What is Routing?


Routing is available to any merchant that has any of the following:


  • 2 or more incumbent Acquirers
  • 2 or more merchant locations (Travel sector only*)
  • 2 or more currencies 
  • Any combination of the above


Routing allows certain volumes of transactions to be assigned to a particular Acquirer or Location of your choosing. This can be beneficial in reducing costs associated to transaction processing and/or recovering potentially lost sales.


* Airlines, Hotels, Car Rental, Taxi Ride Services (excluding BPS/OTA Bookings)


Why Route transactions?


A popular reason to route is based on merchant configuration requirements with each Acquirer(s). For example; You may have a contract with a particular Acquirer to process all GBP and EUR currency transactions and a separate agreement with another Acquirer to process all USD currency traffic. Routing allows the relevant traffic to seamlessly be directed to the appropriate Acquirer.


Two other key reasons to route is to save on cost and increase acceptance. 


For example, there may be instances where a like for like transaction is cheaper processing through Acquirer B, as opposed to Acquirer A.


Or declined transactions may benefit from being reattempted via different Acquirers and processors, perhaps with a better chance to achieve an approval, depending on a number of factors, such as the time of day, or the Acquirer location.


What can you Route by?


APEXX’ Intelligent Routing Engine (AIRE)

APEXX’ Intelligent Routing Engine (AIRE) allows merchants to route volume based on the below fields:


  • Currency
  • Transaction Amount
  • Issuer Country
  • Merchant Country
  • Cardholder Country
  • Card Brand
  • Channel
  • Merchant Website
  • Issuing Product
  • Scheme
  • Issuing BIN Country
  • 3DS version
  • Wallet Type


AIRE allows Acquirers to be set against a combination of the above fields, as well as the ability to select the cascading Acquirer to use should a transaction decline. AIRE also allows for the priority ordering to be set and for rules to be start and end dated.


Smart Split


Smart Split (previously Round Robin) allows merchants to set either percentage based, absolute value based, or time based splits to any (or multiple) of the Routing fields listed above. For example; 60% of EUR transactions to be sent to PSP 1 and remaining 40% sent to PSP 2, or 10,000 transactions per month sent to PSP 1 and all other volume sent to PSP 2, or Credit volume to be sent to PSP 1 Monday to Friday and PSP 3 on Saturday & Sunday. Taking the percentage based smart split as an example, Smart Routing will assign transactions on a sequential basis to achieve the desire percentile splits. For example, 25% of the volume should go to PSP 1, 50% to PSP 2 and 25% to PSP 3. Smart Split will assign the first transaction to PSP 1, the following two transactions to PSP 2 and the next transaction to PSP 3.


(PSP1 = 1/4 (total transactions) = 25%   PSP2 = 2/4 (total transactions = 50%)                PSP3 = 1/4 (total transactions) = 25%)


Split %
















Cascading is the ability to re-try a scheme declined transaction for it to be approved. The conditions of reattempts can vary, whether that’s reattempting with a new acquirer, changing the merchant location, or reattempting at a later time/date etc. A maximum of 15 reattempts of a transaction can be made within a 30 day period, though it is suggested a maximum of 4 reattempts are made due to cardholder latency. The next cascade route of a transaction can be configured based on any of the routing fields listed above.



How does it work?


Many of the rule based set ups can be complicated (even for simple scenario’s). Your APEXX representative can work with you to:


  • Articulate benefits of suggested routing rules
  • Implement the rules to ensure accuracy, coverage and eliminate rule clashes


In general, the rules work on a hierarchy/priority basis, whereby the more granular a rule (i.e a rule with more conditions) the higher the priority. Careful consideration is given to a separate rule with less conditions, to ensure no accidental clashes will occur.


As a transaction enters the APEXX platform, the transaction will be assessed against the Routing rules. Checked fields in the Rule set up will be assessed and the correct Acquirer / Merchant location will be populated on the outbound transaction message. 


Should a decline occur, the rule set can be consulted to inform the next decision on where to send the transaction next in an attempt to recover the potential lost sale. This is known as Cascading.


Rule performance, such as number of transactions processed per rule, savings benefit etc, can be tracked via the Portal, as well as the ability to create your own rules.


For more information, please contact your APEXX representative.




Please see appendix