Merchant services

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Merchant services is the name given worldwide to a broad category of financial services intended for use by businesses.[1] In its most specific use, it usually refers to the service that enables a business to accept a transaction payment through some secure (encrypted) channel by use of the customer's credit card or debit card or NFC/RFID enabled device. More generally, the term includes the following in its use:

Merchant services typically requires the set up with a merchant account with a payment acquirer either directly or through an ISO (Independent Sales Organisation) or Referral Partner. (e.g.: Banks or B2B Service Companies; this is how all banks offer merchant services in the UK bar Barclays/Barclaycard who acquire their own payments.) The exception to this is mPOS systems which are mobile pin entry devices (PED) typically connect to a mobile phone through Bluetooth and then use the phone's WiFi or mobile data to connect with the banks. (This system doesn't require a merchant account although the companies that offer this type of service will still have a relationship with an acquirer). Payments made through this method cost a lot more per transaction so are ideal for businesses that don't put through many card transactions. There is usually a charge for buying the device from the provider. (Typically £40 - £100.)


  1. ^ Plunkett, Jack W. (2007). Plunkett's Banking, Mortgages & Credit Industry Almanac 2008: Banking, Mortgages and Credit Industry Market Research, Statistics, Trends and Leading. Plunkett Research. ISBN 1-59392-098-9.