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What is a payment gateway and what is the benefit of having one?

A payment gateway is a service that gives merchants the ability to perform real-time credit card authorizations from a website over the Internet. The following are some benefits of having a payment gateway:

  • Security: Gateways keep customers’ credit card data behind firewalls so that the merchant doesn’t have to worry about someone ‘hacking’ into their system.
  • Encryption: Gateways use Secure Socket Layer (SSL) channel encryption to prevent message tampering while the credit card information is being transmitted over the Internet.
  • Back-up redundancy: Gateways have a backup system in place to ensure that merchants can continue processing in the event of an emergency.
  • Up-to-date technology: Gateways are services that are constantly upgraded with the latest technology, and because the gateways are not on merchants’ computers, there is no need for the merchants to upgrade their hardware.
  • Price: Gateways save the cost of an additional phone line that would be needed in a dial-up application.
  • Certified standards: Gateways all must comply with standard certification policies prior to being deemed an acceptable processing solution.