What is acquiring and how does it work?

In the realm of cashless payments, acquiring, or payment by bank card, stands out as one of the most convenient methods. This mode of transaction is seamlessly integrated into a myriad of retail establishments, ranging from quaint kiosks to expansive stores. Today, we delve into the intricacies of acquiring, exploring how it functions in the Ukrainian landscape and unraveling its unique characteristics.

How acquiring works?

At its core, payment by acquiring is a multilateral process, involving key participants:

  • Buyer — initiates payment using a bank card.
  • Seller — accepts payments through a POS terminal.
  • Acquiring Bank — provides and maintains the POS terminal, processes payments, and offers technical support.
  • Issuing Bank — issues the card, verifying the account balance for payment authorization.

To receive payments from bank cards, the seller enters into an agreement with the acquiring bank and installs a POS terminal at the point of sale. Payment through the terminal is as follows:

  • the buyer attaches or inserts a bank card to the POS terminal;
  • the terminal reads the card data and sends a request to the issuing bank to check the card balance;
  • after verification, the issuing bank confirms the payment (or, in case of fraud, cancels it and blocks the card);
  • the POS terminal issues a receipt to the customer.

With a stable internet connection, the entire transaction transpires within a matter of seconds. The bank debits the payment amount from the card and transfers it to the seller’s account after a certain period of time. The transfer period is specified in the contract.

Types of acquiring

Different industries leverage distinct technical tools for bank card transactions. Here are three prominent types:

Internet acquiring

Ideal for Online Commerce: Predominantly used in online transactions, buyers make payments through secure web interfaces. To avoid fraud, the seller must create a secure infrastructure for making payments. Therefore, internet acquiring is often facilitated by third-party providers.

Merchant acquiring

Retail’s Go-To: widely adopted in retail settings such as shops and supermarkets, buyers leverage POS terminals connected to cash registrars.

Both push-button and Android touchscreen POS terminals are used at points of sale. Payment methods vary from contact (the customer inserts the card into the terminal) to contactless (when the customer taps the card into an NFC device), and even virtual cards on smartphones.

Mobile acquiring

On-the-Go Convenience: Suited for services like taxis and couriers, this method allows sellers to accept payments via smartphones or tablets, offering unparalleled mobility. Installation of a specialized program is all that’s required.

Mobile acquiring technologies

Mobile acquiring in Ukraine embraces versatile technologies, including the following.

QR acquiring

The seller creates a QR code for the goods in the program. The customer scans the code and goes to the payment page, enters bank card details, or uses Apple Pay or Google Pay. After payment, the seller issues a fiscal receipt to the customer.

Tap to Phone

With Tap to Phone technology, merchants use a smartphone as a POS terminal without additional equipment. In the banking app or cash registrar app, the amount of payment is shown, and the customer taps a bank card or a virtual card to the smartphone. The data is read by the module and the funds are transferred to the merchant’s account. The customer then receives an electronic fiscal receipt.

What terminal should a sole proprietor choose for a cash registrar?

Acquiring in trade is used not only by legal entities but also by individual entrepreneurs. After all, according to the current Ukrainian legislation, from January 1, 2024, all points of sale in settlements with 5000 or more inhabitants must provide the possibility of cashless payments.

When choosing between POS terminals and mobile acquiring technologies, you should consider the following factors.

Type of activity. Mobile acquiring is the best solution for courier, transportation services, or home-based equipment repair. In shops and coffee shops, it is more convenient to use POS terminals.

Economic feasibility. The POS terminal issues 2 receipts – for the buyer and the seller. They may be needed to prove the fact of payment in cases where the funds have not been credited to the seller’s account. At the same time, mobile acquiring (QR, Tap to Phone) does not require funds for terminal maintenance, rent, etc. Therefore, when choosing an acquiring technology for your cash desk, evaluate the advantages of each and the costs associated with them.

Payment of the commission. This is important from the point of view of taxation of individual entrepreneurs. The acquirer can charge a commission for its services for each transaction before the funds are credited to the sole proprietor’s account or withdraw a fixed amount from the account every month.

Moreover, it is important to consider the technical capabilities of connecting acquiring to the cash registrar. In particular, any model of the terminal can be connected to Vchasno.KasaFirst of all, find out what protocol the acquiring bank uses. You can use Device Manager to connect the terminal to Vchasno.Kasa. Install the program for managing the cash registrar and the terminal on the cashier’s computer and add the bank terminal.

Vchasno.Kasa offers solutions for different types of businesses.

Order a consultation to learn more about PRRO from Vchasno.Kasa.


Is the merchant charged an acquiring fee?

Yes, acquiring banks determine the commission, typically averaging between 1-2%.

Is acquiring a cash or non-cash payment?

Although payments using acquiring are made through a cash register or a payment transaction recorder, no cash is received at the cash desk. Therefore, such a payment is considered non-cash, as the money is transferred to the seller's non-cash account.

How acquiring is taxed for single taxpayers?

When using acquiring, the income for a single taxpayer will be the amount received on their current account. The date of income will be considered not the date of payment through the POS terminal, but the date when the funds are credited to the account (in practice, these two dates may not coincide).