Get a grip on card schemes and processing costs with B-Cephal

Ronald te Velde and Eppo Heemstra
Connective Payments

Insights into scheme rates and processing costs

Payment competition is fierce. With the arrival of new players, there is continuous change. New players bring new products and can act quickly because they are not affected by legacy systems and processes. A constant stream of innovations and pressure on prices and service levels is the result. The question is: do you have all the (financial) information to make the right choices and to compete? B-Cephal is a module developed by our partner Finflag, that can help you to get a grip on this complex matter.

B-Cephal dashboard

Complex cost, rate and fee structures

With multiple products, multiple schedules and processors, it is difficult to get the right insights. Finding out the rate structure and invoices of schemes and processors is a near-impossible task.

The cost statements of schemes, processing and interchange fees for both issuing and acquiring are very complex. Each party in the payment chain uses different rate structures with numerous variables, different reports and different invoicing methods. Processing with equensWorldline is different from using OmniPay or the card schemes.

The same goes for the scheme fees. In general, Mastercard has a more complex and comprehensive fee structure compared to Visa. Most rates are similar, yet different. And throughout the card or merchant base, large differences can occur.

For interchange fees, it is important that transactions are correctly mapped by region, card type and MCC. With so many different players in the payment chain, this doesn’t always go smoothly. If the reporting from the processing systems is incorrect, it is very difficult to find the root cause and correct the report.

Reporting to the schemes is another topic. This is usually done by the processor. The scheme will charge fines if the scheme rules are not complied with.

In processing, different transaction types are priced differently. Having a good understanding of which transaction requires pre-authorisation, and which transactions are “on us” can provide opportunities to focus on particular segments of the market or look at the earning potential of particular segments. The other tricky problem is handling exceptions, such as chargebacks. You want as few exceptions as possible because of the high card scheme and processing fees, as well as handling fees. Insight through regular reporting is essential. With these insights, customer journeys can be improved and costs can be reduced at an operational level.

The B-Cephal module

Finflag, a Belgian payment consultancy and partner of Connective Payments, has developed a module, B-Cephal, that can solve the aforementioned challenges of understanding costs of all payment methods.

Input and output variables of B-Cephal

The starting point: cost transparency

This module will help to have the right discussions in the right places with the right parties. Because transparency and insight into costs is the starting point for reducing costs and offering the right services and products to your customers.

The most important aspect of being successful in the market in which you operate is knowing your costs and knowing your profitability at the product and customer level.


“We benchmark unit cost of cards issuers and acquirers across the full value chain. Each element is monitored and substantial cost base reduction and supplier condition renegotiation is the well deserved compensation of the analysis.

Geoffroy Dupies of B-Cephal

By getting a better grip on invoices and understanding the rate structures, you can analyse profitability at all levels. With this data you can have the right conversations with all suppliers, be it processors, schemes or other service providers.

If you want more insight and reduce your Payments and Cards costs base, please contact Ronald te Velde to discuss and request a demo of B-Cephal.

February 2021


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