The Zero Fee card acceptance revolution: How they do it

The costly card payment acceptance fee is among the most frequently cited complaints of small businesses across Europe.

By David Beach | 17 September 2018

The costly card payment acceptance fee is among the most frequently cited complaints of small businesses across Europe.

Small merchants, a slave to ‘cash only’ and the swift departure of ‘card only’ customers from the shop, used to mean that commerce and transaction were lost for good.

But, it would seem the card acquiring market could see a spectacular move reminiscent of Robinhood’s zero fees and the stock trading sector. More than a marketing campaign, the shift comes spearheaded by fintechs who are able to pass on cost savings to their SME clients.

“We always strive to combine our top-notch cloud-based processing infrastructure and to bundle our card acceptance and card issuing services into integrated value-adding payment products,” said Dr Yannis Larios, Business Development Director at Viva Wallet, the paytech disrupting the issuing and acquiring space who recently offered 0% acquiring fees to new and existing customers.


“We offer our retail merchants in Europe, the unique opportunity to have zero charges for all their Visa and MasterCard transactions, which are made by European consumers’ cards, when they use their funds through the Viva Wallet business debit cards that we issue them,” said Larios.

As newcoming fintech locks horns with the long established incumbents in the payments market, technology becomes the differentiator.

“Being fully cloud-based means that nothing runs on premise,” explained Larios. “We use Microsoft Azure to run our operations which allows us to be always available, always on, ensuring that there is no down time and even no “scheduled maintenance cut-off time” for our clients.”

But it goes further than the technology for Larios towards losing dependence on third-party platforms. “Instead of relying on third-party platforms and costly licensings, we’ve built our own payments and card processing infrastructure from scratch using our strong teams of engineers. The multiple Microsoft Azure sites from which we operate give us high reliability and unmatched scalability in order to quickly adapt to changes in demand growth and peaks, across Europe.”

Scale is often the first test of any newcomer and one that can quickly unravel even the best laid business plans. For Larios, that is efficiently addressed by cloud technology, allowing Viva Wallet to offer its zero fee Card Acceptance plans to a fast-growing merchant base in Europe.

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