What is a payment gateway?
Simply put, a payment gateway acts as a portal or tunnel between your merchant account and your customer’s bank account. Any business thinking of accepting payments online will require a portal into every bank in the world in order to retrieve the funds from the cards used by their clients.
Your online payment gateway is the first element that the payment information hits when it is submitted online. The process of payment acquisition flows as follows:
- Your website payment page, either on your own site API or off-page hosted
- The client enters their cardholder information
- The gateway receives the transaction information, including currency, amount, cardholder name, address, order number, and any other related transactional information
- The gateway identifies which bank the cardholder information belongs to, and queries the customer’s account for several pieces of information
- The issuing bank then returns its response to the gateway
- The gateway interprets the information, which tells it whether the transaction can be accepted or declined, plus the reasons why
- The payment page displays the acceptance or decline of the payment along with the reasons why
- The transaction is completed; the cardholder’s funds are transferred directly into your internet merchant account for settlement
Why do you need a secure gateway
Payment gateways are designed to streamline your checkout process by facilitating the communication between your merchant account and your customer’s bank account. Without a credit card payment gateway your website would need to communicate with every card-issuing bank in the world in order to find out where the payment due to you would need to be retrieved from.
Online payment gateways are always kept up-to-date with information about new cards and new banks etc as they have a direct connection to all banks that issue credit or debit cards. Without the gateway there’s no possible way of knowing where to begin checking a customer’s payment information.
The gateway is also very intuitive; it performs multiple tasks before it even entertains communicating with the cardholders issuing bank. These tasks include checking that the format of the card information is correct, whether the card has expired or is still valid, whether it is on your accepted list, and whether it is from a country where you have selected to accept payments from, among other things.
If you are a merchant operating in a high risk business area you may be looking for a high risk payment gateway to support your business operations. Here at Total Processing we offer some of the best online payment gateway options in the UK, including those for high risk businesses. If you are looking for a leading UK payment gateway provider then please get in touch and we’ll be happy to help you realise your business potential.
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