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Understanding Merchant Acquiring Risk: Assessments

merchant monitoring

A new report from Verisk Financial Research looks across the landscape for merchant acquiring risk in North America, including trends, developments, and opportunities. The extract below, drawing on insights from G2, looks at the significant risks facing acquirers in the e-commerce ecosystem from card networks’ assessments.

An assessment is an alert raised by the card scheme networks to effectively protect the industry, payments brands, and consumers from illegal and/or violating content, which could result in fines between $5k to $450k.

North America: Assessments


merchant assessments


  • One bad merchant and/or transaction could potentially cost banks and acquirers hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and fees
  • A large majority of assessments received pertain to transaction laundering
  • Transaction laundering leads are up 15 percent in 2020 compared to 2019
  • Most of the transaction laundering websites encountered relate to illegal drugs or illegal pharmaceuticals
  • Pop-up or Tech Support Scams are another major source of assessments

Acquirers should increase service charges and levy high-risk fees to process for merchants in high-risk segments. They should also consider introducing more security at boarding, for example, held funds and reduced faster funding options.

Merchant Acquiring North America is available now. With country-level insight underpinned by extensive market data, this report is essential to understanding developments and opportunities in the North American card acquiring market. Click here to order your copy of the report!


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