What is a payment gateway?
A payment gateway is an e-Commerce service provider that authorises payments for online businesses, acting as the equivalent of a physical point of sale terminal that you would find in most physical shops. Payment gateways facilitate the transfer of credit card transaction information between a payment portal (such as a website, mobile phone or IVR service) and the acquiring bank.
Why do I need a payment gateway?
A payment gateway is essential to allow you to accept card payments online through your website, phone and mail order. The payment gateway receives transaction requests then connects to Visa or MasterCard, and ultimately down the line to the customers card issuing bank to see if they have sufficient funds. If they have enough cash, the transaction is authorized and the funds are transferred from the cardholder into the merchant account. Often, a merchant account and payment gateway are set up in one process through the same company.