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Offer credit card payment

How does credit card payment work and who is involved? Here we have compiled the most important facts for your understanding. Further below you will also find a brief history of credit cards. Generally, four stakeholders are involved in the processing of credit card payments. This is why we speak of the four-party system. The system looks like this.


The cardholder, usually the customer, is a person or a company who has a valid credit card account with a bank and a credit card. The cardholder can use this card to make expenses. Once a month, the credit card owner receives a statement of his turnover.

Credit card issuer

Usually, the cardholder receives his credit card from his house bank. This issuing bank then settles the turnover with the merchant’s bank. Some banks automatically offer rolling credits.


The acquirer, also known as the acceptance partner, concludes contracts with merchants for the acceptance of credit cards. The acquirer settles the transactions with the cardholder’s bank (issuer) and checks the coverage of the credit card. Finally, the merchant receives the payments from his acceptance bank.


The merchant operates an online shop or an application. In order to receive payments he needs an acceptance contract. These payments are processed via the payment provider.

Where do costs arise?

A whole range of companies is involved in payment by credit card. The so-called credit card schemes (Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Diners Club, JCB or Discovery) grant licenses for their brands to both the issuers and the acquirers. Issuers often charge cardholders fees for the card or interest on a rolling credit. The acceptance partners retain a part of the turnover (discount) and finally the payment service provider also receives a small amount per transaction.

In this system, VIVEUM is the payment service provider. We offer you the technical interface between your online shop or your application and the means of payment. In addition, we are your independent partner for contracts with acquirers and offer support with the technical integration.

The history of credit cards

The first credit cards were already issued by hotels in the USA at the end of the 19th century to offer more comfort to frequent travellers. This was followed in the 1920s by the mineral oil companies. However, credit card acceptance was limited to the issuing company. With the Diners Club card, the first credit card was introduced in the 1950s and was accepted in several restaurants in New York. American Express hit in the same notch and also offered a card with worldwide acceptance. These two cards are called travel and entertainment cards. Visa and Mastercard arose from a different motivation: the consumer credit business was to be boosted. That’s why these credit cards are called bank credit cards. Currently, card payment is a globally successful payment method with millions of cards on all continents. Countless merchants and service providers accept credit card payments and their customers like that.