How the payment process works

Here’s an overview of what happens behind the scenes and the different players involved

Step 1: The customer pays with Mastercard

The customer purchases goods/services from a retailer.

Step 2: The payment is authenticated

The retailer point-of-sale system captures the customer’s account information and securely sends it to the acquirer.

Step 3: The transaction is submitted

The retailer acquirer asks Mastercard to get an authorisation from the customer’s issuing bank.

Step 4: Authorisation is requested

Mastercard submits the transaction to the issuer for authorisation.

Step 5: Authorisation response

The issuing bank authorises the transaction and routes the response back to the retailer.

Step 6: Retailer payment

The issuing bank routes the payment to the retailer’s acquirer who deposits the payment into the retailer’s account.