What is a payment gateway?

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The boom in eCommerce has created opportunities for businesses of all sizes to reach a global audience for their products and services. It means that any business with a website can sell to customers around the world.

Having the right technology to support this is vital, and a payment gateway is what enables your customers to process their credit or debit card on your website securely.

A payment gateway automatically encrypts card payments placed on your website and forwards them to the customer’s bank for authorisation.

If the transaction is deemed safe, the gateway will authorise the payment and the money will be transferred to your bank account. If it’s deemed suspicious, it will reject it, helping you avoid any potential chargeback fees.

Payment gateways provide consumers with a quick, easy and convenient way to pay for goods and services online. They can transform the way you operate and help you embrace new ways of reaching more customers.

Simply put, you need a payment gateway to accept card payments online. It will need to be compatible with your shopping cart and be integrated with your merchant account.

And if you have a traditional bricks and mortar business but want to use a smartphone or other device to take payments on the go, a payment gateway can also handle your mobile transactions.

So, if you don’t have one already, investing in a payment gateway can futureproof your business and help take it to the next level.

How do payment gateways work?

A payment gateway is the system that allows businesses to authorise credit and debit card payments.

It enables businesses to validate their customers’ payment details and ensure they have the funds in their account to complete the transaction.

In simple terms, the payment gateway process is split into three main areas.

First, it securely collects and encrypts the customer’s card details.

Secondly, it transfers them to the payment processor.

Third, once the customer’s bank accepts and confirms the payment, the payment gateway authorises the transaction, and the cash is transferred to the seller’s bank account.

Things to consider with a payment gateway

When it comes to investing in a payment gateway for your business, there are a few things to bear in mind, including:

Security

Keeping customer data secure is crucial for all businesses, but especially so for those that sell online. You could end up facing hefty fines and reputational damage if you fail to keep your customer data secure.

So, it’s essential to check your payment gateway provider’s PCI compliance level and opt for a system that offers PCI DSS Level 1.

Integration

Another key consideration is how easily your payment gateway will integrate with the other software your website runs.

It will need to be compatible with your content management system, shopping cart and any other plugins or applications you use, such as your accountancy, inventory and fulfilment systems.

Availability

The world of eCommerce doesn’t sleep. Your website will be active 24/7, so you need to be sure your payment gateway has reliable uptime. If it goes down, you won’t be able to take payments and may miss out on vital sales as a result.

So, look for a payment gateway provider which guarantees its uptime as part of its Service Level Agreement.

Payment options

Online payments aren’t just limited to debit or credit card transactions. Many consumers prefer to use other methods to pay, including PayPal, Google Pay and Apple Pay, so your payment gateway needs to offer a range of payment options.

It’s also important to accept payments in multiple currencies, particularly if you ship overseas.

Reporting

Real-time reporting can give you an up-to-the-minute picture of how your eCommerce business is doing. It can also help you collect and analyse detailed demographic information on your customers, which can help with your future business planning, sales and marketing activities.

What will a payment gateway do for my business?

Payment gateways offer many benefits, particularly for businesses that sell online.
From a consumer point of view, a quick and easy checkout process is essential. A payment gateway enables seamless transactions to help you deliver an enhanced online shopping experience.

A reliable payment gateway can also help encourage impulse purchasing and reduce shopping cart abandonment. Research shows that consumers are more likely to complete a sale online if the checkout process is simple but will quit if it’s too complex.

Payment gateways help prevent fraud and chargebacks and can enable recurring billing and subscription options. They can be integrated into most websites with eCommerce functionality and run with most popular software applications.

They also require very little maintenance, so are incredibly cost-effective.

How Payaro can help

We provide fast and secure online payment solutions that use the latest technology to help you deliver flawless customer service.

We work with like-minded customers to help them achieve their Corporate Social Responsibility goals and give something back with every payment they take. Our ground-breaking technology allows our customers to make a donation of their choice to one of our designated community partners with every transaction.

For a free consultation so we can understand your business requirements and develop a secure payments solution that helps you reach your sales and customer service goals, get in touch today.