What Is a Payment Facilitator? The Ultimate Guide

What Is a Payment Facilitator? The Ultimate Guide

This comprehensive guide by Boost B2B payment solutions explores the world of payment facilitators and their role in the modern business landscape.

What is a Payment Facilitator?

A payment facilitator, often called a “PayFac,” is a specialized entity that simplifies the payment process for businesses and their customers. They act as intermediaries between merchants, customers, and financial institutions, facilitating the seamless transfer of funds.

How Do Payment Facilitators Work?

Payment facilitators operate on a unique operational model that streamlines the payment process. Let’s walk through the step-by-step process of payment facilitation:

  1. Merchant Onboarding: Payment facilitators perform thorough underwriting to ensure the credibility and compliance of merchants. This process involves assessing fraud, chargebacks, and regulatory compliance risks.
  2. Sub-merchant Onboarding: Once approved, payment facilitators enable the onboarding process for sub-merchants, which includes gathering necessary information, setting up merchant accounts, and establishing payment gateways.
  3. Transaction Monitoring: Payment facilitators play a crucial role in ensuring secure transactions. They employ various tools and techniques to monitor and detect suspicious activities, mitigating the risk of fraud.
  4. Merchant Funding: Payment facilitators handle the funding process for merchants, ensuring timely and accurate settlements. They simplify the complexities associated with funds management and provide a seamless experience for merchants.
  5. Chargeback Management: Dealing with chargebacks is integral to a payment facilitator’s responsibilities. They implement strategies to mitigate chargeback risks, protecting both merchants and customers.

Payment Facilitator vs. Payment Processor

It’s important to differentiate between payment facilitators and payment processors, as their roles and responsibilities in the payment ecosystem differ significantly. While payment facilitators focus on simplifying the payment process, payment processors primarily handle the technical aspects of transaction authorization, settlement, and reconciliation.

PayFac vs. ISOs

Payment facilitators offer distinct advantages compared to Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs). Payment facilitators streamline the onboarding process, managing who gets approved on their platform. They provide a new revenue stream for businesses and offer added value through their comprehensive payment solutions. However, ISOs may be preferred when companies require more control over the payment process.

The Benefits of Using a Payment Facilitator

By utilizing a payment facilitator, businesses can experience several benefits, including:

  • Rapid and hassle-free onboarding process: Payment facilitators simplify and expedite the merchant onboarding process, allowing businesses to start accepting payments quickly.
  • Managed approval process: Payment facilitators have control over who is approved on their platform, ensuring the credibility and compliance of the merchants.
  • Revenue expansion: Becoming a payment facilitator opens up a new pillar of revenue for businesses, as they can earn fees from transaction processing.
  • Added value for platforms: Integrating with a payment facilitator can enhance a business’s platform by providing comprehensive payment solutions, increasing customer satisfaction.

Who Is Involved in the Ecosystem of Payment Facilitators?

The payment facilitator ecosystem consists of several key participants, each playing a crucial role:

  • Payment facilitators: These entities manage the entire payment process, providing simplified solutions to merchants and customers.
  • Submerchants: These are the businesses that leverage the payment facilitator’s services to accept payments from customers.
  • Acquiring banks: They provide merchant accounts to payment facilitators, enabling the movement of funds between customers and merchants.
  • Payment processors: These entities handle the technical aspects of transaction authorization and settlement, ensuring smooth payment flows.

What Kinds of Businesses Are Increasingly Facilitating Payments?

Various companies across industries have adopted payment facilitation models to enhance their payment processes. Examples include:

E-commerce Platforms: Online marketplaces and platforms facilitating transactions between buyers and sellers adopt payment facilitation models to simplify payment acceptance.

Software Providers: Companies offering software solutions for industries such as healthcare, hospitality, and retail often integrate payment facilitation services into their platforms to provide a comprehensive offering to their customers.

Mobile App Developers: Companies developing mobile applications, especially those involving peer-to-peer transactions, often incorporate payment facilitation to enable seamless in-app payments.

How Can a Business Become a Payment Facilitator?

To become a payment facilitator, companies must go through several steps and meet specific requirements:

  1. Application: Companies must apply to the acquiring bank or payment facilitator platform.
  2. Underwriting: The payment facilitator evaluates the company’s financial stability, business model, and risk factors to assess their eligibility.
  3. Compliance: Regulatory and compliance requirements, including Know Your Customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML), must be met.
  4. Technical Integration: Integration with the payment facilitator’s platform and APIs is necessary for seamless payment processing.


In conclusion, payment facilitators are vital in simplifying the payment process for businesses and customers. Their streamlined operational model, combined with their functions such as underwriting, transaction monitoring, merchant funding, and chargeback management, ensures smooth and secure transactions. By understanding the benefits and intricacies of payment facilitators, businesses can unlock new avenues for growth and provide enhanced payment experiences in the dynamic digital landscape.