Advanced merchant acceptance and underwriting

This course presents a complete underwriting methodology, including tools to detect, analyse, and prevent acquirer risk.

50 lessons in 3 chapters
122 minutes
Yes, after passing an exam

Regulations, card scheme rules, internal policies and procedures are all fine and well. But the real test of any risk professional — and indeed any risk department — is the real-life assessment of real merchant applications. How does a risk department evaluate potential merchants? How does it balance the risks with the rewards of signing the merchant?

When cross-border e-commerce sales are the rule, not the exception. When pure-play online retailers may not trade from physical premises. And when online affiliate business models increase merchant sales but also acquirer risks, this changes the nature, clockspeed, likelihood and impact of acquirer risks.

This course presents a complete investigative methodology for underwriters, including tools to detect, analyse and prevent various types of acquirer risk, which apply from pre-onboarding up until the final decision to decline or accept a merchant.

It covers more than 50 risk indicators, how to collect, research and analyse data to make onboarding decisions, and offers a deep-dive into both transaction laundering and aggregation. It is designed for risk management and compliance staff responsible for making go/no-go decision about whether to on-board merchants.

Learning objectives

  • Understand how to investigate and evaluate potential e-commerce merchants as part of the underwriting process
  • Be able to structure an online merchant investigation
  • Be able to detect, validate and assess data to build up a picture of the potential risks and rewards of signing merchants
  • Understand how to use online tools and techniques as part of an investigation


The context and the risks

This chapter sets acquiring risks in the context of the fast-changing payments landscape, before considering eleven specific risks that acquirers face, including operational, acceptance, credit, data security risks and fraud risks.

The risk indicators

A description of more than 50 different risk indicators relating to a merchant’s business, principals, website content and setup, and reputation.

Investigation strategy

Practical advice as to how to structure an online investigation. And how to collect, research and analyse data to draw conclusions with regard to onboarding merchants.

On-demand training for the whole team

Set an underwriting training program for your team, see their progress, and manage their course load.