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Beyond the Transaction: Every Transaction Has a Story

The Anatomy of a Card Transaction

EMV blogHave you ever wondered what happens when you are paying for your latest find at the store, and hand the cashier your MasterCard?

You’re not the only one.

Generally, most transactions involve a 3-phase process, and end-users are often unaware of what happens after he or she pays for a purchase.

Here is a quick inside look into fast payment processing between cardholders and financial institutions. And we do mean fast. The average time it takes for MasterCard to complete one transaction is 130 milliseconds – 2 times faster than the blink of an eye.

The first phase – or the authorization phase – occurs at the point of sale, when a consumer is still in store with these five steps:

  • Step 1: The consumer presents the payment product (card, mobile digital device, wearable, etc.) to merchant as payment.
  • Step 2: The merchant accepts the payment product and sends transaction to the institution that enabled them to accept electronic payments (the acquirer).
  • Step 3: The acquirer validates the transaction and then forwards it on to the bank that issued the consumer’s payment product (the issuer). This process is facilitated by MasterCard’s safe, secure, robust and connected network that enables both local and international transactions.
  • Step 4: The issuer then confirms that the consumer’s card is valid and that sufficient funds are available for the transaction to complete. This is called “authorization.”
  • Step 5: Lastly, the issuer approves transaction and sends notification back through same channels secured by MasterCard.

Afterward, the merchant returns the payment product to the happy customer, whose transaction was just one of the 65,068 transactions MasterCard processes, on average, every minute.

Whether it is in store, online, or via mobile, MasterCard facilitates the series of steps between merchants, banks, and consumers involved in a payment transaction – making payments more flexible, innovative, convenient, and secure.

Check out this infographic to learn even more about the entire journey your transaction could from inception to completion at locations worldwide where MasterCard is accepted.

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