How to start a credit card processing company?

The credit card processing company is gaining momentum in today’s fast-paced environment. The numbers confirm it. 

Credit card processing company

How to start Credit Card Processing Company

According to the 2022 McKinsey Global Payments Report, debit and credit card transactions will continue to grow by 20 percent and 18 percent between 2020 and 2021. Indeed, starting a credit card processing company is a rewarding goal, yet it is pretty challenging. 

However, with the proper knowledge and skills, it can pay off. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the basics of credit card processing, learn how to start a credit card processing company with a step-by-step guide, figure out the cost of creating one from scratch, and explore other alternatives on the market to provide.

Credit Card Processing: The Basics

Credit card processing involves accepting and verifying credit card payments for goods or services. It begins when a buyer who is ready to buy enters his payment details on the payment page of the merchant’s website. 

These payment details had instantly routed to the payment gateway of the payment processor. This software transfers them directly to the acquiring bank, credit card network, and issuing bank. The issuing bank authorizes or declines the payment, and the gateway sends a response back to the customer.

The role of a credit card processor is that of an intermediary between the customer making the payment and the merchant receiving it. To build a credit card processing business, you need to be certified and licensed by major payment processors such as Visa and MasterCard. 

Additionally, you should obtain Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) certification. It would help if you had a thorough understanding of industry standards and regulations, an effective risk management system, and top-notch features to stand out in a market that offers similar payment solutions. Let’s start at the beginning.

How to Start a Credit Card Processing Company?

The main thing you must know about starting a credit processing company is that it requires a lot of time and financial and employee resources. But, if you have covered this part, you can move on to planning and preparation. 

This step-by-step guide will walk you through setting up your business from scratch to accepting customer payments. Starting a credit card processing company involves several steps, including obtaining the necessary licenses and agreements. 

Additionally, it involves setting up the necessary infrastructure and technology and building relationships with banks and merchants. Here is the basic procedure you need to take to start a card processing company:

Obtain necessary licenses and agreements:

First of all, you need PCI DSS certification. It is a complex procedure that involves several steps. You must comply with the 12 main requirements and over 250 sub-requirements listed in the PCI-DSS version 3.2.1 documentation.

Also, depending on your location, you may need specific licenses and agreements, so it’s critical to research the requirements in your area. 

For example, suppose you want to become a payment processor in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, mainly in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) area. In that case, you must comply with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), which regulates Payment processors in KSA.

Set up the necessary infrastructure and technology:

Credit card processing companies use technology to facilitate bank, merchant, and customer transactions. 

It includes setting up servers and other infrastructure to host your payment gateway, establishing relationships with payment processors, and acquiring the necessary hardware and software.

Another option is renting cloud-based infrastructure such as Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure. 

On the plus side, you save on server purchases, and it is developed and managed by your cloud provider. On the downside, this option had considered riskier as you are not responsible for the core processes.

Form partnerships with banks and merchants:

To process transactions, you need to establish relationships with banks and merchants. It may include negotiating contracts and establishing processes for onboarding new clients.

You will need hundreds of integrations with global and local payment providers to satisfy customer demand for popular and widely used payment methods in different regions.

Advertise your services:

Once everything is in place, it’s time to start promoting your services to potential clients. This process may include creating marketing materials, attending industry events, and networking with potential partners. 

Also, note that there is a lot of competition in the credit card processing market as it is very popular with many players already involved.

How much does it charge to start a credit card processing company?

Starting a credit card processing company is a challenging task. To enter the financial industry and provide an easy-to-use service to customers, you need to purchase the necessary infrastructure, obtain a license, and assemble professional developers, sales managers, and marketing, accounting, and legal departments at the very least. 

Therefore, the cost of starting a credit card processing company varies greatly depending on several factors.

In numbers, a minimum viable product (MVP) for a credit card processing company will cost you $150K to $500K from scratch but could be more or less, depending on your situation. 

In terms of time, it takes six months to more than a year. However, if you want to start a credit card processing company with a small budget in a short period, you can consider other options in the market.


Overall, starting a credit card processing company is a challenging task. A successful business requires time, money, planning, research, and dedication. 

You can take your credit card processing business to the next level with all the necessary steps, such as licensing and certification, payment provider integration, and developing a well-crafted marketing plan. 

And, with the right approach and dedication to success, you can build and grow your business into an industry leader over time.


How much does it charge to start a credit card company?

Between $5,000 and $10,000

Do Credit Card Processing Companies Make Money?

They work in the background to ensure that every transaction is processed securely and to notify the card network about it. Like networks, credit card processors make money from a percentage of each transaction between the cardholder and the merchant. 

How much do credit card processing companies earn?

Credit card processing fees typically cost a business 1.5% to 3.5% of each transaction amount. For a $100 sale, you could pay $1.50 to $3.50 in credit card fees. 

What are three ways credit card companies make money?

The three main ways credit card companies make money are interest, cardholders, and transaction fees.

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