A merchant acquirer is a financial institution that maintains the merchant’s account for them to accept credit cards. The acquirer handles card transactions between the merchant, in that case, the webshop, and the customers who are the cardholders. Often, the acquirer and the payment processor are one entity for many businesses. When the acquirer receives the card information for purchase on an eCommerce website, they check if it is valid and authenticate the person making the payment. After authorization and authentication, the acquirer then waits for instructions that the merchant has sent the goods then completes the payment transaction securely. That provides security for both the merchant and the customers.

The best payment merchant solution is that which suits your business needs. Your choice often depends on how well the acquirer supports your business. Here are some key considerations to make.

Security control

When it comes to processing payment transactions, you cannot afford to compromise on the security of the card holder’s data and your business too. Ensure you check and understand what security measures the acquirer has to reinforce your safety and that of your clients as they pay.

Risk management

These days, there are many online payment fraud cases in eCommerce shops where stolen cards are used to make fraudulent online purchases. The acquirer you choose should have a flexible risk management system that integrates a system of rules and settings that automatically detect any fraudulent activity. Automatic detection also means immediate blocking and identifying the culprit before the transaction is processed.


Another vital consideration to make when choosing an acquirer is the support they will offer your business. As you know, every merchant is different and has varying needs. A suitable merchant acquirer takes a unique approach to each merchant based on their needs. For instance, do they analyze the client’s operations, such as reviewing their customers’ behavioral patterns to identify the payment process that provides maximum convenience? Assess the acquirer’s ability to provide a tailored solution. They should also be available for any needed support.

Integration convenience

You should partner with a merchant acquirer that provides an integration method based on your capabilities. Basically, there are two ways of connecting online payment to a website. One is integration via API, whereby the card holder’s data is first collected, given to the merchant’s end then transmitted to the payment service provider’s server. Then there is integration through the checkout page. It is embedded in the eCommerce website but stored on the payment service provider’s server. Either way, choose an acquirer that helps you understand the process and reduces excess integration.


Partnering with an acquirer that offers both direct acquiring and various payment methods helps you save resources. That is because you can set up and customize the payment process depending on your needs. Again, if the acquirer has a dedicated team that offers customer service 24/7, you don’t need to hire a manager on your end.


Ensure your acquirer offers you global coverage, especially if your eCommerce receives customers from different parts of the world. Again, you should think big. Even if your eCommerce store is operating locally now, one day, it will expand, so ensure your acquirer can offer you coverage to meet your desired regions.

The takeaway

When choosing a merchant acquirer, there is no one size fits all, but the suitable one can provide a tailor-made service to suit different business needs.

Ieva Ofer
the authorIeva Ofer