Visa Fees Jump while Bitcoin Transaction Costs Remain Stable

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The cost for online Visa transactions has increased by the largest percentage in more than a decade, while Bitcoin’s have remained relatively stable. The news came through a document released by Visa to banks. Per the release:

“Based on the most recent review in the U.S., Visa is adjusting its default U.S. interchange rate structure to optimize acceptance and usage and reflect the current value of Visa products.”

The increase is not universal, however. Some merchants will see lower fees, such as grocery stores and education. Nevertheless, as the online and ‘card-not-present’ retail industry increases, Visa’s charges will likely result in higher payments for consumers. [Forbes]

All transactions require some medium for completion, apart from simple peer-to-peer cash payments. Any time an online payment processing system is used, a cost for sending information is normal.

For the past decade, those fees from Visa have remained stable, hovering around $1.90. The new rates are $1.99. While the increase does not appear extreme in the case of any individual transaction, the cost begins to add up for online shoppers. Each transaction using Visa is charged $0.10 more, and with hundreds of online transactions, the fees add up.

Bitcoin, of course, charges fees as well. However, average transaction fees in Bitcoin are approximately $0.35 for transactions to be confirmed in 30 minutes or less. For those willing to wait an hour, transaction fees can be as low as $0.05. While fees can change depending on transaction size, averages are far lower.

Of course, Bitcoin’s fees are subject to change based on the number of transactions and miner requirements. This is the danger of a decentralized network. However, on average, Bitcoin transaction fees are much lower than credit card fees.

The other offset statistic is processing time. Visa transactions process, on average, in just a few seconds. This is made possible by Visa’s centralized infrastructure that validates payments.

On the other hand, Bitcoin can be very slow in transaction processing, with transactions regularly processing in more than 30 minutes. In this sense, consumers get what they pay for with Visa. However, Bitcoin transaction volume is poised to hit some new highs this year, as BeInCrypto has previously reported.

While both systems have pros and cons, Bitcoin offers advantages particularly for international transactions. As Visa charges continue to increase, use cases for Bitcoin should continue to proliferate.

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With a background in science and writing, Jon's cryptophile days started in 2011 when he first heard about Bitcoin. Since then he's been learning, investing, and writing about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology for some of the biggest publications and ICOs in the industry. After a brief stint in India, he and his family live in southern CA.

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