With changes in technology come changes in how companies perform business transactions. With greater moves away from traditional cash, the payment processing industry has adapted to try to fit the needs of the market. Understanding the payment processing industry allows consumers to see how it has changed over the years and what impacts they need to be mindful of.
The first step to understanding what a payment processing company does is understanding the parties involved. The cardholder is the consumer who owns the credit card and uses it to make a purchase.
The merchant is the business that sold a product or service to the cardholder. The acquirer is the financial institution that processes the transaction on the merchant’s behalf. The credit card brand, or business network, processes the payment. Finally, issuing bank is the financial institution that issued the credit card to the consumer.
The next step to understanding the process is seeing how the parties become involved in the transaction. The customer will use their card in the merchant’s POS terminal, which will send information to the acquirer. The acquirer will send information to the issuing bank via the credit card network.
For additional information on the payment processing industry, please review the attached video.