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The merchant account statement might include something labeled as “Assessments” or “Assessment Fees.” These are industry-wide fees that are determined by each specific credit card brand. Here is a complete definition of credit card processing assessments.

Evaluation of Credit Card Brand Value

In school, an assessment is an evaluation, test or measurement of your capabilities in some intellectual endeavor. There are also assessments of other talents, such as musical or athletic. Basically, an authority figure is looking at an individual, group or business to determine its value during an assessment.

Local communities will make an assessment (additional tax) to raise money for special projects. It might be used to build a new school or fix some roads. The assessment attempts to spread out the costs of funding something over the entire community. Credit card assessments use the very same concepts of shared burdens.

Credit Card Membership

The credit card processing assessment fee is basically a comprehensive charge covering branding, marketing and operating expenses. Each of the top credit card issuing banks has its own network with its own valuation.

Some financial experts have noted that credit card banks are updating their fees every three years or so. As technology changes, such as near field protocols, the credit card industry can use assessments to pay for its educational campaigns to encourage customers, businesses and banks to make the necessary upgrades. Financial marketing efforts can be expensive. The top credit card banks make an “assessment” to collect from all of their network members.

Quarterly Dues

The merchant account is usually set up by an acquiring bank who provides a line of credit. The acquiring processing bank will also handle all debits and credits for the business. Some acquirer banks have the authority to issue their own cards or electronic credit card processing machines.

When a company sets up its merchant account, it is actually becoming a member of the credit card associations. All entities benefit from a robust, healthy financial payment system. Generally, the “Assessment Fee” or “Membership Due” will be charged on a quarterly basis.