Visa International Service Assessment [ISA Fee 101]

The Visa international service assessment or ISA fee is charged when a foreign credit card is used to make a purchase. This fee applies to both in-person and online transactions.

If you decide to register a business and connect a commercial account or standard bank account in the USA to your business, you may get asked about this by customers.

In this article, we’ll explore how the Visa ISA is charged, under what conditions it can be avoided, and help business owners better understand their credit card options.

Feel free to jump ahead to the areas most relevant to you by using the table of contents below.

Table of Contents

  1. Visa International Service Assessment
  2. Visa International Assessment Fee
  3. Frequently Asked Questions
  4. Ready to Open Accounts With Banks in the USA?

Visa International Service Assessment

Visa international service assessment is a fee charged against local merchants when customers use payment cards from other countries. The Visa ISA fee is 0.8% or 1.2%. This fee is in addition to any other payment processing fees charged. All other major credit card networks charge similar fees.

Importantly, Visa’s international service assessment fee is just one of the fees that Visa charges merchants when a foreign card is used. In addition to the ISA, merchants can also expect to be charged an international acquirer fee. This is in addition to a currency exchange fee.

With this in mind, when considering new merchant and processing relationships, including payment processing with automated onboarding, it’s critical to review all fees and potential charges beforehand.

That said, while an ISA will be charged anytime a foreign card is used, there is one way to reduce the overall fees charged in a transaction. We’ll cover this and answer several frequently asked questions in the following section.

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Visa International Assessment Fee

As mentioned, Visa’s international assessment fee will be charged anytime a foreign payment card is used. However, there are ways to limit the amount that is charged by Visa.

For example, most POS terminals now offer customers the opportunity to select the specific currency that they want to use. If the customer chooses to settle the transaction in the merchant’s local currency (USD) instead of the currency of their home country, this can limit the amount charged.

You see, as mentioned, the ISA varies depending on the currency of the transaction. But, if the customer chooses to settle in USD, then the currency of the transaction is USD. Therefore, the merchant will pay the lowest ISA available, 0.8%.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are two of the most common questions that we receive from people wondering if you can have two Venmo accounts. If you have further questions you would like answered, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us directly.

How Much Is the Visa International Service Assessment?

The Visa international services assessment fee varies depending on the currency that is used to settle the payment. With this in mind, merchants should expect to pay either 0.8% or 1.2% on the value of any transactions with foreign-issued payment cards.

Who Pays the International Service Assessment Fee?

Visa charges the international service assessment fee to the merchant anytime a customer uses a payment card that has been issued in another country. This is true for both in-person and online purchases.

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GlobalBanks Team
GlobalBanks Team

The GlobalBanks editorial team comprises a group of subject-matter experts from across the banking world, including former bankers, analysts, investors, and entrepreneurs. All have in-depth knowledge and experience in various aspects of international banking. In particular, they have expertise in banking for foreigners, non-residents, and both foreign and offshore companies.

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