What You Need to Know About Payment Gateways

If you have decided that you want to enhance your business by accepting credit card payments, you will have to make three important decisions: you must choose a merchant account provide, a shopping cart software, and a payment gateway system.

online credit card processingIn this article, we will focus on what a payment gateway is and the things you should consider before choosing a shopping cart and merchant account provider.

What is a Payment Gateway?

In order for the credit card information to be authenticated, a payment gateway system is necessary. Simply put, this system connects your credit card processor or best merchant account provider to the issuer of the credit card used for payment.

The payment gateway is secured using SSL 128-bit encoding technology which encrypts and decrypts the data sent over the system.

First, the credit card information is entered into the shopping cart software. Then the information is forwarded to the processor, then to the credit card issuer. The result of the verification, whether the transaction is decline or approved, is then transmitted to the credit card merchant process, then back to the shopping cart system.

Compatibility Issues

QuickBooks Online  - Try it Free for 30 daysIt’s important to understand that not all shopping carts are compatible with all payment gateways. Since there are different types of payment gateway systems, depending on the issuer of the credit card or the type of card used, you should make sure that the shopping cart you choose complements your preferred payment gateways. If you operate business from the US, your payment gateway options will be different from those available in the UK.

Look Beyond the Price

The cost will also vary depending on the payment gateway system. However, when comparing your options, don’t focus on the price alone. See to it that you understand the specific features of the gateway which will be beneficial for your business.

GoPaymentFor example, a payment gateway system that offers some degree of fraud protection may come at a higher price. However, if you consider the benefits, then you might as well invest your money in a payment gateway system that is slightly more expensive to minimize the risk of fraud than go with a cheap service that does not provide reliable security.

Don’t Forget to Consider the Payment Gateway

It is easy to get too busy doing research and comparison when in search of a merchant account provider and a shopping cart software. Nevertheless, you remember to take into consideration whether your shopping cart is compatible with your preferred payment gateways and whether your merchant account provider works with these payment gateways.

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About the Author:

Melanie James has spent the last 14 years working with businesses to implement quick, effective and inexpensive changes to their businesses to increase productivity and their bottom line.

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