An acquirer, also known as a commercial bank, is a mastercard-licensed financial institution that helps a merchant accept Mastercard payments. Buyers sell their processing services directly to merchants or set up agents to sell on their behalf. These agents must be registered with Mastercard and clearly identify the mastercard bank they represent on their business cards and stationery. The trader`s contract should also clearly identify the name of the bank. VFS Global was founded in 2001 in Mumbai, India. In an interview with Forbes magazine, CEO Zubin Karkaria claimed that he created VFS after «convincing the U.S. government to pilot a program for Indian visa applicants in the United States at its embassy in Bombay.»  VFS Global`s ownership and governance structure is not published by Kuoni or VF Worldwide Holdings, an offshore company created to own VFS Global and be «integrated into the African tax haven of Mauritius.»    Until 2005, VFS Global had entered into lucrative contracts with 11 governments, including Great Britain, Australia and Canada. The outsourcing company receives its revenues from the service fees paid directly by visa applicants, in addition to the visa fees paid to the diplomatic mission. Between 2005 and 2007, a critical security error on the VFS Global application site for the British Foreign Commonwealth Office led to the availability of numerous visa applications from India, Nigeria and Russia to the public.  It is easy to access sensitive data stored in VFS`s online service by simply making «changes» to the URL of the VFS site.  In this way, each viewer was able to access the «company`s visa applicant database, in which passport numbers, names, addresses and travel data were stored.»  The security error had been known since December 2005, but the problem was not addressed until May 2007, according to media reports.
  The security breach was first reported in December 2005 by an Indian national, Sanjib Mitra,, after which VFS had not taken effective corrective action. The same applicant was made public in May 2007 after noticing that his earlier warnings were being ignored.  Following this data breach and media outcry, the British Minister for Foreign Affairs and Commonwealth Affairs appointed an independent investigator to uncover the reasons for the security breach on the VFS online visa application website.  The report that followed, published in July 2007, highlighted the «organizational errors» of the VFS.    VFS would have underestimated what was needed to protect personal data at the level provided for by the UK Data Protection Act.  The report also recommended that VFS online visa applications not be resumed for applications from India.  The extent of the assistance provided and the degree of responsibility in the design and implementation of tenders and card actions depend on the interim agreement between the partner and the card issuer. Mastercard has many levels of support and know-how to help a company market its co-brand card and grow its business.
From September 2019, VFS Global will have a score of 1.5 stars out of 5 on Trustpilot.  Of the 2608 customer reviews submitted, approximately 76% received 1 star service.  Frequently reported complaints include disrespectful behaviour by staff towards clients, non-compliance with applications, delays in handing over passports to applicants in a timely manner, and lost passports.  Former VFS employees allegedly claimed that the outsourcing company had systematically misled visa applicants and that passports had sometimes been mishandled or lost due to poor organization.  Until 2007, the company had received its first global UK visa and immigration account for operations in 33 countries.