Acquirer vs Payment Gateway

March 27, 2023

Acquirer vs Payment Gateway

When opting to take payments online, you may be bombarded with a mix of key words that aren’t familiar. “Payment Gateway” and “Acquirer” might seem unfamiliar to you, but by the end of this post you’ll understand better what each term means and the benefits of them.  


An Acquirer, sometimes known as a Merchant Bank, refers to an organisation called an Acquiring Bank. This is a bank that can host a Merchant Account, which facilitates Merchants to accept funds from their sales.  

An Acquirer looks after a Merchant’s account and facilitates the movement of funds. Working with Card Schemes such as Mastercard, Visa, and American Express, they can enable Merchants to accept card transactions with the corresponding Card Schemes. 

Acquirers must make sure they are adhering to relevant laws and regulations, and commonly perform underwriting to ensure that their Merchants are also staying compliant. It is also vital for Acquirers to make sure they carry out their due diligence in order to safeguard payments, Merchants, and Consumers.  

Payment Gateway

Payment Gateway acts as its name suggests, it is the Gateway for Merchants to process payments. This means that Merchants have a reduced involvement with their Consumers payment details during the transaction.  

Gateways such as Cardstream are technology companies that have the Partners and infrastructure needed to authorise a payment, and securely move payment details between the Merchant and Consumer’s banks. Working with Acquirers, Card Schemes and other Payment Service Providers (PSPs), Gateways can provide an end-to-end payment service, from the initial payment through to the settlement of the funds.  

As with Acquirers, Payment Gateways must also ensure they are staying compliant to all regulations and payment laws. 

Learn more about how Cardstream’s Payment Gateway can help you maximise your payments offerings, click here for more information. 

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