Term: Front End Processor

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The actual process of processing a credit card transaction is sometimes split between two organizations, the Front End Processor and the Back End Processor. The front end processor receives the authorization request from the POS terminal or the payment gateway and forwards it to the Visa or MasterCard network or in the case of the other credit card brands, directly to them. Assuming the authorization is approved the transaction will be resubmitted as a transaction by the POS terminal or payment gateway. The transaction will be stored until the end of the day when the terminal or gateway closes the batch and sends the data to the front end processor. The front end processor then matches the authorizations with the transaction settlement and transmits the card capture file to the back end processor for MasterCard or Visa transactions or directly to the issuer for other card brands. At this point the front end processor is done with the merchant for the day.

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