This fee is often referred to in the credit card processing industry as a “Mid-Qualified Transaction Fee,” or “Mid-Qualified Downgrade Fee,” or just as “Mid-Qual.” The Mid-Qualified fee is most often found in three-tier merchant account pricing schemes with the other two tiers referred to as “Qualified” and “Non-Qualified.” This fee is actually a surcharge that is added on top of the base tier (Qualified Rate) for certain card types. This rate usually applies to rewards cards (that award miles or points), key-entered transactions, transactions batched in 24-48 hours that would be Qualified had they been batched sooner, and transactions missing address verification. Generally, the Mid-Qualified surcharge costs merchants an additional 1%. However, merchant account providers can define the fee tiers however they choose because there are no industry standards dictating how fees must be defined. One provider may define Mid-Qualified transactions very differently than another, which makes comparing provider costs nearly impossible.

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