LevelUp Drops Payment Processing Fee From 2% to 1.95%

First Time Any Payment Network Has Voluntarily Lowered the Cost of Moving Money

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwired - April 16, 2014) - Excluding instances of legal mandate or full-fledged revolts, a payment network has never voluntarily reduced their processing fees... until today.

Since launch, LevelUp has maintained a mission of "Interchange Zero" -- the belief that moving money should be free. As part of that mission, LevelUp made a promise that it would constantly work towards lowering its own payment processing fees over time.

For the last year, that belief existed merely as a vision. LevelUp offered a flat 2% processing rate (already the lowest available) on LevelUp transactions, despite LevelUp's real cost (the fees paid to card companies to process the transactions) initially being closer to 5.4%. Through a series of advancements to their processing infrastructure (explained below), LevelUp began to chip away at that cost bit-by-bit. This past month marked the first time LevelUp broke even on processing, thus enabling LevelUp to begin delivering on their vision of Interchange Zero. Starting today, all LevelUp business partners now pay just 1.95% on payment processing.

"This isn't a promotion," explained LevelUp Chief Ninja Seth Priebatsch. "It's us making good on a promise we made to our merchant partners. This is a permanent drop in our fees. And we plan to continue dropping fees as further processing efficiencies continue to lower our costs."

LevelUp's new fee rate goes into effect on April 16th. Businesses do not have to take any action to get the lower rate.

For more details on LevelUp's path towards Interchange Zero, visit www.thelevelup.com/interchange-zero.

Frequency Asked Questions About Interchange Zero

Why'd it take so long for LevelUp to drop fees for the first time?

Until now, it cost LevelUp more than 2% to process payments. Until Jan 2013, LevelUp was paying exactly what businesses would have paid if they were processing cards directly, averaging 5.4% of the transaction total. LevelUp was simply eating the difference.

How does LevelUp achieve lower fees?

If you pay with LevelUp, you may notice LevelUp doesn't charge you right away. Instead, transactions are  grouped together and only charged once a month, much like how Apple groups iTunes purchases  together. This process, called "bundling", helps LevelUp lower it's transaction fees and thus lower the fees charged to merchants.

A 0.05% drop sounds small, is it?

Dropping from 2.00% to 1.95% might not sound like a lot, but extrapolated across the economy, the drop represents $250 million in savings for local businesses. Every .01% drop is like a $50 million economic stimulus pumped back into the local economy.

Why should consumers care?

Though businesses directly pay the $50 billion in payment processing fees each year, consumers are often impacted in the form of higher prices. Lower interchange means lower prices. This can be seen most directly in the LevelUp ecosystem in the form of higher rewards. As businesses save more with LevelUp, they're able to offer larger savings and rewards to their loyal customers.

Will Levelup lower fees again in the future?


About LevelUp

LevelUp is the largest open payments network. Consumers use their LevelUp account to pay with their smart device or web browser, demonstrating the fastest and easiest way to pay. Businesses accept transactions for just 1.95% flat, thus enabling dramatic cost savings they can pass along to customers. LevelUp is backed by Google Ventures, Balderton Capital, Continental Investors, Highland Capital, Transmedia Capital and T-Venture, the venture arm of Deutsche-Telekom. Learn more at thelevelup.com.

Contact Information:

For media inquiries, please contact
Matt Kiernan
LevelUp Marketing Director
matt [at] thelevelup [dot] com