The Acquiring Bank, also known as the merchant acquirer or the merchant bank) is the bank that is responsible for settling credit and debit card transactions on behalf of the merchant. Its counterpart is the issuing bank which settles card transactions for the purchaser or card holder. Acquirers enable merchants to accept credit cards, often provide merchants with necessary hardware and software to accept card transactions, and for their role in the card payment process, receive an acquirer fee or markup in addition to the interchange and other fees in a credit card and debit card payment.