Top Five Payments Companies Processed $6 Trillion in 2021 Payment Card Volume

New research from The Strawhecker Group shows that merchant acquirers saw an atypical uptick in 2021 payment volume as the pandemic recovery continued

Omaha, NE, March 31, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Strawhecker Group (TSG), a globally recognized analytics, intelligence, and consulting firm in the payments industry, worked with payments companies across the U.S. to compile the industry’s most comprehensive resource on merchant acquirers. The data illustrates that the acquiring industry observed significant upticks in 2021 growth, likely due to the continued recovery from the pandemic. Six of the top ten had 20% or more growth in year-over-year card volume, transactions, and/or merchant clients in 2021.

This data is highlighted in TSG’s 2022 Directory of U.S. Merchant Acquirers, sponsored by FIS, which features over 9,000 data points on more than 320 companies, covering national leaders to regional ISOs. The complete directory, which includes a quick reference guide for executives to review merchant portfolio statistics, can be previewed and purchased from TSGShop. TSG’s eReports subscribers have access to this report and dozens of other deep dives, industry directories, country and company profiles, and educational primers.

“We have been publishing this directory for fifteen years,” said Jared Drieling, Senior Director of Market Intelligence and Insights at TSG. “Our analysts work diligently to ensure the industry's leading companies are represented accurately. Entities throughout the industry and major media regularly cite our report.”

Over 90% of the payment volume shown in TSG’s directory is processed by the top twenty-five listed companies. In total, the companies featured represent:

  • 320+ U.S. merchant acquirers
  • $9+ trillion in total processing volume
  • 530+ total sponsor bank relationships
  • 880+ total front/back-end processing relationships
  • 40+ total in-house processing platforms

TSG has published several insights on the country’s merchant acquiring landscape below. Read more commentary.

  • The top five players processed an estimated $6 trillion in card volume in 2021. All five of these players have a strong bank sales channel, as they are either bank-owned or have an exceedingly large set of bank partners/clients from other areas of their business.
  • Square and Stripe continue to be fast-growing players and are approaching a top ten ranking based on card volume. Square and Stripe are currently ranked 11th and 12th, respectively. Both players have been around for less than 15 years.
  • Adyen rose to a ranking of eighth based on card volume, continuing to swiftly pass industry incumbents rising from a ranking of 10th in the prior year. Adyen reported that North America was their strongest growing regional segment based on revenue.
  • Only five of the players listed are estimated to serve more than one million merchants. Square is estimated to serve 400,000 more merchants than the player with the estimated next highest number of clients, albeit its merchant clients have a smaller than average size.
  • (a Visa solution) is the payment gateway with the most partnerships among the acquirers listed, partnering with 38% of these players
  • 41% of the players listed sell Fiserv’s Clover point-of-sale products
  • 36% of the players have more than one sponsor bank relationship

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About TSG

The Strawhecker Group (TSG) is a globally recognized analytics and consulting firm that supports the entire payments ecosystem, serving over 1,000 clients from Fortune 500 leaders to more than a dozen of the world's most valuable brands. Trusted by industry leaders, TSG's strategic services, market intelligence, and analytics merge to empower clients with actionable and accessible information. Please visit


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