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Acquiring system

Everyone is already used to cashless payments. In a store, cafe, theater, and even on a bus, you just need to attach your bank card to the terminal to buy. After that, the buyer receives a receipt and the coveted product. This is the acquiring process. Let s tell you how it works.

What is acquiring

Is acquiring mandatory for individual entrepreneurs and LLC

Acquiring types

  • Merchant acquiring

  • Mobile acquiring

  • Internet acquiring

How is the acquiring procedure

How much does acquiring cost?

Pros and cons of acquiring

How to choose an acquiring bank

How to connect an acquiring system

What is acquiring

Acquiring is a service for accepting non-cash payments from a bank card. It is provided by acquiring banks and payment systems – with their help, money from the buyer s card goes to the seller s bank account.

The acquiring system is available in grocery stores, cell phone stores, cinemas, car dealerships and even online stores. For merchant and mobile acquiring, you need a POS terminal that reads data from a plastic card and sends a request to the bank. For Internet acquiring, a special payment form on the website is sufficient.

Acquiring is not only about moving money from buyer to seller. For example, when returning a product, money is debited from the seller s bank account and transferred to the buyer. Reverse acquiring is also provided for non-cash payments with the population. For example, when an organization buys eggs and milk from rural individual farmers.

Is acquiring mandatory for individual entrepreneurs and LLC

The buyer is free to choose the method of payment for the goods – in cash or by card. The seller is obliged to provide him with the possibility of non-cash payment, and its absence is a violation of consumer rights (Article 16.1 of the Law of the Russian Federation of 07.02.1992 No. 2300-1).

It is allowed not to accept non-cash payments only to those enterprises whose revenue does not exceed 40 million rubles for the previous calendar year. For retail facilities, the revenue limit is 5 million rubles. The lack of technical capability can also become a reason for refusing acquiring, if you can prove it.

A business that has not connected acquiring when the revenue limit is exceeded is administratively liable. A fine under clause 4 of Art. 14.8 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation for individual entrepreneurs and officials – from 15,000 to 30,000 rubles, for legal entities – from 30,000 to 50,000 rubles.

Acquiring types

In total, there are three types of acquiring: merchant, mobile and Internet acquiring. They have the same essence (accepting non-cash payments), but the implementation is slightly different.

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Merchant acquiring

The most popular type of acquiring. It is found everywhere: in shops, hotels, restaurants, gyms, and so on. Merchant acquiring services are provided by most banks: Sberbank, VTB, Alfa-Bank, Tinkoff, etc.

To operate the acquiring system, you need a POS terminal or POS cash register system. And the choice is huge. From models that are connected to the checkout, to systems to which you can connect a barcode scanner, scales, and magnetic readers, and so on.

Read also:

  • Cash register POS systems – how they work and what they can do

  • Terminal for bank cards: how to choose

Mobile acquiring

This is a rarer type of acquiring. Instead of a POS terminal, an mPOS terminal or reader is used. Such a device cannot work independently, it is connected to a smartphone or tablet by downloading a special application.

The advantage of the mobile terminal is its mobility, since the reader is powered by a battery. It is also very lightweight. The downside is the commission for mobile acquiring. On average, it is 1% higher than with merchant acquiring.

You can meet a mobile terminal for card acquiring in a cafe or delivery services, since here the client makes a payment without going to the checkout.

Merchant acquiring is beginning to displace mobile. Firstly, the commission is lower, and secondly, there are portable POS terminals that do not differ much from readers in terms of mobility, they can also be used in a cafe or delivery.

Read also:

  • Mobile acquiring – what is it for and how to connect

  • Types of mobile terminals for payment by bank cards

Internet acquiring

It is impossible to imagine an online store without acquiring. But what does acquiring in an online store mean if the buyer does not even see the bank terminal?

In fact, everything is simple: acquiring on the Internet works through a special interface on the site. The buyer clicks “Buy” and is transferred to the page with the payment form. He specifies his card details, enters a password from SMS and the acquirer debits money from him. Additional equipment is not needed here.

This payment method is considered safe as acquirers use modern security systems.

Read also:

  • Internet acquiring in clear language

  • How to choose a delivery service for an online store

How is the acquiring procedure

The acquiring system involves not only the seller and the buyer. The circle of faces is much wider:

  • seller – a person who has entered into an acquiring agreement;

  • buyer – a person who pays with his card;

  • acquiring bank – a bank that provided the seller with equipment and the ability to accept cashless payments;

  • issuing bank – the bank that issued the buyer s plastic card, it is responsible for conducting the transaction for non-cash payment;

  • the payment system of the buyer s card is a connecting link.

The bank acquiring process is shown in the figure.

The seller types the payment amount on the terminal. The buyer applies or inserts a card and enters a pin code. The device transmits information to the acquiring bank, which checks if the card is in the stop list. Next, the issuing bank enters the work, which checks the balance on the account, if there is enough money, then the amount is debited. Next, the terminal or online cash register prints a check. The operation is considered completed. The seller will receive his money in 1-3 days, depending on the terms of the acquiring agreement.

The scheme of Internet acquiring is similar to that of a merchant or mobile one, but a processing center is added to it, which processes an Internet payment.

How much does acquiring cost?

Acquiring cost is made up of several factors.

The first is the commission. Depending on the bank and tariff, this can be 1% – 3.5% of the proceeds. The commission is distributed between the acquiring bank, the issuing bank and the payment system. It is paid by the seller, and acquiring is free for the buyer.

The second is the purchase of equipment. You need a trading or mobile terminal that you can buy or rent from a bank. Some banks give the equipment free of charge.

You can and should save on acquiring! If you want to know how, read our article “How much does acquiring – terminal, commissions and other expenses” cost.

So that you do not waste time choosing a bank for merchant acquiring, we have collected all the information on banks in the service. You will find information about the commission for different types of business, the cost of equipment and how to purchase it.

Pros and cons of acquiring



  • convenience – no need to bother with cash;

  • security – you will not be slipped counterfeit bills;

  • accuracy – reduces shortages, increases the accuracy of calculations, some terminals even display sales analytics;

  • the ability to accept credit cards

  • additional expenses – you need to pay for acquiring, and these are additional expenses that can be significant for a small business;

  • technical problems – like any equipment, the terminal may freeze or break, which will stall the sale process

How to choose an acquiring bank

When choosing a bank, follow the following algorithm:

  1. Find out what equipment the bank has and its cost. On what conditions are they ready to provide it to you: sale, rent, connection and setup;

  2. Find out which payment systems the bank works with;

  3. Examine your rights and obligations in the acquiring agreement;

  4. Study the working conditions, especially the point with commissions and its relationship with money turnover;

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

Read more about the algorithm for choosing an acquiring bank in our article “Top 10 acquiring banks”.

How to connect an acquiring system

There is nothing difficult in connecting acquiring. All you need to do is decide how many terminals to buy and which acquiring bank to choose. Our service will help you with the second.

After that, call the acquiring bank and discuss all the nuances with the manager. What models of equipment are supported, will you be able to connect and configure them, how much the lease costs, what is the size of the commission, in which bank you need to open a current account, and so on.

Next, the bank will offer to conclude an acquiring agreement and request the following documents from you:

  • passport of an entrepreneur or director of an LLC;

  • TIN;

  • registration certificate;

  • constituent documents;

  • a certificate of the state of settlements with the Federal Tax Service;

  • balance sheet and tax returns for the last year;

  • a license if the activity is licensed.

After that, they will set up the equipment and teach you how to use it. And in case of problems, they will give a technical support number.

Post Author: Rachel Reinbauer

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