Nilson Report

Issue 1193 | Mar 2021


Companies featured in this issue include:

Top U.S. Merchant Acquirers—Ranked by Transactions in 2020

Transactions at the Top U.S. Acquirers 2010-2020

Merchant Acquirers in the U.S.—Ranked by Mastercard/Visa Volume

Card-Not-Present Acquiring in the U.S.

Mastercard/Visa Share of Purchase Volume at Top Acquirers

Top 10 Merchant Acquirers in the U.S.—Ranked by Purchase Volume and Transactions

Investments & Acquisitions—February 2021

Card-Not-Present Acquiring in the U.S.

The 34 largest U.S. acquirers of payment card transactions from online merchants are ranked based on their business in 2020. The five largest are listed here.

1. Chase
18.11 billion transactions
2. Wells Fargo
8.35 billion transactions
3. FIS
4.15 billion transactions
4. Elavon
0.68 billion transactions
5. Santander
0.11 billion transactions

Full access to the Card-Not-Present Acquiring in the U.S. results is available when you subscribe to the Nilson Report.



Top U.S. Merchant Acquirers

Please note: Only subscribers can access the charts included with this article.

The 63 largest portfolios of merchant card acceptance contracts in the U.S. for acquiring payments from global brands—American Express, Discover, Diners Club, JCB, Mastercard, Visa and UnionPay credit, debit, and prepaid cards—in addition to domestic-only debit brands including Interlink, Star, Nyce, Pulse, Accel and others, are ranked here. 

Listed are acquirers with direct connections into Mastercard, Visa and other settlement systems. Those acquirers settle transactions on behalf of payment facilitators and aggregators including Stripe, Square, Adyen and PayPal as well as independent sales organizations (ISOs). 

Fiserv includes the First Data business it bought in 2019. Figures include its business from merchant contracts for which Fiserv was 100% owner. This includes revenue-sharing and agent processing agreements with BBVA, Citi, Santander and the SunTrust portion of Truist.

Chase Merchant Services, Fiserv, FIS (which includes the Worldpay business it purchased in 2019), Global Payments (which includes the Tsys business it purchased in 2019) and Wells Fargo were the five largest U.S. merchant acquirers based on total card purchase transactions (payments made for goods and services) in 2020. Purchase transactions processed by the five largest totaled 99.50 billion in 2020.

Acquirers ranked 6 through 10 based on total purchase transactions were Bank of America, Elavon, Paysafe Group, North American Bancard and Priority Technology Holdings. That group processed 10.59 billion purchase transactions.

The 10 largest acquired 110.09 billion purchase transactions in 2020. In 2015, the 10 largest were First Data, Vantiv, Chase, BAMS, Heartland, Worldpay, Wells Fargo, Elavon, Global Payments and North American Bancard. They accounted for 83.85 billion. In 2010, the 10 largest were First Data, BAMS, Fifth Third, Chase Paymentech, Heartland, WorldPay, Elavon, Global Payments, Wells Fargo and Tsys. They accounted for 54.89 billion. 

The biggest change among the top acquirers was the dissolution of Bank of America Merchant Services (BAMS), a joint venture between the bank and First Data, which owned 51%. That partnership concluded June 30, 2020. In 2019, it was the fourth largest portfolio ranked by total purchase transactions, third largest ranked by total purchase volume and second largest ranked by Visa/Mastercard volume. 

We only show BAMS business for the first six months of 2020 in the table on page 6. Bank of America’s figures shown include its portion of the former BAMS for the second half of 2020. The business retained by Fiserv and processed in the second half of 2020 is counted with Fiserv purchase volume.

When measuring total card purchase volume in 2020, the five largest acquirers were Chase, FIS, Fiserv, Wells Fargo and Global Payments. This group processed a combined $5.197 trillion. 

Acquirers ranked 6 through 10 based on total purchase volume were Bank of America, Elavon, PNC, Paysafe and Priority Technology Holdings. Combined that group processed $792.49 billion in purchase volume.

The 10 largest acquired $5.980 trillion in purchase volume in 2020. In 2015, the 10 largest were Chase, First Data, Vantiv, BAMS, Elavon, Wells Fargo, Global Payments, Heartland, Worldpay and TransFirst. They accounted for $4.304 trillion. In 2010, the 10 largest were First Data, BAMS, Chase, Fifth Third, Elavon, Global Payments, Wells Fargo, Heartland, WorldPay and Tsys. They accounted for $2.932 trillion.

The table on pages 6 and 7 (ranked by Visa and Mastercard purchase volume) and the bar chart at right only includes business that Fiserv acquired directly. Not counted are purchase volume, purchase transactions, etc. for BBVA, Citi, Santander and the SunTrust portion of Truist. Those portfolios are listed independently. Joint ventures (JVs) in which Fiserv shares ownership of the merchant contracts with bank partners are also counted independently. Wells Fargo and PNC are Fiserv JV partners.

Acquirers with an increase over 10.0% in Visa and Mastercard volume were Defyne Payments, Commercial Bank of California, TabaPay, Fiserv, Epicor, Wells Fargo, BankCard USA, Basys Processing, Complete Merchant Solutions, Apogee Payment Systems, Payroc, Citi, Rectangle Health and TransFund.

Acquirers with more than $10.00 billion in other credit purchase volume (including American Express, Discover, Diners Club, UnionPay, JCB, etc.) shown in the table on pages 6 and 7 in 2020 were Chase, FIS, Fiserv, Global Payments, Wells Fargo, Elavon, Bank of America and PNC.

Acquirers with more than $5.00 billion in PIN debit purchase volume in 2020 were FIS, Fiserv, Chase, Global Payments, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Elavon, Paysafe, Truist and PNC. 

Prior issues: 1171, 1167, 1154, 1150, 1149, 1147, 1146, 1127, 1105, 1082, 1059, 945

© Copyright 2022 Nilson Report

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