E-commerce and online payments have become such an integral part of our lives that we often find it hard to imagine we functioned without them just a couple of decades ago. However, while we, as customers, enjoy the convenience of online purchases, things are not as simple from the merchant’s point of view.
In the following paragraphs, we’re exploring internet acquiring in a bit more detail to give some insight into how it operates behind the scenes, and we’re giving a few tips on how to choose the best Internet acquiring service for your business.
What Is Internet Acquiring
In simple terms, Internet acquiring, also referred to as web acquiring, is the selling of goods and services on the Internet for which the customer pays using payment cards. Internet acquiring offers several advantages, for example, allowing merchants to accept payments online using global payment systems like Visa and MasterCard. Moreover, it eliminates the necessity for physical in-store terminals, reducing operational costs.
Further, Internet acquiring expands sales channels, thus broadening the merchant’s customer base and offering a modern and convenient payment method for otherwise geographically limited consumers. Last but not least, it provides the merchant with real-time payment tracking and statistics.
Of course, Internet acquiring is accessible not only to clients that favor traditional banks but also to clients that prefer more decentralized payment and fintech companies, as well as electronic wallets.
How Internet Acquiring Works
Although we take the convenience of e-commerce for granted, never giving the mechanisms that underlie it much thought, there is a lot going on in the background whenever we make a purchase online. Typically, the process goes something like this:
- We make a purchase: That is, the customer adds products and services to their digital cart and chooses their preferred payment method, i.e., credit or debit card;
- The transaction is initiated: Upon selecting their payment method of choice, the customer is redirected to the provider’s web page for authorization and confirmation;
- The user provides details: On the new page, the customer enters all the required payment card details;
- Payment requests are initiated: The provider initiates a number of requests, reaching out to the customer’s card-issuing bank;
- The provider responds to the customer and the merchant: Once the requests are processed, the provider sends a notification to the customer and the merchant, letting them know whether the financial transaction is feasible or not;
- The settlement bank receives a clearing file: Once the transaction is validated, the settlement bank receives a clearing file, which facilitates the financial transfer;
- The money is transferred: Then, the settlement bank transfers the money, depositing the funds into the merchant’s account and finalizing the purchase transaction.
Mobile Acquiring Explained
Mobile internet acquiring works the same way as internet acquiring in general, but it is particularly beneficial for merchants whose operations are conducted on the move, for example, taxi, ticket sales, food delivery, and courier companies.
Mobile internet acquiring relies on point-of-sale (mPOS) terminals specifically designed for processing card payments wirelessly. They are portable devices resembling larger mobile phones, allowing operators to take them anywhere. In fact, merchants can connect mPOS terminals to their mobile devices through an app.
In terms of payment processing, mobile internet acquiring works on the same fundamental internet acquiring principles we outlined above. That is, when a customer makes a purchase, they input their payment information or use digital wallet services like Apple Pay or Google Pay. Then, the mPOS terminal transmits this information over the internet to a payment processor or payment gateway, which performs a series of crucial checks, verifying the transaction.
Mobile acquiring has some advantages over other payment processing solutions. Some of them include:
- Secure transactions;
- 24/7 availability.
How to Choose an Internet Acquiring Service
Selecting the right Internet acquiring service is not easy since there is no one service that can accommodate all businesses equally as well. That is, the service you choose should align with your specific business needs and objectives, the niche you operate in, the transaction volume, etc.
So, before making a decision, you must consider several important factors that will help you determine which acquirer is the ideal choice. For example, you can consider factors such as:
- Accepted payment methods: Not all services support all payment cards. So, try to verify whether the service you are considering can process the most commonly used payment methods on your website;
- Transaction volume: How big is the transaction volume on your platform? Numbers are particularly important because some services charge different fees based on your transaction volume;
- The scope of the average transaction: How much does the average customer spend per transaction? This is a bit trickier to figure out, but it is important when calculating transaction fees.
Once you have answered all these questions, you can narrow down your choices. With a short list of potential acquiring services, you can start investigating some other aspects of each platform. For example, you should check out their:
- Fee Structure and additional charges that may apply each month;
- Security measures and attitudes toward things such as fraudulent transactions and chargebacks;
- Compatibility with your platform;
- Customer support levels and availability;
- Payment processing promptness;
- Regulations and compliance with the industry standards, as well as their reputation among merchants.
How Will Choosing the Right Acquiring Service Benefit You
Having a good acquirer ensures smooth and secure card payment processing. Moreover, choosing the right acquiring service can significantly increase your revenue potential and help you retain customers, as they will appreciate a smooth payment process.
Further, finding and partnering up with a strong acquiring service can streamline your merchant onboarding process, ensuring quicker payment processing and reducing the risk of losing business to competitors. What’s more, some acquiring partners go the extra mile to protect the merchant in case of a chargeback. That is, they acquire and present evidence to support the merchant’s clime and speed up the chargeback resolution process.