At the point of purchase, the customer will give their credit card account to the merchant.

The merchant’s bank then asks the credit card company to identify the cardholder’s bank.

The authorisation system then checks the card security features and sends them to cardholder’s bank for approval.

The cardholder’s bank will then approve the purchase, and the credit card company forwards the approval to the merchant’s bank, which in turn sends approval to the merchant.

The cardholder completes their purchase and receives their receipt.


Within a day of a purchase being made, the merchant’s bank sends purchase information to the credit card network.

Its clearing system validates the information, and sends it on its way to the cardholder’s bank, which then prepares data for the card holder’s credit card statement.

Following this, the credit card network’s clearing system provides detailed reconciliation to the merchant’s bank, and the cardholder’s bank.


Within a week of purchase, the cardholder’s bank sends payment for the purchase to the credit card network.

They then send payment to the merchant’s bank, which in turn pays the merchant for the customer’s purchase.

Finally the cardholder’s bank completes the transaction by billing the cardholder.

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