Quick guide on payment gateways - Part three
A secure online payment solution for any ecommerce business…
If you’re an ecommerce business and want to accept credit card payments in real time, a payment gateway might be for you.
What is a payment gateway?
A payment gateway is your link between your online store and your bank. It’s an ecommerce software application that authorises electronic credit card payments in a secure environment, in real time.
How do payment gateways work?
The payment gateway encrypts and helps with the transfer of sensitive information such as credit card details securely between the customer, business and bank. This ensures that confidential information is kept safe while a payment is processed electronically.
When a customer purchases a product with a credit card, the payment gateway performs a number of core tasks to process the transaction:
- A customer places an order on your website and processes the payment by entering their credit card details.
- Your website sends the credit card details to the payment gateway.
- The payment gateway encrypts the information and sends it to your bank for authorisation.
- Your bank sends an approved or declined response back to the payment gateway.
- The payment gateway immediately sends the response back to you and the customer.
- If the credit card was approved the payment will go through successfully otherwise the customer will be given a declined message and the transaction will be cancelled.
The entire process takes 2 to 3 seconds.
Benefits of a payment gateway
A payment gateway offers many advantages for an online business, as it is able to:
- accept payments in real time
- securely transfer payments
- convert currencies from different countries
- sell while you sleep
- keep visitors on your website.
If you do think a payment gateway is right for your online business, make sure you decide which one to use based on the features that are important to you and your customer.
Find out more:
- Check out Part one in the series: Creating a great online shopping experience – Part One: The online shopping cart.
- Have a look at Part two in the series: Simplify the online checkout process - Part Two.
- Go to Thinking of setting up an ecommerce business? to learn more about setting up an online store.
- Have a look at how to be PCI compliant.