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10 Key Acceptance Considerations For New Entrants In Online Payments Area 'Turkish Market Case'

Payments are a critical aspect of any business. It is needless to say that one of the most important features or services that a payment scheme must offer to a cardholder is acceptance. All other features can be available if there is acceptance and if a transaction takes place successfully.

Especially in the e-commerce environment there are a number of factors effecting the acceptance quality. Following is a basic depiction of a payment transaction with a card on the e-comm environment.

Let’s keep this picture simple and try to explain the factors/actors affecting the payment acceptance as separate bullets.


Source :

  1. Payment Forms

Payment Forms are web forms that collect payment data and submit to the Acquirer for authorization processing. Forms that have boundaries to collect the payment data causes the transaction to end unsuccessfully. Those boundaries could be ;

  • Forms expecting 16 digit card numbers although the standards (ISO 7812) allow the card number to be at any length between 13 to 19. Some schemes like Amex and Diners Club currently uses 14 digit card numbers.

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Forms expecting the card numbers to start with a commonly seen number such as 4 or 5. Again the standards allow the schemes to issue card numbers lets say for TROY starting with 9. TROY is the Turkish domestic card scheme and ISO 7812 standards mandate domestic schemes to issue card numbers starting with 9. Many developers choose to use ready templates available on the web and since those code blocks does not include this elasticity web merchants becomes inoperative.

  • Forms having dropdown lists requesting the Payment Scheme to be choosen and doing cross checks between the number typed and the scheme selected. Even if the form is not doing a cross check between the data typed and the option selected, it is emotionally affecting the cardholder when he/she does not see the scheme that he/she is holding and thinking that his/her card is not going to be accepted. (By the way most of the forms do not perform a crosscheck thus what you have selected does not have any effect)
  • Code blocks doing a regex validation which does not include all payment brands (TROY’s regex code is : ^(?:9792|65\d{2}|36|2205)\d{12}$)

A good solution to this problem is to have a hosted payment page which allows the acquirer to manage the payment page centrally and eliminate all those issues. Of course this is not the only solution. Thanks to industry participants developing solutions such as EMVco’s Secure Remote Commerce and W3C’s Payment Request API. Those are new initiatives and will need time to be widely accepted and used by the industry and the cardhodlers. That is why the issue with the payment forms are still valid. If i had a chance to make a suggestion to the developers about payment form design, i would say that keep it simple as much as you can. Even you don’t need to put the logos on the page. Accept all numbers if they conform with the basic Luhn algorithm and pass the data to the Acquirer. Acquirer will be doing all the checks, this is very important. If the card is one that must not be accepted, acquirer will reject it, believe me :)

2. Ready To Use Infrastructures (Saas E-commerce Providers)

Software providers selling ready e-commerce templates are also important actors. If there is an acceptance issue with a version released by those type of companies this means that merchants using that version will not be able to accept your card. Rather than dealing with individual merchants cooperating with those companies will provide better acceptance rates. Some of them can be counted as ideasoft,tsoft,ticimax,faprika,dokuz yazılım, platin market, kobimaster etc.

3. Infrastructure Providers for Certain Business Groups

There are a number of firms that are specialized in certain business areas and providing software solutions to the participants of those certain business areas. Generally those software solutions also include payment facilities. So, a well designed and easy to modify solutions can provide a better acceptance.

For instance almost all of the municipalities have tax payment via their web site. Firms serving to municipalities can be counted as : Sampas, Vadi Bilişim, Ind Bilişim, Eşkom, Kent Yazılım, Beyaz Yazılım, Belsis, Belsoft etc.

Also the following merchant groups are extremely important. Companies providing booking solutions and engines for hotels, car rentals and airlines are key actors. For instance reseliva, fidelio for hotels. Those are generally global companies and it is crucial to explain the importance of the acceptance to those companies of course through the customers.
Also insurance companies do have respectable amount of card transactions online.

4. Domestic Customized Versions of Global Merchants

There are quite a number of big global firms having Turkish language web site, operations and legal presence in the country but on the other hand most of those companies manage their IT remotely from the headquarters which is outside of TR. It makes the communication difficult to explain the importance to a team managing at least 30–40 of the same as you are.

5. Global Merchants Applying Different Rules Geographically

Most of the global merchants have different payment infrastructures when the cardholder’s country of residency changes. Global Merchants also have different payment infrastructures based on the selected payment currencies.

It is not always a good idea to differentiate the payment page accorrding to the country and/or payment currency if the agreement between the merchant and the acquirer (or sometimes directly with the scheme) require the them to do so.

Just an example from Airbnb :

I’m reaching the customised web site from TR and i am able to change the country and payment curreny from the setup menu. I am able to use my TROY and Discover branded global card if i change the country to USA. In other case if the country is Turkey system does not allow me to use my card. This is a general and big problem for most of the global merchants and i am afraid they are not aware of the fact that they are missing millions of customers who are using their domestic payment brands all over the world.

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USD is selected

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TRY is selected

6. Virtual POS Service Providers

There are also some VPOS service providers who also plays an important role in the payment flow. Integration and payment handling errors at those companies results severe aceptance problems. Payten (former asseco), Innova and Paycore can be counted as major players.

7. Free (Open Source) Web Site Builders and Exension Providers

Some small and medium size e-comm merchants create and run their online business without writing the payments code themselvesf. There are a number of open source platforms which can be get used of such as magento,woo commerce, opencart, shopify, joomla etc. Although those platforms are free they still require some knowledge and expertise. There are people within this sector who call themselves as “ magento expert” for instance. PSP’s and some software providers, even individual freelance developers as i mentioned are providing extensions to those free platforms. So it is really crucial and also that much difficult to manage all those actors and maintain acceptance.

8. PSP’s and Other Payment Servicers

PSP’s are an important actor especially in e-comm environment. Some global PSP’s such as Adyen even have Banking licences and doing acquiring by themselves. Since they are acting between the acquirer and the merchant and giving a technical solution to process the payments it is important that the system that they provide is not mulfunctioning. They have different type of integration models (API, Payment form etc) and each model has different requirements. Some of the PSPs acting in TR market are Payu, İyzico, PayTR, Payfull, Moka, Hepsipay,İpara, Paratika, Paytrek, Paynet etc.

9. Acquirers

One of the most important actors are for sure acqurirers. There are a lot of systems on the acquiring side which effects payment acceptance including, but not limited to

  • Integration between acquirer and merchant,
  • BIN table quality,
  • Routing system quality,
  • Fraud system rule quality.

Since the acquirers are mature actors in this business and play a strategic and fundamental role we can say that they are aware of the issues and can provide quick solutions. All of the Banks doing payment business are members of BKM and following is the list of BKM members :

10. Issuers

Likewise acquirers, issuers also have effect on the acceptance rates. Acceptance seems to be something related to the acquirer side but if the transaction is being declined by the issuer due to a nonsense reason and if it is related to a spesific merchant/merchant group this can also be seen as an acceptance issue.

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I hope all these information derived from experiences helps as a benchmark for those who are seeking better acceptance rates in any market.



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Mustafa Aktaş

Mustafa Aktaş

Product Management Payment Systems Platform Vice P


Member since

08 Dec 2014



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This post is from a series of posts in the group:

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