The Emergence of Payment Service Providers 

The 1990s internet boom required new payment solutions for online transactions, sparking the growth of companies specializing in payment processing and gateways. By the 2000s, direct integration of merchants with these gateways had become standard, leading to the diverse and intricate financial services landscape in today’s payment industry.

Businesses must now navigate an increasingly complex landscape to accept online transactions efficiently – and selecting the right Payments Services Provider (PSP) makes all the difference. 

What is a Payment Services Provider?

A payment services provider, or PSP, facilitates electronic payment transactions between customers, businesses, and banks. PSPs enable businesses to accept various payment methods (i.e., credit cards, debit cards, digital wallets, and bank transfers) all through a single platform, ensuring secure, efficient, and integrated payment processing.

Rapyd, for instance, exemplifies a PSP by offering a comprehensive suite of payment solutions, catering to various business needs while ensuring high security and compliance standards are met.

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The Role of PSPs in Business Transactions

Payment service providers (PSPs) are key players in making electronic transactions smooth and secure for businesses and customers. They take care of everything—from providing secure online payment gateways and managing transaction approvals and settlements to offering fraud protection. Plus, they ensure everything meets industry standards like PCI DSS. If you’re thinking of scaling globally, a PSP is your ticket. Take Rapyd, for instance; it supports multiple currencies and offers insights into customer behaviour and transaction patterns.

Choosing a Payment Service Provider

Consider the following when selecting the right PSP:

Supported Payment Methods and Currencies

When selling into multiple countries, choose a PSP that supports various payment methods and currencies. This is especially important for businesses in the UK, Europe, and Singapore, where market diversity is high.

Integration and Compatibility

Your chosen PSP should easily integrate with your existing e-commerce platforms and systems. Rapyd, for example, offers seamless integration options, making it a preferred choice among businesses.

Security and Compliance

Opt for a PSP that adheres to strict security protocols and industry compliance standards, such as PCI DSS. Safeguarding sensitive financial information should be a priority.


Scaling up can be challenging, and you really don’t need the hassle of changing providers in the mix. Choose a PSP that can grow with you and handle more transactions and services as your business expands.

Pricing and Fees

Ensure you know the PSP’s pricing and what you’re signing up for. Honest and straightforward fees are essential for keeping your finances in check.

Customer Support

When payment issues pop up, getting help should be stress-free, fast and effective. A PSP like Rapyd, known for its robust customer support, can be a valuable asset.

Special Considerations for Different Sectors

  • E-commerce Businesses: Choose a PSP that supports a streamlined checkout process, enhancing the shopping experience.
  • Digital Services Companies: Focus on a PSP that provides efficient transaction processing and varied payment methods.
  • Gaming: Prioritize fast and uninterrupted payment processing with a PSP that can handle high-volume, quick transactions.

Frequently Asked Questions About Payment Services Providers (PSPs)

Let’s talk about some of the nuances of payment service providers. Here we address some frequently asked questions that can help clarify the role and functionality of PSPs.

Is a Bank a PSP?

A common question is whether banks qualify as PSPs. The answer is nuanced. While banks can act as PSPs, not all PSPs are banks. PSPs are entities that facilitate electronic payment transactions and offer various services like payment gateways, processing, and fraud detection. Banks can provide these services but typically focus on a broader range of financial services. Rapyd specializes in payment processing and often offers more tailored services for e-commerce and digital transactions than traditional banks.

What’s the Difference Between a Payment Gateway and a Payment Services Provider?

A payment gateway is a technical solution that facilitates the transfer of information between a payment portal (like a website) and the front-end processor or acquiring bank. Think of it as the virtual equivalent of a physical point-of-sale terminal in a store.

A payment services provider, like Rapyd, offers a more comprehensive suite of services. They provide access to payment gateways and handle the entire end-to-end payment process including card acquiring and settlement.

What’s the Difference Between a Payment Services Provider and a Card Acquirer?

The difference between a payment services provider and a card acquirer lies in their roles in the payment processing chain.

A Card Acquirer is a bank or financial institution that processes credit and debit card transactions on behalf of a merchant. They are responsible for sending payment requests to card networks and ensuring the merchant receives the funds.

Payment Services Providers offer a broad range of services. While they may work with card acquirers or in the case of Rapyd, be a licensed card acquirer, they also provide additional services such as integrating a network of alternative payment networks, providing multi-currency settlement accounts and customer support. PSPs often simplify the process for merchants by combining multiple functions and services into one turnkey solution.

What’s the difference between a Payment Services Provider and a Merchant Account Provider?

Payment Service Providers (PSPs) offer a comprehensive, streamlined approach to online payments. They provide a payment gateway, a secure online portal that bridges a business’s website or application with the payment processing system. PSPs allow businesses to accept various payment methods through a single platform, simplifying the payment process. They also handle vital functions such as payment processing, fraud detection, currency conversion, and customer support. 

Merchant Account Providers, or merchant services providers, usually banks or financial institutions, offer businesses a dedicated merchant account for settling electronic payments like credit and debit card transactions, holding, transferring and withdrawing funds. These merchant accounts often require a thorough underwriting process. As a licensed card acquirer and an EMI (electronic money institution), Rapyd is able to provide fast, flexible onboarding for businesses that need to accept credit cards and who need a business account. Rapyd can support complex use cases like online marketplaces as well as industries like gaming, online travel and content creators that may struggle with getting an account from traditional banks.    

Do I Need a Card Acquirer?

Whether or not you need a card acquirer depends on the scope and scale of your business and the services your PSP provides. If your PSP, like Rapyd, offers local card acquiring in the regions where your business operates, then you could likely lower your processing fees and improve authorisation rates by adding local card acquiring to your payment stack. 

Defining Distinctions

While selecting a PSP, it’s essential to understand these distinctions to make an informed decision that aligns with your business needs. Rapyd, offers a range of services that cater to various requirements of modern e-commerce and digital service businesses, ensuring a seamless transaction experience.

Ready to Choose? 

Picking the right payment services provider is important for any e-commerce or digital service business that wants to grow and optimise their payment systems. Factors like security, payment methods, scalability, and customer support play a significant role in this decision. Rapyd offers comprehensive solutions that cater to these diverse needs, making them a preferred choice in the industry.

Card Acquiring Solved

Rapyd offers extensive features for challenging business needs. With global reach, end-to-end payment and payout solutions, multi-currency settlement accounts and card acquiring, Rapyd is your business advantage.

  • Top-tier authorisation rates 
  • 99.99% uptime 
  • Fast onboarding and unmatched support
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