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Acquiring system

73% of Russians pay for purchases with bank cards, according to a survey from the end of 2019. And in 2020, due to the coronavirus epidemic, the share of non-cash purchases may increase. This means that a business cannot do without acquiring – a non-cash payment acceptance service that a bank provides to an entrepreneur. We will tell you what service the acquiring bank offers and by what criteria to choose it.

What is acquiring

  • What are the types of acquiring

  • Who is involved in the acquiring process

  • How is the payment for acquiring

How the acquiring bank works

  • What set of services does the acquiring service consist of?

  • How to conclude an agreement with a bank

What are the criteria for choosing an acquiring bank

TOP-10 acquiring banks for small and medium-sized businesses

What is acquiring

Acquiring (from the English “acquire” – to receive, to buy) is a service for accepting non-cash payments, which the bank provides to the entrepreneur. With this service, online stores, hairdressers or courier services accept payments from customers cards or smartphones to their bank account and pay a percentage of the purchase amount for this.

What are the types of acquiring

There are three main types of acquiring for small and medium-sized businesses:

  • Trade acquiring. The bank installs equipment in the store for accepting payments: it can be a POS terminal for an online cash register, a POS system or a smart cash register. He also serves devices, updates software and deducts a commission from each accepted payment.

  • Internet acquiring is used to pay for purchases in an online store. In this case, the hardware is not needed, it is replaced by the program. To protect the buyer s money, most banks use 3D secure technology: the transaction is confirmed with a code that comes to the phone number linked to the client s card.

  • Mobile acquiring works using mPOS terminals that are attached to the merchant s smartphone. It allows you to accept payment anywhere and save money by refusing to buy a full-fledged trading smart cash register. But the commission for this type of acquiring will be higher, since its security level is the lowest due to the use of a smartphone and payment applications.

Who is involved in the acquiring process

Outwardly, everything looks simple: the buyer brings the card to the terminal or enters its data in the online store, payment immediately takes place and an electronic or paper check appears. But behind this there is a whole chain of participants in the process.

  • A seller of goods and services who uses the acquiring service and pays a commission for each operation.

  • Acquiring bank providing the service. Usually, he not only accepts payments, but also opens the account for the merchant and provides devices for accepting cards.

  • The issuing bank that issued the buyer s card. He controls the correctness of calculations and debiting of funds.

  • A customer who pays for a purchase with a card.

How is the payment for acquiring

The buyer can pay using a card or gadget with a payment application and an NFC module for cashless payment installed.

  • The seller reads the barcodes or enters the purchase amount at the checkout and prepares the bank terminal to accept money.

  • The customer inserts a card into the device, presents it or swipes it with a magnetic stripe. If necessary, enters a pin code.

  • The terminal sends a request for payment to the processing center of the acquiring bank. There is a check of the “purity” of the card.

  • If everything is in order, the application is forwarded to the issuing bank. He checks if there is enough money in the account to pay for the purchase and writes off the required amount.

  • After that, the cash register or terminal prints a paper check or creates an electronic check.

The money will be credited to the seller s bank account within 1-3 days, pay attention to this period in the contract, sometimes it can take a week or more. The issuer freezes the amount on the buyer s account, waits for confirmation documents from the acquirer, and only after their receipt transfers the money to the seller. The time of arrival of your money depends on the speed of these interbank transactions.

How the acquiring bank works

We will tell you what service you can count on and how to conclude an agreement with the bank.

What set of services does the acquiring service consist of?

The acquiring service includes not only accepting payments from customers cards and transferring them to your current account. Banks also provide clients with equipment and monitor its operation.

  • Provision of equipment. Most banks offer several models of POS terminals and smart cash registers for redemption or rent. Your choice will depend on what kind of equipment you are already using and how you accept payment: in a store or salon, in a restaurant hall, during off-site trade. Most of the terminals fit the popular online cash registers without any problems, but still ask the banking consultants about the combination of devices. Pay attention to the methods of connecting the equipment to the Internet: via cable, sim card or Wi-Fi – choose models with a convenient connection for you. Decide if you need a terminal with a receipt printer.

  • Installing and configuring software. Banks use devices and software from the State Register of Cash Register Equipment, monitor the docking of the program on the terminal and your online cash register, and regularly update the software.

  • Technical support and service. The bank s technical staff will bring and set up the equipment. If something goes wrong in the work, they will help you fix everything.

  • Training of personnel to work with the equipment. After setting up the equipment, specialists will train you and your cashiers to work with the devices and fix the simplest problems.

  • Provision of consumables. Most banks will provide you with a battery for the terminal and a supply of tape for printing checks.

  • Opening a current account. It is more profitable to open a settlement account in your acquiring bank: you also do not have to pay a commission for an interbank money transfer.

How to conclude an agreement with a bank

  1. Decide what models of banking terminals or smart cash registers you are ready to work with and how many you need, whether you will buy or rent them.

  2. Select an acquiring bank and submit your application. The bank manager will contact you. Specify the working conditions and the necessary details if you did not find them on the website: does the bank work with equipment purchased from a third-party company, how much will it cost to buy and rent devices in a bank, service a settlement account or transfer money to an account in another bank. Ask a question about promotions and special offers.

  3. Choose the option of cooperation with the bank: rent or buy devices from a credit institution, connect terminals from a third-party company, or open a settlement account with your acquirer.

  4. After that, the bank will discuss the terminal models with you, ask you to fill out a questionnaire and request a list of documents that are needed to draw up a contract. Usually it is the head s passport, TIN, certificate of state registration of a company or individual entrepreneur, constituent documents. Sometimes they ask for a certificate of absence of debt from the Federal Tax Service and a license for the type of activity.

  5. The bank will draw up a contract and coordinate it with you. After signing, specialists will bring and install terminals in your store and teach you how to use them.

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What are the criteria for choosing an acquiring bank

Comparing a dozen acquiring tariffs is not an easy task. Consider several factors when choosing. Our calculator will help you

  • The size of the commission and its relationship with the money turnover. The more money goes through your bank terminals, the lower the commission. If the bank offers a rate of one percent, be sure to “master” the turnover requirements.

Keep in mind: the commission of the acquiring bank already includes the intrabank commission for the settlement (IRF – when the acquiring bank pays the issuing bank), the commission of the payment system (Visa, Mastercard, American Express and others), the commission to the processing center for processing payments, and also often also the operating costs of equipment maintenance.

  • Terms of rent, purchase or connection of the terminal. Not all banks connect the device purchased from the third party. Some give the terminal for use free of charge with a large turnover.

  • Current account conditions. Some banks work only with their own accounts, while others charge a commission for transferring money to a third-party account.

  • The speed of money transfer to the settlement account: from 1 to 10 days.

  • Terms of connection after signing the contract.

  • Available payment systems. Foreign payment systems are not supported everywhere, but this is only relevant for entrepreneurs, whose clients are tourists.

  • Conditions for servicing a current account, if you open it with your acquirer.

  • Maintenance cost: some banks include it in the commission, some do not.

  • Training of employees to work with equipment – this bonus is also not offered by everyone.

TOP-10 acquiring banks for small and medium-sized businesses

More details in our aggregator


Commission (%)

Equipment payment



0.5% -2.5%, on average from 1.6%

0 – 1000 rubles per month per device, rent

Free connection, crediting of funds the next day, accepts Union Pay, JCB cards for payment


From 2% -2.7%

From 5000 per device, sale, large selection of models

Works with equipment purchased on the side, accepts American Express and UnionPay cards for payment

Alfa Bank

from 1%

From 0 to 790 rubles per month per device, rent

With a turnover of over 500,000 rubles. – is free.


from 1.79% to 2.69%

Devices are provided free of charge

There is a monthly subscription fee


from 1.5% to 1.89%

Is free

The equipment can be purchased as a property, then the acquiring rate will be lower


1.3% -2.3%

From 12,000 rubles per device, sale, you can arrange an installment plan for a year

Do not work with terminals purchased from a third party company



250-750 rubles per month per device, rent

After 49 months of lease, the terminal becomes the property of a retail outlet

Russian standard


From 17 600 rubles per device, sale

It is possible to arrange acquiring without visiting the bank office

Delo Bank

from 1.7%

From 17,000 rubles, sale

Payment by installments for 10 months is possible

Moscow credit bank

1.65% – 1.9%

Free equipment rental

Works with Union Pay and JCB payment systems

Customers are increasingly paying by bank transfer, so it will soon be possible to do without accepting cash, but not without acquiring. Therefore, the service is developing, banks are spurred on by healthy competition, and acquiring conditions are becoming more favorable – this is good news for business.

Post Author: Rachel Reinbauer

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