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A single platform and UX that connects customers with multiple sellers or service providers.

The marketplace (MP) model of eCommerce refers to a centralized platform where multiple sellers or service providers operate to sell their goods and services. The sellers and service providers have access to all of the customers who purchase off the platform. When a sale occurs on the platform, the marketplace disburses funds owed to the seller(s) or service provider(s).

The MP model is often confused with the payment facilitator (PF) model. The primary difference lies with whom the customer transacts.

Understanding Marketplace Dynamics and Visa Regulations

A MP presents itself to the customer as the seller of goods, and its brand is displayed and advertised more noticeably than those of the retailers or service providers who operate on the platform.

The customer can purchase products from multiple entities in a single transaction. The MP itself manages all customer inquiries and refunds, and is responsible for resolving cardholder disputes. When customers experience issues, they contact the MP for resolution, not the underlying retailers or service providers.

  • MP requirements are solely defined by Visa rules.

  • Visa views the MP as the merchant.

  • MPs can only connect retailers or service providers with customers on a single website or mobile app.

  • It must be an eCommerce business as Visa does not allow MPs to operate in a card-present environment.

  • MP examples: Amazon, Airbnb, eBay and Uber.

Contrasting Payment Facilitators with Marketplaces

Payment facilitators (PF) don't typically have the same visibility to customers as a MP. In some cases, the PF may be virtually unknown to the customer.

The merchant or submerchant operating within a PF's framework, presents itself as the seller of goods or services. The customer transacts with the submerchant, not the PF. The submerchant manages customer inquiries, product or service issues, and refunds. A PF is liable, however, if one of its submerchants is unable to make their customer(s) whole.

  • PFs, unlike MPs, provide onboarding, processing, and settlement to a range of merchant types in card-present and card-not-present environments.

  • PF examples: Square, Stripe, Stax, and PayPal.


Expert Marketplace Guidance


We help you better understand marketplace guidelines, compliance requirements, and responsibilities, aiding you in determining if the marketplace model is suitable for you business.

Vendor Assessment & Selection

We assist you in evaluating and selecting a marketplace services provider by considering key criteria such as payment processing capabilities, security and fraud prevention, global reach, payout flexibility, scalability, and support

Market Insights

Our relationships with industry players, independent experts, and thought leaders keep us informed about MP solutions, enabling us to provide you with the most current and relevant insights.  

Navigate the complexity of payments with confidence

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