Why Take a Multi-Acquirer Approach?

Why Take a Multi-Acquirer Approach?
Rachel Herrera VP, eCommerce and Global Expansion Shift4
Jan 22, 2024

Traditionally, merchants would engage a single payment processor for all acquiring needs. However, evolving global requirements and market dynamics have led to a shift, with merchants increasingly opting for multiple providers. Even when a single acquirer could handle a merchant's domestic processing requirements, there are compelling reasons for diversification:

  1. Security of Service: The exit of Wirecard from the industry in 2020 highlighted the risks of relying on a sole partner. While it may not always be as dramatic, downtime poses a threat to sales volume. Merchants seek assurance that their acceptance rates remain high and that customer experience is flawless.
  1. Leverage: Engaging multiple processors keeps each one accountable, fostering competition. The logic is that when processors vie for traffic, they are more likely to focus on authorization rates and offer competitive pricing to secure merchant partnerships.
  1. Enabling Domestic Processing: Expanding into new markets necessitates processors capable of supporting sales and ensuring a seamless customer experience. As merchants venture into diverse markets, the choice between cross-border and like-for-like domestic currency processing becomes crucial. Partnering with processors holding local licenses facilitates authorization, reduces costs, and enhances the overall processing experience.
  1. Local Experience with Merchant of Record Partners: For markets where full localization might not be practical, partnering with Merchant of Record Providers offering local payment methods becomes essential. This enables merchants to improve the user interface and increase market penetration without significant operational investments.
  1. Orchestration Layers Easing Technical Lift: Recognizing the need for diverse providers in multi-market scenarios, orchestration layers simplify technical integrations. While contractual agreements with processors remain, merchants reduce the complexity of onboarding new partners. Striking the right balance involves considering pricing, operational implications, and effective vendor management.

Beneficial outcomes emerge when merchants streamline their payment vendors to a select few global players. This approach enables them to achieve optimal pricing, flexibility, and technical proficiency.

Shift4 is a global payment processor committed to omnichannel capabilities in North America and Europe.

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