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What is a Payment Gateway and Why Does Your Business Need It?

What is a Payment Gateway and Why Does Your Business Need It?

A payment gateway is a way for businesses to handle online payments. If you want to offer an electronic payment service for your business, you’ll need a payment gateway. A payment gateway is necessary to accept payments through credit cards, debit cards, and other types of electronic payments. The role of payment gateways is to process payments online securely, and they work by passing payment information between your business, payment processor, and the card network in order to complete a transaction.

What is a Payment Gateway?

When your customer initiates an online payment by entering his credentials, a payment gateway authorizes the transaction, encrypts it securely, and submits it for further processing. A payment gateway is meant to handle a significant amount of information needed for purchasing online. The information transmitted through the payment gateway may vary depending on the method of electronic payment. Your e-commerce business needs the right payment gateway service provider in order to reduce the severity and frequency of fraud. Therefore, a payment gateway securely connects your e-commerce application to the payment processing networks.

Why Do Businesses Need It?

Listed below are some reasons why businesses need a secure payment gateway.

Secure Processing:

The payment gateways that work in compliance with PCI DSS standards are reliable and offer secure payment processing. They protect privacy and secure the data of the customers. This means you can rest assured that customer information is fully secured when you have a payment gateway that meets the highest Payment Card Industry Security Standards.

Ease of Use:

Setting up a payment gateway is very easy when you already have a website and merchant account. Moreover, payment gateways require very little maintenance. Most of the online shoppers are already familiar with the payment gateways since the e-commerce businesses are already equipped with this technology.

Faster Settlements:

If cash flow is a concern, payment gateway offers much faster settlements of your payments. By contrast, when you use a third-party payment method, you may have to wait a few days for a transaction to go through completely. This results in a lengthy payment cycle and you may even need to wait a few more days for the payment to arrive in your account. Therefore, having a payment gateway offers the advantage of quicker settlements so that you can also refund the purchases quickly and your customers don’t have to wait so much to get their money back.

Allows Control and Branding:

Other payment solutions redirect customers to a third party site in order to complete a transaction, but a payment gateway enables you to retain your customers on your site from beginning to the end of a transaction. This provides you the opportunity to brand and customize your checkout page. This way, you can control every aspect of your user experience, and eliminate interruptions and confusing redirects when having a payment gateway.

Provides Great Customer Experience:

When your payment gateway provides an enjoyable and convenient payment experience to your customers, they are more likely to come back and shop from your website again. A good payment gateway provider will help you enhance the customer experience based on how you want the payments to be processed. Thus, a payment gateway provides a hassle-free and seamless payment experience, which is key to great customer experience.

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by Harvey Carr // Harvey Carr is a contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.