Payment Gateways

The purpose of having an ecommerce business is so that you can provide potential customers with access to your products and services. Having an efficient payment gateway is important if you want to make sales and increase your revenue on the web.

What are Payment Gateways?

A payment gateway is an e-commerce application service provider that functions in a similar manner to sales terminals located in most retail outlets. Apart from transactions, the main function of the payment gateway is to secure credit card information during transactions between customers and retailers.

When a customer orders a product from a merchant through a payment gateway, there are certain steps which are usually carried out in order to be able to proceed with the transaction.

The procedure is as follows:

  • The person orders the product by entering the credit card details through automatic phone answering service or by clicking the ‘Submit Order’ button on the website.
  • Secure Socket Layer encryption is used by the web browser to encrypt the customer’s information. This is sent between the browser and authorized merchant’s web server.
  • Transaction information is transferred by the payment gateway to the payment processor of the merchant’s acquiring bank.
  • Information is passed to the card association by the payment processor.
  • The transaction is then routed to the correct card issuing bank by the card association.

The entire process takes only few seconds, followed by the bank’s approval and deposition of money in the merchant’s accounts by the bank. Most payment gateways provide options to screen orders because of fraudulent practices. Also, tax calculation is done mostly before the authorization request is sent to the processor.

Security – A Motive behind Trust Payment Gateways

With the possibilities of hacking into credit card information sent over the internet, there is a need for absolute security in order to protect customers from information leakage. The security is provided by following the procedure below:

  • Communication between customers and the payment gateway are done on HTTPs.
  • IP address of the customer is verified most of the time, to prevent any chance of fraud.
  • An increased security for online payments is provided by implementing 3D-Secure protocol which is referred to as Virtual Payer Authentication.

However, it is the customer’s responsibility to make inquiries and select from various payment gateways available in the market in order to ensure that strings of information are secure.

Popular Payment Gateways

The three major types of payment gateways available on the internet are:

1. Captive Gateways

– These payment gateways are owned by merchants and can be accessed only by customers of a particular merchant. These gateways are usually free or very cheap.

2. Independent Gateways

– These gateways can be used by most service providers. Payflow, Authorize.net and Cybersource are few of the independent gateways.

3. Private Label Gateways

– These are payment gateways which can be purchased by merchants and will be privately labeled as their own.

How to Get a Payment Gateway for Your Website

Hiring a skilled web developer with experience in payment gateway will integrate a payment gateway within your website. Web design firms like Fly Cow Design specialize in a variety of web design services such as payment gateways.

It is important to note, finding the right web developer will help you choose the right payment gateway for your business. The general idea is to choose a payment gateway that will streamline the buying process on your website. Your customers should be able to process their transactions within minutes.

When a customer struggles through the payment process, it is frustrating. Many business owners have lost hundreds and thousands of dollars in online sales because they lacked an efficient payment gateway.


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