How It Works

By accepting Visa cards, you join one of the largest consumer payment systems in the world. Merchants, cardholders, and financial institutions are all connected with Visa's advanced network, offering you the assurance of secure transactions and timely payments.

But what exactly happens from the moment you accept a customer's Visa card to the time you receive payment? See exactly how the Visa payment process works.

The life of a Visa transaction

Key players
Every Visa card transaction involves multiple parties. The following definitions will give you a good understanding of who’s who in the transaction process.

Cardholder: An authorized Visa user.

Issuer: A financial institution that issues Visa cards and maintains a contract with cardholders for repayment.

Merchant: An authorized acceptor of Visa cards for the payment of goods and services.

Acquirer: A financial institution that helps the merchant fulfill Visa card payments from customers.

Visa: One of the world's largest consumer payment systems, whose members are the financial institutions that issue Visa cards and/or sign merchants to accept Visa.

VisaNet: An advanced worldwide network that acts as an authorization service for Visa card transactions, as well as a clearing and settlement service to transfer payment information between parties.