The term acquirer or merchant acquirer refers to companies which make up part of the credit card payment transaction chain.

Acquirers deliver the infrastructure necessary to process credit card transactions.

In exchange, they charge the retailer or service provider that accepts the credit card payment a service fee (the merchant service charge or MSC). The merchant acquirer then pays part of this (the interchange fee) to the card issuer.

Every credit card transaction is subject to these fees. The merchant acquirer processes all transactions, and passes them on to card issuers.

Examples of acquirers which operate in Switzerland include Worldline (formerly SIX Payment Services and PAYONE) and Nets Switzerland (formerly Concardis, CCV).

More information:
What is an issuer?
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