Publicly-traded Green Dot Corp. is targeting government agencies to issue its card products with a new division.
Card issuers are finding government-issued cards fertile grounds because of two reasons: 1.) Governments are turning to electronic payments as a means to manage finances and benefits payouts (such as “food stamps”) more efficiently; 2.) the “swipe fees” that issuers charge to merchants for accepting government-issued Visa and MasterCard cards are far higher – up to three times higher - than traditional debit cards issued to consumers. That makes government-issued Visa and MasterCard cards highly lucrative to the banks that issue them, but much more costly to merchants who accept them.
For a complete list of MasterCard Interchange rates, visit: http://www.mastercard.com/us/merchant/pdf/MasterCard_Interchange_Rates_and_Criteria.pdf
For a current list of Visa Interchange Rates, visit: http://usa.visa.com/download/merchants/Interchange_Rate_Sheets.pdf