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Payment Services

Structure

The payments industry has evolved over the past few decades to now offer various ways for consumers to make payments and transfer money to different accounts. There is still the old-fashioned method of paying cash for purchases and services, and there are also credit cards, debit cards, and gift cards, which can be used in brick-and-mortar stores and for online transactions. Most merchants now have technology and secure financial software programs to accept and process credit card payments and issue refunds when required. In such transactions, these are the players and steps involved, as described by Fiserv (formerly First Data), a payments and financial technology company: consumer makes purchase or payment, merchant processor routes the payment or returns the payment approvals to the consumer's issuing bank, the merchant's financial institution receive the credit or debit card payments through the merchant processor before depositing the funds for the merchant. The merchant captures the customers' data through a point of sale system, credit card terminal, payment gateway, or virtual terminal. The customers' issuing bank is also involved in the transaction; this is the financial institution that provides organizations and consumers with debit and credit cards, and it also transfers funds to pay merchants. The major credit card networks (American Express, Mastercard, Visa, and Discover) are the connection between the merchant's bank and the consumer's card-issuing bank.

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