair margin.
It is also very easy to start qualifying for level 2.
Most terminals and gateways support level 2 and it is just a matter of doing a little bit of digging. On a stand-alone terminal, it is easy to determine if you are set up for level 2 by what kinds of prompts are on your terminal when you run a business card.
Is it asking for PO or Invoice numbers or Sales tax? Don’t bypass this information, even if you are running a tax-exempt transaction, just put anything in the terminal. Tax amounts aren’t added to the transaction, so it won’t affect your total amount.
By entering this information you will meet the lower qualification and when you get your statement instead of seeing a charge close to 3% you will see it closer to 2%. If your terminal doesn’t prompt you for this information, call your processing support and ask them to activate level 2 for your system.
If you are using a POS or ERP this can be more complex and you will have to discuss with the POS support and the processor if level 2 is supported. If accepting a high volume of commercial, corporate, or business credit cards the best strategy is to explore the optimization techniques that can integrate with your systems to pay the lowest possible rates.
We can help you research these options and provide you with the best path forward to requalifying your most expensive transactions.