Challenges & Opportunities for Merchant Acquirers

| Point of View

In the rapidly changing global payments landscape, merchant acquirers face increasing challenges which bring new opportunities

Merchant acquiring is an integral part of card payment transactions processing. Acquirers enable merchants to accept card payments by acting as a link between merchants, issuers, and payment networks—providing authorization, clearing and settlement, dispute management, and information services to merchants. The merchant acquiring industry is dominated by a few large players across the globe, with the top ten acquirers in the world handling nearly 50%1 of the global cards transaction volume in 2010.

This paper identifies key challenges faced by merchant acquirers in a rapidly changing payments landscape. These challenges are making it more difficult for merchant acquirers to sustain and grow their business. The paper also explores the drivers behind these challenges and proposes probable solutions which can be used to address the key challenges. Finally, we analyze these solutions to map the effectiveness of each one.