Card issuing with Pismo

In the card system, Pismo acts as a processor for card issuers. The Pismo platform holds the ledger for card transactions and enables the processing of those transactions.

The main participants in the card authorization workflow are as follows.

  • Cardholder – A person who is authorized to use a card.
  • Merchant – A store or vendor authorized to receive card payments from its customers pursuant to an agreement with card brands.
  • Network – A company that processes card payments worldwide. The two major card networks are Visa and Mastercard. Networks are also called card schemes.
  • Issuer – Financial institution that issued the card used in a transaction. Issuers are usually banks, but they can be other types of financial entities, such as fintechs.
  • Acquirer – Financial institution that receives the payment authorization request from the merchant. Acquirers are usually banks, but they can be other types of financial entities, such as fintechs. For simplicity, the acquirer is sometimes referred to as the merchant's bank, although it doesn't have to be a bank.
  • Third party processors – Companies that help banks and other organizations to set themselves up as card issuers. They often handle much of the processing that would otherwise fall on the shoulders of their clients. Pismo falls into this category.

Different financial institutions offer different sets of services. A financial institution can be both an issuer and an acquirer, but that's not always the case. For example, most banks need to handle credit card transactions, but many do not issue credit cards.

A few examples of issuers and/or acquirers in Brazil are:

  • Itaú
  • N26

Before launching your card issuing program, you must coordinate with Pismo to orchestrate multiple ongoing payment services and activities.

Full balance vs. zero balance integration

There are two ways you can integrate with the Pismo platform, depending on how much of the process you want to delegate to Pismo and how much you want to handle yourself. Some of the components that make up your program will always be handled by Pismo. Others might be your responsibility, depending on which type of integration you choose.

  • Full balance integration – Pismo handles most of the process. Fintechs and start ups might prefer this option.
  • Zero balance integration – You are responsible for managing your customers’ balances and credit limits. Pismo provides card management and authorization integration with Visa and Mastercard. Some issuers, such as banks, might already have everything sorted out and prefer the lighter touch offered by zero balance integration.

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