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What Kind of Acquiring do I Need?

Boaz Gam

Boaz Gam


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7 min

What kinds of acquiring exist and how to choose the right one for your business?

Article content
  1. What is Acquiring?
  2. Types of Acquiring
  3. Who Participates in the Acquiring Process?
  4. How Does It Work?
  5. Pros and Cons of Acquiring
  6. How to Choose an Acquiring Service Provider?
  7. What Do You Need for Acquiring Integration into Your Business?
  8. What Can Payneteasy Offer?

In 2021, bank cards like Visa and Mastercard have become the most popular means of payment in the world. It is a figure that demonstrates how fast global commerce evolves and explains why it is becoming harder to conduct business without acquiring.

n this article, we’re going to discuss how acquiring works, who is involved in the process, and what needs to be done to get it up and running. Read on for all the details!

What is Acquiring?

What kinds of acquiring exist and how to choose the right one for your business?

It is a service offered by banks and financial institutions that allows people to pay for goods and services with debit and credit payment cards.

“According to international analytical companies, 54% of all transactions in 2020 were conducted in a non-cash format.”

Acquiring is available to any type of business willing to accept payment cards: organizations, individuals, entrepreneurs, and self-employed citizens.

But there are different types of acquirer services, and the choice of the one that suits your business the most depends on where the transactions take place: at a point of sale, online, in an app, or all of the above.

Types of Acquiring

What kinds of acquiring exist and how to choose the right one for your business?

Depending on the target market and the needs of a company, users can choose between three types of services offered by a merchant acquirer, namely:

  • Offline
  • Internet
  • Mobile

Note that there is also another type, known as ATM acquiring (or exchange acquiring). It denotes payment through such devices as ATMs. This is an independent type of acquiring that is not required for most companies.

Offline Acquiring

Offline (trade) acquiring implies POS terminal installation at checkout of a brick-and-mortar store. A POS terminal is a hardware system for processing credit card transactions at retail locations. With its help, the required amount is debited from the consumer's card or, conversely, the funds are returned.

Mobile Acquiring

This type is best suited for merchants if their business involves active movement and they need to process credit card transactions in different places. For instance, it would be the best match for taxi companies, pizza delivery businesses, or courier services.

For mobile acquiring, compact mPOS terminals are used for card payments since they are easy to bring with you. Such equipment can be easily controlled via mobile devices using an application. The payment principle, in this case, is the same as for trading POS credit card terminals.

“Note that it is the least secure method used for accepting payments. Due to this, banks can limit the number of purchases via this type.”

These limitations are not intended to hinder legitimate transactions. On the contrary, they aim to strike a balance between convenience and security. To achieve it, banks continuously monitor transaction patterns to detect and prevent fraud. A proactive approach helps ensure the safety of all parties.

Internet Acquiring

This bank service allows consumers to make payments for goods and services in online stores by credit card or e-money, using the systems of electronic payments. It is not necessary to purchase a real terminal.

Nowadays, online payments are totally secure. To minimize the risk of fraud and privacy breaches for cardholders, the payment processing algorithm features a possibility of a simplified cancellation (Chargeback) implemented into the online payment procedure.

In many cases, the cardholder can simply call their issuing bank and tell them that the goods have not been delivered or a contract has not been fulfilled properly.

3D Secure may require shoppers to go through an additional verification step with the card issuer when paying to verify that the transaction is not fraudulent and the cardholder’s personal data is not in danger.

Usually, you direct the customer to an authentication page on their bank’s website, and they enter a password associated with the credit card or a code sent to their phone to complete the online payment.

Who Participates in the Acquiring Process?

What kinds of acquiring exist and how to choose the right one for your business?

The system in its simplest configuration involves the following parties:

An Acquiring Bank

Also known as the acquirer, it is the FI that provides the necessary services and infrastructure for merchants to accept electronic payment transactions. Acquirers configure and maintain the merchant's accounts, authorize and process transactions, and deposit funds into the business account after deducting applicable fees. Acquirers also facilitate the interaction between merchants and issuing banks.

A Merchant

The merchant sells goods or services. They enter into an agreement with the acquirer to be able to accept payment cards like Visa and Mastercard at their store. They install the necessary hardware and software to accept card purchases securely and send transaction details to the acquirer for authorization.

A Customer

It is the cardholder who wants to make purchases from the store. They use their payment card to initiate the transaction. The card can be swiped, inserted, or tapped at a POS terminal to pay for the goods, or the card details can be entered electronically for e-commerce purchases.

An Issuing Bank

The issuing bank, also known as the issuer, is an FI that provides customers with bank cards. If a person used their personal card for a transaction, the issuer must validate it, check the available balance, and ensure there are no fraud concerns. Then, they either approve or decline the operation and send the response back to the acquirer.

How Does It Work?

What kinds of acquiring exist and how to choose the right one for your business?

Now that you’re aware of the main participants of the process and understand the roles they play, let’s delve into how exactly they cooperate.

The scheme of operation of this system is as follows:

  1. The customer initiates a payment by debit or credit card.
  2. Based on the card data, the issuing bank receives a request for the customer’s account status. His/her solvency and the absence of restrictions preventing the payment are checked.
  3. The requested amount is debited from the customer’s account.
  4. The acquiring bank charges a fee for the transaction and credits the money to the merchant.
  5. The merchant and the customer must receive receipts with information about the purchase transaction.

As you can see, there are multiple various steps involved. However, in practice, the whole transaction process is usually completed in a matter of seconds.

Pros and Cons of Acquiring

The acquiring process simplifies business due to its undeniable advantages:

  • Saving time. Cashless payments are faster.
  • Reducing cash risks. The seller does not have to count cash and check banknotes for authenticity.
  • Increase in revenue. From a psychological point of view, it has been proven that it is easier for people to spend money when they pay by credit card.
  • Attraction of new clients. More and more people prefer cashless payments.
  • Geography expansion. Thanks to Internet acquiring, you can accept online payments worldwide.
  • Free staff training. The acquiring bank or service provider usually trains employees for free. These training sessions do not require additional investments from the merchant, yet they allow workers to learn useful skills for their career growth.

The disadvantages of cashless payments include:

  • Efficiency. There is always a chance of technical failures in the operation of programs and equipment. However, nowadays, just a few minutes can be enough for banks and other providers to react and eliminate malfunctions.
  • Safety and privacy. Each of the parties involved in the cashless payment system could potentially become a victim of fraud or experience a privacy breach. But, thanks to modern protection mechanisms, these risks, are minimized.
  • Skill. A sales team has to be able to work with equipment.

How to Choose an Acquiring Service Provider?

What kinds of acquiring exist and how to choose the right one for your business?

Today, almost every financial institution offers acquiring for merchants. But the fact is that not all banking organizations are able to provide the same equipment and prescribe equal conditions. Thus, there are several criteria to be taken into account when picking a merchant acquirer:

  1. Find out what equipment options the bank or financial institution offers, what is the cost of terminals, and study their functionality.
  2. Read and study the agreement thoroughly.
  3. Find out what fees the bank charges for processing each non-cash transaction. For instance, Visa card network fees can be different from those of American Express. The fee amount can also be dependent on merchant category, transaction volumes, geographic location, and so on.

“Important! The financial organization will receive a certain percentage from each transaction made through the credit card terminal. In the case of trading acquiring, it varies from bank to bank and can be as high as 2.5%.”

  1. Clarify which payment systems are supported.
  2. Highlight your rights and obligations under the contract and make sure you understand all relevant policies.
  3. Study the fees offered by the bank for settlement and cash services.

All these aspects are crucial to consider to make an informed decision when selecting a suitable candidate.

What kinds of acquiring exist and how to choose the right one for your business?

What Do You Need for Acquiring Integration into Your Business?

Before you start accepting credit card transactions, you must open a current account to which sales revenue will be credited. Once you have it ready, follow these steps:

  1. Fill out an application for acquiring for legal entities on the bank’s website.
  2. Wait for a call from a specialist in the acquiring department and take your time to read and understand all the terms and conditions.
  3. If you agree with all the terms, provide the missing personal information and papers, and sign the agreement.
  4. Obtain the equipment for work (or a specialist will set up parameters on the site).

Generally, acquiring can be connected directly via the bank, but this is not always a convenient and profitable solution. In these cases, you can contact a merchant service provider that will help connect acquiring in the necessary banks and offer additional options for managing and controlling traffic.

What Can Payneteasy Offer?

What kinds of acquiring exist and how to choose the right one for your business?

We are a platform that allows customers to quickly and easily get connected to bank acquiring and start processing the credit card transaction flow. We provide a whole range of effective technical solutions for our clients, namely:

  • Fast integrations;
  • Support for e-commerce, m-commerce and alternative payment methods – clients can connect any wallets and payment systems, including regional ones;
  • Multi-currency support;
  • Recurring payments with flexible settings and management tools;
  • Financial monitoring tools for traffic management;
  • Customized payment form in a PCI DSS secured environment;
  • Cost-effective transaction flow;
  • Reconciliation with payment providers;
  • A full-featured mPOS solution with a state-of-the-art SDK and customization features, and more.

For a company, being linked with a merchant acquirer means an increase in revenue and an influx of new customers. If you want to develop your business, it is important that both cash and non-cash payments can be conducted at points of sale.

Not to worry - we will be the safe and effective one-stop solution your company needs for setting well-functioning acquiring. Contact us as soon as possible to make the first step toward upgrading the way you handle payments!


Is it possible to connect several types of acquiring?

Yes, you can connect several types of acquiring at once if you provide different kinds of services. For example, trading and mobile ones.

Is it possible to connect acquiring without a current account?

When activating the acquiring service, all payments received from customers’ cards must be credited somewhere. To do this, you need to open a current bank account. Thus, to arrange acquiring and cooperate with the bank without breaking the rules, you will need the current account.

Can I use acquiring without an online checkout?

It is possible only in a number of legislatively prescribed cases, including:

  • the sale of magazines and newspapers in paper form in specialized kiosks;
  • the sale of securities;
  • the provision of food for schoolchildren, students and teachers in educational institutions;
  • the sale of food and non-food products from carts, baskets, hands;
  • trade at fairs, exhibition centers, or markets;
  • seasonal trade in bulk.
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