Common Acquirer Responsibilities

By | February 28, 2016

Acquirers, including those payment brands who are acquirers, are ultimately responsible for their merchants’ compliance, and this is very important to remember. It is ultimately up to a merchant’s acquirer, processor, or whatever name they carry, to ensure their merchants are compliant. The acquirers must report back to each of the payment brands on their merchants’ compliance levels. Compliance requirements, including deadlines, fines and so forth, are set by the payment brands for the acquirer; and it is the acquirer’s responsibility to work with their merchants to help them become compliant.

In addition, merchants are not compliant until all requirements have been met and validated. Acquirers are responsible for providing merchant compliance status to the payment brands.

The payment brands who are acquirers may liaise directly with merchants and service providers to obtain their status of compliance. Merchants need to be aware of their reporting obligations, as they may involve submission of compliance status to several entities.

Acquirers will also incur liability that may result from non-compliance with payment brand compliance programs, so it is a key responsibility for merchants to know who their acquirers are, and whether they have direct obligations to any of the payment brands who are acquirers. Both assessors and merchants should be prepared to communicate with their acquiring organizations to ensure that all compliance and validation requirements are addressed. Assessors evaluating compensating controls may also need to interact with acquirers and payment brands acquirers to understand what they will and will not accept as compensating controls.

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