Tips for Reducing the Cost of Credit Card Transactions


High commissions charged by credit card processing companies are not profitable for game developers who may need to invest additional costs along with the price of virtual goods. All these considerations and fees ultimately reduce profits. Xsolla knows this, and has a tips on how to reduce profit loss during card transactions.

Breakdown: Interchange Fee

The price of processing a credit card includes rolling together a number of card transaction fees. These can include: an interchange fee, a gateway fee, and a fee for utilizing 3D Secure.

An interchange fee is a term used to describe a fee paid between banks for the acceptance of card based transactions, which usually a merchant’s bank (the “acquiring bank”) pays a customer’s bank (the “issuing bank”).

As the head of risk management and acquiring at Xsolla, Vladimir Karnishin, says, in some regions it is beneficial to work with acquirers with local credit cards. In this case, when paying with a card, a bank interchange fee will be charged. The bank may give the commission received from their cards at a lower rate than the rest of the country or foreign region.

“One good example is that of Privat in Ukraine. Privat is a financial institution that controls about 60-70% of all Ukrainian credit cards. Such a large bank with so many holdings means they can offer a charged commission that is much lower than competitors. Through collaboration with merchant leaders in the region, they can achieve a low rate, ” says Vladimir Karnishin in regards to decreasing interchange collections.

Breakdown: Gateway Fee and 3D Secure

Once a user makes a charge with their card, an additional fee that is added to the total includes a transaction gateway fee. This additional cost is in the form of a commission, which is transferred to the account of large gateway provider, such as First Data Corporation, in order to access the bank networks that process the financial records of a company’s purchases.

In addition to this varying gateway fee, companies must be aware of the additional fee for using 3D Secure when paying online. We’ve discussed 3D Secure here before. These additional protective measures may be handled by a bank itself or be taken care of by a third party. Either way, these additional costs are part of the price of credit card transactions. You can read more online in detail about how online credit card purchases work here on OurShop.

Reduce Credit Card Fees and Costs

There are a few ways you can reduce the price of credit card transactions, however.

  • Establish contacts across a large number and wide array of financial institutions from around the world.
  • Reach out and cooperate with regional market leaders. In doing so, you may even be able to eliminate the need for an interchange fee.
  • Propose an agreement according to special conditions. Often, banks will try to make exceptions if a merchant is selling a lot of content at a fast pace.
  • Put into practice a secure and sound pricing policy for your content, taking into account the various small fees and charges that add up quickly.
  • Make sure you shop around for the best transaction fees for your business, and stick to your budget.


Xsolla wants to remind developers that when approaching these techniques above as a newly fledged company, especially with just one game, it is difficult or unlikely to get any results that lower card fees.

Payment services providers, in contrast, often have lower rates when using credit cards for payments, and thus can help with smaller devs and games. The benefit of a company such as Xsolla means that these reduced credit card fees are available to all customers, regardless of company size. Even small game teams that cannot exactly rely on leniency from large banks or negotiate with local financial institutions.

So those universal low credit card transaction fees? Just another significant advantage of using Xsolla, and it’s available to all customers big and small.

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