Who is a Payment Network?
If credit card payments was a software project, then
payment network is the project manager. The logo that you see on your credit card that says Visa or MasterCard is nothing but the name of a
Payment Network. They are also otherwise called as card network or payment brand or just network. It is important to remember that card networks do not issue cards to the layman. Issuers issue cards.
When we discussed about Acquirers, I mentioned that the Acquirers don’t directly maintain a link to every other Issuer under the sun; instead they maintain a link to every major card network. Card networks in-turn maintain a link with every Issuer that issues their network branded cards. In essence, they are the intermediary between Acquirers and Issuers for authorizing credit card transactions.
There are various other functions that a card network performs. They manage the brand reputation and marketing. They facilitate clearing and settlement. They set rules that govern payment transactions within their network and enforce them. They set standards for security, compliance and certification. And much much more…
Out of the major card networks, Visa has the largest market share, followed by Master Card, American Express and Discover in that order.
Mobile Payments Blog Series
Welcome to the Mobile payments FAQ and not so FAQ series and you are on FAQ #4. The idea behind this series is to share and learn as much as possible about the field of mobile payments. If you like, you can read all of the FAQs on the Mobile Payments category or by visiting the Table of contents page.