The interchange fee is a clearing charge which merchant acquirers must pay to credit card issuers for each transaction originating from one of their credit cards.
The costs of interchange fees are included in the merchant service charges which merchant acquirers charge merchants when you use a credit card to pay. In recent years, the interchange fees that merchants pay have gone down steadily.
In 2005, Swiss card issuers levied an interchange fee of 1.67%. In 2009, this fee was still 1.29% of each transaction. But by 2012, the interchange fee had gone down to 0.99%. By August 1, 2017, interchange fees have been lowered to 0.44%.
For reference: In European Union (EU) countries, interchange fees average 0.3%. In the EU, this fee also applies to debit cards. It does not, however, apply to business credit cards.
In Switzerland, no interchange fee is charged for transactions made with debit cards (Maestro cards, for example). But business credit cards are subject to interchange fees.
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