To understand payments processing like anything else , needs to understand who are the players in the process .
Here are the main players in the payments processing:
- Card Holder - an account holder who owns Debit or Credit card, particularly a Plastic Card
- POS or CheckOut - The time and place where a retail transaction is completed.
- Merchant - This is a store or a vendor who sells goods or services to the cardholder.
- Payments Gateway – a logic entity that routes the transaction information between POS or CheckOut to the relevant payment processor or another PSP.
- Vault or Card Vault – Secured and encrypted environment where PANs and their tokens are stored and kept.
- Processors – Presumably there is enough fund on the bank account, clearing funds from the Card Holder and settles on a bank account .
- Acquiring Bank/Acquirer - The acquiring bank is responsible for receiving payment authorization requests from the merchant and sending them to the issuing bank through the appropriate channels and these channels are card networks.
- Card Networks – Visa , Master Card, Amex, Discover, CUP, JCB, Debit – as know as Card Brands
- Card Issuers – Banks …BOA, Capital One, Citi Bank – Financial Institutions that provide the cards to the card holders
As you can imaging there much more , however the above list , is a list of the main ones.