ICS | International Card Schemes

ICS (International Card Schemes) are card payment procedures whose cards are accepted on several continents, at least on the merchant side. Acquiring can be done by the ICS itself or by granting acquirer licences to local payment service providers. Issuing is usually also internationalised, but can also be limited to one or a few countries. Examples of ICS are American Express, JCB, Mastercard, Visa and UnionPay. Card payment schemes in which issuing and acquiring are de facto limited to one country are called domestic card schemes. There are several such schemes in the EU, such as girocard in Germany, Cartes Bancaires in France, etc.