Thursday, August 20, 2009

Intuit joins the ACH-based flat-fee band wagon

Intuit has created an ACH-based payment network where merchants pay a flat fee of $0.50 per transaction (link). This is fast work on Intuit's part, coming less than 3 months since they acquired PayCycle for $170 million (link) Intuit, based on its Quickbooks franchise, has relationships with 3.7 million small businesses. The 170 million dollar question is, will this offering gain critical mass where we will see the Intuit bug in enough payment pages?

To contrast this offering, let us look at other similar offerings. NACHA's SVP charges a flat $0.745 per transaction for their transactions (link). There seems to be some transaction for this product at universities, with government agencies opting in as well. PayPal charges merchants a discount rate of approximately 3.9%, which is comparable to what Amazon and Google Checkout charge.

I was talking with a long-time industry insider, who sees the trend towards flat-fee based discount rates. Where do you think the industry is heading?

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