An entity, not registered with Visa or MasterCard that provides payment related services, directly or indirectly, to the Visa or MasterCard client and stores, processes or transmits account numbers. TPAs perform multiple functions on the issuing and acquiring side of a Visa/MC client’s business. This term is inclusive and replaces the old terminology of ISO, TPS, ESO, and Merchant Services (MS).
A TPA can perform any or all of the functions of an ISO, TPS, ESO, and MS. Each function performed by the TPA must be registered by each Visa client that is utilizing those services. TPA functions that require registration include but are not limited to:
§   Merchant or cardholder solicitation activities and/or customer service — ISO
§   Prepaid program solicitation activities and/or customer service — ISO

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