Third-party service provider that acquires and processes payment transactions for merchants, manages the relationship with the global and regional payment networks on the merchant’s behalf (including interchange qualifying, chargeback disputes and fees to networks and issuers), and manages the transaction database. The acquirer connects merchant transactions to payment networks by (1) providing the POS device; and/or (2) securely routing transaction from POS device or from POS payment gateway to payment network; (3) managing transactions from authorization to clearing to settlement.