Carta Worldwide

Why being global is crucial for Issuer Processing 

A Guide to Global Issuer Processing:

Choosing a global issuer processor is one of the most important decisions a fintech must make.  

Although on the surface they may all seem similar, not all issuer processors operate in the same way, and costly pitfalls can be avoided by understanding their differences.  

If you’re planning to offer your fintech services around the world, it’s important that you know how to choose the right global issuer processor and recognize the benefits you can expect when partnering with the right one. 

So, let’s unravel the world of issuer processing… 

What is an issuer processor?

An issuer processor is an important connector between each moving part of your payment solution. They connect an issuer (i.e., a bank or authorized fintech) with scheme networks and provide the system of record, manage card issuance, authorize transactions, authorize or decline transactions, and communicate with settlement entities.   

Issuer processors are crucial in ensuring that your customer transactions are completed without any delays; so, it’s imperative that you have complete faith in your provider.  

What does an issuer processor do?

Issuer processors do many things to make your payment solution run smoothly.  

Your chosen issuer processor has the responsibility of authorizing or declining transactions globally. They come to a decision based on a variety of factors; whether that be if the customer has sufficient funds or if there is suspicion of fraudulent activity. 

They also help to settle transactions. Your issuer processor will ensure that funds make their way from the issuer to the merchant, and that funds are taken from the right account. 

A great issuer processor will have in-depth knowledge and understanding of payments regulation. They will ensure you are compliant with PCI DSS and other governance rules worldwide. They will also detect fraud and make sure the correct authentication processes are in place. 

What is global issuer processing?

There are two key elements to explain when understanding what we mean when we talk about global issuer processing:  

First, global acceptance.  

All issuer processors have the capacity to process global transactions, so long as the fiat currency in which your customers want to pay, is one of the 200+ accepted by Visa or Mastercard.  

Card networks, such as Visa or Mastercard, set the accepted currencies that can be processed by your issuer processor. Meaning that your customers can use their card all over the world, irrespective of which country they had the card issued to them.  

Second, global presence.  

With rules and regulations being very different from place to place, issuer processors don’t operate in every country. Instead, they have licenses for the countries or regions that they want to work in, often selected based on their specialist experience.  

This enables issuer processors to build card programs for clients within specific target markets and allows for a greater focus on how best to support those clients within that location. 

So, when selecting an issuer processor for your fintech, or if you’re scaling your business, ask yourself: Which countries do I want to be in? 

Find out which countries each issuer operates in, the depth of their experience there, and make sure these capabilities align with your growth strategy.  

If they are experienced in the countries you want to be in and can demonstrate successful examples of how they have launched or helped scale a business, then they may be one for you. 

Equally, as being in every county in the world is uncommon, it’s essential that you ask about their process of moving into new countries. Issuer processors want to see your business succeed, and if they don’t currently have a presence in your selected location, it doesn’t mean they aren’t experienced in gaining access to issuing licenses in new territories.  

The benefits of global issuer processors

There are several key benefits to working with a global issuer processor like Carta Worldwide.  

Carta has clients across 40 countries (and growing) and we speak 15 languages, including coding languages, so we can help you to get set up with ease. Our clients benefit hugely from our geographic knowledge when launching new products, however big or small they are when they come to us.  

We have plenty of experience helping clients expand into new regions. If you’re thinking of scaling consider an issuer processor, like Carta Worldwide, from the very beginning. It is far more efficient to launch in new markets with a global issuer processor, than having to integrate with a new one in each region you want to begin processing in. 

Benefit from our configurability. The Carta Worldwide platform was built for fintech for developers, with innovation at the forefront of our API-driven platform. We have developed 129 account-based and 245 card-based APIs (applicated program interfaces) to support our clients with their projects to scale into new regions.  

It’s important to work within an ecosystem of partners that you trust. Global issuer pressors, like Carta Worldwide, have connections in the countries you’re interested in. Collaborating effectively with the right processor means you get a partner that understands how necessary it is to create tailored and region-specific solutions. There’s no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to building and scaling a fintech product overseas. Make sure you’ve got the support required to help you disrupt new markets sustainably, and at scale. 

Does my fintech need a global issuer processor?

At each stage of a fintech’s development, you should be considering partnering with a global issuer processor. 

A well-funded fintech start-up will likely want to operate in several countries during its initial launch: putting a global issuer processor at the top of its shopping list. 

A scale-up, on the other hand, should be thinking about global expansion as part of its growth strategy so will need to evaluate issuer processors that operate in the regions they’re planning on scaling into. If their current issuer processor doesn’t have the capacity of relationships to expand into additional countries, they will have to consider alternatives.  

How to choose the right global issuer processor

When choosing an issuer processor, it’s important that you fully understand what an issuer processor is.  

Once you have a strong understanding of the realm of issuer processing, evaluate a selected few and ask for a scoping session to run through the needs of your program. 

Make sure the issuer processor you partner with has attributes that align with your scaling strategy, ensuring that they can process in the countries where you want to operate. 

Before you make a final decision on which issuer processor to choose, head to our blog post to understand the five things to consider when selecting an issuer processor.


There are several key benefits to partnering with an issuer processor that operates worldwide, from them assisting you in your scale-up programme to offering regional expertise. 

Like every aspect of the payments industry, global issuer processing is ever evolving. Connected more digitally than ever, global issuer processors are now able to connect components of your business through APIs and do their job more smoothly. 

Carta Worldwide has deep expertise in global issuer processing and can help you scale up seamlessly. If we sound like the processor for you, contact us today

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Philippa Artus

Philippa Artus

Head of Marketing

Philippa is Head of Marketing at Carta Worldwide. Philippa has worked in payments and fintech for over four years across a number of different payment solution providers. She is especially interested in fintech innovation and investment, payments projects for good, and how technology can be used to benefit minority groups and the unbanked.