Operating rules cover the types of fees that participants need to pay, either to the scheme or to each other. Rules do not include the fees that participants pay to processors or operators chosen by the participant. Rules specify what the fees are, how they are assessed, collected, and changed.

Fee categories include:

Network Transaction Fees: Network transaction fees are per transaction and/or monthly/annual fees for use of the scheme.

Processing Fees: If the scheme is operating the “switch” itself, there may be separate transaction processing fees.

Interchange: Interchange fees are fees paid by one participant to another.

Fines: Fines are fees assessed by the scheme against participants, generally for failure to comply with scheme rules.

The Financial Inclusion Perspective

To keep prices low to end users – consumers and merchants- fees between participants should not be passed to end users. The operating rules should ensure that interchange does not create distorted economic incentives that could inhibit adoption or undermine the use of the system. For example, interchange rules could be written to have a “sunset” period, rather than being put in place permanently. Likewise, interchange rules could be written to provide a period of time where interchange is set low to encourage uptake, adoption and use of the system, enabling markets to mature.