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How it works

A simple guide to payment processing

Credit and debit card processing systems operate the same way the world over.

Diagram showing payment processing

This description lays out the basics of payment processing. It also helps you appreciate the charges and risks involved in accepting payments.

1. Collecting payment data

Payment details are entered into the payment device or system. They could be entered by a call centre operator, read by a card-reader or entered directly into an internet page.

2. Authentication

Details of the purchase, details from the card and the PIN are sent through to WorldPay. We identify the relevant card scheme (Visa, MasterCard etc.) and send the details through them to the bank or other institution that issued the card.

If the details can't be verified, the payment is normally declined and the shopper or payee is asked to use another type of payment.

3. Authorisation

The issuing bank checks the cardholder's identity, that the account has sufficient funds and that the card hasn't been reported lost or stolen. If everything is OK, the issuing bank authorise the amount requested and reserve those funds. Once the payment transaction is complete, we send a follow-up instruction to the bank to debit the funds.

4. Settlement of funds

Your WorldPay merchant account is credited with the value of the card transaction within four working days (depending on the card issuing bank and your agreement with us).

Every month, we'll send you a merchant statement which details the transactions processed, and how much you've paid for each transaction.


Talk to us

If you would like to make an enquiry about our products or have any questions, please give us a call.

In the interests of training and security calls maybe recorded.

Call: UK & International

+44 (0)208 185 0606

Call: Asia Pacific

+65 6 339 9892


PCI DSS applies to every business that stores, processes or transmits any cardholder data - make sure you're up to speed