A payment service provider is a Company that can offer merchants online services for accepting electronic payments through a variety of payment methods including credit card, bank based payments such as direct debit, bank transfer and real-time bank transfer based on online banking.
Usually payment service providers will be able to connect to several different acquiring banks and will fully manage the technical connections, relationships with the external network and bank accounts. The advantage this provides to the merchant is that they are less dependant on financial institutions and establishing these connections directly, especially when operating internationally.
The fees charged by payment service providers are usually as a percentage of each transaction, sometimes with an annual or monthly standing charge.
A full service payment service provider will be able to offer risk management services for card and bank based payments, transaction payment matching, reporting and fund remittance and fraud protection in addition to multi-currency functionality and services.
Some payment service providers will be able to provide a unique service to process other next generation methods (E-Payment Providers) including cash payments, wallets, prepaid cards or vouchers and even paper or e-check processing.
As well as accepting electronic payments a few specialised payment service providers also offer a variety of alternative payment processing services, they include:
Cheque & Postal Order Processing:
The ability to deposit and clear third party cheques in a variety of currencies allowing Merchants to gain access to their funds quickly.
Cheque & Bankers Draft Issuing:
This is a secure and low cost payment solution whereby the payment service provider issues cheques and bankers drafts on behalf of the Merchant in many of the major currencies.
NSF Cheque Recovery:
Within the United States there remains a relatively high percentage of USD cheques that are rejected due to ‘not sufficient funds’ (NSF) this refers to customers who have insufficient funds within their bank account. Certain payment service providers can attempt collection of all USD ‘NSF’ cheques, thus reducing the Merchants unpaid cheque rate.
Bank / Giro Transfer Collection:
This particular service allows the payment service provider to pay the Merchant’s customers via bank transfer. The benefits to paying in this manner as opposed to a cheque include less manual processing work as well as the payment process being much quicker and secure.
The fees for this type of service will be dependant on the value of the payment(s) and whether the payment(s) are domestic or international.