Have you ever thought about what happens once you enter your debit or credit card details into an automated system or read them out to a contact centre agent? The answer isn’t easy but it is more straightforward than many would like you to believe, so stay with me as I take you through a day in the life of a payment.
Payment Service Provider
Once card details are taken they begin their journey towards a payment gateway which is hosted by a Payment Service Provider (PSP) Encoded is a good example of a PSP, where merchants can utilise multiple payment methods from a single supplier, regardless of which company provides their merchant account. The card details are checked for errors. If these all pass, then the payment is forwarded on to the payment gateway, such as those provided by Mastercard, Barclaycard, First Data or Cashflows. These payment gateways have relationships with acquirers, which is another name for a Merchant Bank such as Streamline, Cardnet or Barclays Merchant Services (BMS). At this point the acquirer identifies the Merchant Account by way of the Merchant Identification Number (MID) which is the merchant’s account number.