IPP Europe

What is a Payment Service Provider (PSP)

Handle Cash - Payment Service Provider

Payment Service Providers (PSPs) are third-party companies that offer payment processing services to businesses and merchants. These services allow merchants to accept electronic payments from customers, including credit and debit cards, mobile payments, and online payment systems. PSPs play a crucial role in the modern economy, facilitating billions of dollars in transactions every day.

Overall, What is a Payment Service Provider (PSP) ?

PSPs act as intermediaries between merchants, banks, and payment networks like Visa and Mastercard. These networks are responsible for processing payments and transferring funds between accounts. When a customer makes a purchase using a credit or debit card, the transaction data is sent from the merchant to the PSP’s platform. The PSP then securely transmits this data to the appropriate payment network, which communicates with the customer’s bank to approve or decline the transaction.

Visa and Mastercard are two of the largest and most widely used payment networks in the world. They operate as intermediaries between banks, merchants, and cardholders, providing a secure and reliable system for processing electronic payments. Visa and Mastercard have strict security standards and protocols in place to protect against fraud and ensure that transactions are processed accurately and efficiently.

PSPs work closely with Visa and Mastercard to provide payment processing services to their customers. In order to offer these services, PSPs must comply with a variety of rules and regulations set forth by the payment networks. These rules cover everything from security and data protection to fees and transaction limits.

One of the key benefits of working with a PSP is the ability to accept a wide range of payment methods. PSPs typically offer support for all major credit and debit cards, as well as mobile payment systems like Apple Pay and Google Pay. They may also offer support for alternative payment methods like PayPal and cryptocurrency.

Services offered by PSPs

PSPs offer a range of services beyond payment processing. Many PSPs provide fraud detection and prevention services to help merchants reduce the risk of chargebacks and other forms of fraud. PSPs may also offer chargeback management services, helping merchants to navigate the often-complex process of disputing chargebacks.

Another important service provided by PSPs is currency conversion. For merchants who do business internationally, PSPs can automatically convert payments from one currency to another, making it easier to accept payments from customers around the world.

The right Payment Service Provider for your business

Choosing the right PSP is an important decision for merchants. Factors to consider include pricing and fees, security measures, customer support, and available integrations with other software and platforms. Some PSPs charge a flat fee per transaction, while others charge a percentage of the transaction value. Merchants should carefully consider their payment processing volume and choose a PSP that offers pricing that is affordable and transparent.

Security is also a critical consideration when choosing a PSP. Merchants should look for a PSP that offers robust security measures, including encryption, tokenization, and multi-factor authentication. PSPs should also be PCI compliant, meaning they comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards.

Customer support is another important factor to consider. Merchants should choose a PSP that offers timely and responsive customer support, with channels like phone, email, and chat readily available. PSPs should also have resources available to help merchants troubleshoot issues and navigate the payment processing landscape.

Finally, integrations with other software and platforms can be a key consideration for some merchants. PSPs that offer integrations with popular shopping cart platforms like Shopify or Magento, as well as accounting software like QuickBooks or Xero, can help streamline payment processing and make it easier to manage a business’s financials.

The difference between Payment Service Providers and Payment Facilitators

AspectPayment Service Provider (PSP)Payment Facilitator (PayFac)
DefinitionA third-party company that offers payment processing services to businesses and merchantsA company that provides payment processing services to a network of sub-merchants or small businesses
Relationship with merchantsWorks directly with merchants to offer payment processing services from AcquirersOffers payment processing services to a network of sub-merchants or small businesses
UnderwritingPSPs typically require a thorough underwriting process to onboard new merchantsPayFacs can onboard sub-merchants more quickly and with less rigorous underwriting
Risk and LiabilityPSPs assume a higher level of risk and liability, as they have no responsibility of the riskPayFacs assume a lower level of risk and liability, as they work with a network of sub-merchants or small businesses
SettlementPSPs do not have access to the settlements. That is solely handled by the Acquirer.PayFacs settle funds with sub-merchants or small businesses, who are responsible for settling with their own customers
Pricing and FeesPSPs typically charge a percentage of each transaction as a fee, with pricing based on volume and other factorsPayFacs may offer a flat fee or a tiered pricing model, with fees varying based on factors like transaction volume and risk level
Customer SupportPSPs typically offer dedicated customer support for each merchantPayFacs may offer more limited customer support, as they work with a larger number of sub-merchants or small businesses
Integration OptionsPSPs may offer integrations with a wide range of software and platformsPayFacs may offer fewer integration options, as they focus on serving a specific network of sub-merchants or small businesses

Our closing remarks

In conclusion, Payment Service Providers are an essential component of the modern payments landscape, enabling businesses of all sizes to accept electronic payments and process transactions efficiently and securely. By working closely with payment networks like