In a groundbreaking analysis of the bustling payments landscape, The Strawhecker Group (TSG), a leading authority in payments industry analytics, intelligence, and solutions, has unveiled its latest findings, underscoring the colossal scale and dynamic nature of the industry. The insights, part of TSG’s 2024 Directory of U.S. Merchant Acquirers, shine a spotlight on the titans of the payment processing world, who collectively manoeuvre an astounding $9.5 trillion in payment card volume.

The directory, defending its status as an indispensable resource for over fifteen years, is sponsored by Chargeback Gurus. It boasts over 11,000 data points spanning more than 300 companies, ranging from national powerhouses to regional Independent Sales Organisations (ISOs). This expanse of data indicates that these entities, together, are responsible for over 95% of all card payment volumes in the U.S., showcasing the concentration of power within this sector. Moreover, the top ten companies alone processed a jaw-dropping $7.5 trillion in card volume in 2023, according to TSG’s comprehensive review.

At the helm of this financial juggernaut is JPMorgan Chase & Co., securing the pole position with an estimated total processing volume of $2.4 trillion, paralleled by its leadership in total transactions, amassing 46.2 billion. Close on its heels, Stripe leads the pack in terms of merchant count, boasting nearly 3.8 million merchants under its umbrella, a testament to its ubiquitous presence across the digital payments ecosystem.

The directory further highlights the competitive edge and strategic partnerships that bolster the standing of major players. For instance,, a Visa solution, emerged as the payment gateway with the most partner acquirers, reflecting its pivotal role in facilitating seamless transaction flows. Meanwhile, Fiserv’s Clover continues to make significant inroads in the smart POS offering space, illustrating the ongoing evolution and diversification of payment technologies.

Among the revelations, Square and Stripe stand out for their expansive client bases, encompassing over 3 million domestic clients each. This indicates a robust growth trajectory and a significant capture of the micro-merchant market, underscoring the appeal and accessibility of their platforms for small to medium-sized businesses.

Another noteworthy trend is the surge in adoption of surcharging or cash discounting/dual pricing programs, a strategy employed by 43% of all providers listed. This signals a shift towards more dynamic pricing models in response to evolving market demands and regulatory landscapes.

The directory not only serves as a window into the current state of the merchant acquiring landscape but also as a strategic tool for stakeholders across the payments spectrum. From new market entrants to established entities, the insights garnered offer a blueprint for informed decision-making and strategic positioning in an increasingly competitive arena.

As the payments industry continues to evolve at a breakneck pace, driven by technological advancements and changing consumer behaviors, TSG’s Directory of U.S. Merchant Acquirers stands as a testament to the resilience, innovation, and enduring significance of the payments ecosystem.