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Accepting card payments as a retailer

Learn about the process of accepting card payments in person, online or through telephone order.


Service charges and credits

As a merchant, an acquirer will credit your merchant account for all the card transactions that you have accepted. On a monthly basis, the acquirer will debit the same account for service charges and any additional fees that you may be charged as part of your agreement with the acquirer.


The time taken for a card payment to reach a merchant’s bank account will vary depending on the type of transaction. For example:

  • Card present transaction – up to four working days
  • Card-not-present transaction (mail order or telephone order) – can be more than four working days
  • Card-not-present transaction (internet) – can be 30 working days or more

Checking your credit with an end of day procedure

You can check that your merchant bank account has been credited with the correct amount of funds by printing a daily summary of what card business has been transacted. This can be done by performing the end-of-day procedure through their terminal and then checking this figure with the entry in the bank account. Where these do not match, an acquirer will be able to assist in the understanding of any inconsistencies.


Knowing which cards types to accept

An acquirer will discuss with you, the merchant, which card types they may want to accept for your business. In addition, an acquirer may provide you details on how a merchant can recognise card types, for card present transactions, and their security features (examples of these are holograms or card markings that appear when viewed under an ultraviolet light).

There may be instances where a merchant cannot process a transaction, for example, if a terminal fails. An acquirer will provide instructions on what to do if this happens.

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