“I don’t know where I am going, but I am on my way” – Carl Sagan. This is the story of my life. Always travelling, not knowing when will I stop and where will this end. I frequently travel between the SIX kingdoms of this world but no complaints, I am enjoying my life.
I have been on road for the past 3 days and it has been a long journey. Finally, I am here, waiting for my next destination. Let me take through the journey, I started from the prince Rahul’s fort (consumer bank account). The place was very comfortable. I could spend days by myself. Very few visitors came to this place as Rahul did not wish to allow many here. This place was guarded very heavily by his kingdom of the issuer (issuing bank). For anyone to go out of here, there was a double check needed (2FA). One would need to give proof of any two factors from the following: who they are, what they have and what they know.
I miss Rahul, he was a fun guy and a big enthusiast of online buying. From apparel to food, everything he ordered was online. On Monday, he decided to order food online, I knew my time had come to leave this place. Rahul entered the details of my address (card details) and completed the two factor check. This information passes to and fro through the multiple kingdoms via a carrier (server / api calls). Since Rahul entered the correct details, the guards opened the gate (issuing bank’s 3D Secure Page). The secret information (One Time Password) is the final key which ensures my exit from Rahul’s fort.
And thus starts my journey to the Kingdom of Cards (Card Schemes). Jeez, this kingdom is huge! I am told that it is managed by some foreign players and they cover most of the market share but a new king (RuPay) is slowing trying to pull back some territories. I am not allowed to stay here for longer than half a day and I am quickly moved on to the Kingdom of Acquirers (Acquiring bank). This Kingdom is an important cog in the wheel. They provide the infrastructure for our easy movement. This ends my first day’s journey. I dozed off quickly, in anticipation of the next day which is going to be a long one.
As the second day began, I was quickly moved on to the Kingdom of CitrusPay (Payment Service Provider). This place is full of energy, making complex things easy for the entire ecosystem, handling various issues and risks. After a quick lunch, I move on to my final destination, kingdom of the merchant (merchant’s bank account). Finally, after 2 days I’ll reach my destination. This will be my resting place for a few days before I begin my journey again.
The above is a fictional story which covers the various steps & players involved in the online payment cycle. In the real world, the payment process is a to and fro process between number of entities as seen below: