Issuers, also called credit card companies, are financial service providers like banks which issue credit cards for their customers.
Along with credit card payment networks like MasterCard and Visa, credit card issuers decide on the services, fees and foreign exchange rates that are included in their credit cards.
Transactions made using a credit card are processed by the card issuer. Issuers charge transaction fees to cardholders.
Issuers should not be confused with merchant acquirers.
Swiss credit card issuers include Cornèrcard (part of CornèrBanca), Cembra Money Bank, BonusCard (also belongs to Cornèr Banca), PostFinance, Swisscard AECS (of which Credit Suisse is a primary shareholder), TopCard (owned by UBS), UBS, Viseca (shareholders include Raiffeisen and the cantonal banks).