Acquirers, issuers, merchants, card schemes. The card payments universe can be complicated for the uninitiated. If you’re a business owner, knowing all the actors that come into play each time you accept a customer’s payment card can help you make the most informed decisions for your business. So, who are the players, what do they do, and how does each affect a merchant like you?
3D Secure (3-domain structure) or 3DS is a security protocol or technical standard currently developed and maintained by EMVCo and implemented by the payment card industry.
Card schemes are the main authorities in electronic transactions. When it comes to taking card payments, merchants need to make sure they are complaint with their policies and regulations. That’s why getting to know them is key for your business.
The supermarket chain near your house with the best chocolate selection. The taxi company which takes you home safely after a night out. The online store which sells your favourite brand of sports equipment. Your business – whether it is online or a brick and mortar store or restaurant. What do they all have in common? They’re merchants.
An issuer is a bank or financial institution which provides debit, credit, and/or prepaid cards to consumers on behalf of payment card schemes. Typical payment card schemes include Visa and Mastercard, for example. In 2018, 668.87 million cards were in circulation in the EU alone. Every one of these cards was provided to consumers via an issuer.
If you’re an entrepreneur looking to accept debit and credit cards for your business, you’ve come across the word “acquirer”. In the payments industry, acquirers go by a few different names. You may have heard them being called a merchant account bank, a merchant bank, or a settlement bank.