Processing FAQs

What is a Merchant Account?

A merchant account is an account set up through a credit processing company or a bank to accept and process charge card orders. Without a merchant account, one cannot accept payments by any of the major credit card brands.

What credit cards can I accept?

Pivotal Payments allows you to accept all major card brands including: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Diners Club, as well as all major Charge (Debit) Cards. Contact a Pivotal Payments Support Specialist at 1 866 883-1494 should you wish to discuss which credit cards you want to accept.

How long does it take for the money to reach my bank account?

Batches close automatically every night, unless otherwise requested. From the time the batch closes, it will take approximately 1-3 business days (depending on your bank) for the funds to reach your bank account.

What is an Issuer?

The issuing financial institution extends credit to a cardholder through bankcard accounts. The financial institution issues a credit card and bills the cardholder for purchases against the bankcard account. Also referred to as the cardholder's financial institution.

What is an Acquirer?

An Acquirer is a Visa / MasterCard Affiliated Bank or Bank/Processor alliance that is in the business of processing credit card transactions for businesses and is always Acquiring new merchants.

What is an Interchange Fee?

The standardized electronic exchange of financial and non-financial data associated with sale and credit data between merchant acquirers and card issuers on various types of MasterCard and Visa transactions.

What is a Processor?

A Processor is the company that actually routes an Authorization Request from a Point-of-Sale device to Visa or Master Card, and then arranges for Fund Settlement to the merchant. Processors need to have a Sponsoring Bank in order to gain access to the Visa and Master Card networks. When a Processor or other entity has made such an arrangement with a Sponsoring Bank to resell their services, they are called an Agent of that bank.

Any entity that sells Visa or MasterCard must disclose themselves as an Agent of their Sponsoring Bank. Such sales entities may be a Processor, or an Independent Sales Organization of the Processor or Processor/Bank alliance. Many banks are also their own processors, while other banks will use a Third Party Processor to handle this processing for them (in their own brand name in some cases).

What is the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS)?

The PCI Data Security Standard represents a common set of industry tools and measurements to help ensure the safe handling of sensitive information. Initially created by aligning Visa's Account Information Security (AIS)/Cardholder Information Security (CISP) programs with MasterCard's Site Data Protection (SDP) program, and Discover Information Security Compliance (DISC), the standard provides an actionable framework for developing a robust account data security process - including preventing, detecting and reacting to security incidents. The core of the PCI DSS is a group of principles and accompanying requirements, around which the specific elements of the DSS are organized. See PCI Compliance.

Who are the founders of the PCI Security Standards Council?

Founders of the PCI Security Standards Council are American Express, Discover Network, JCB, MasterCard Worldwide, and Visa International.

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