If you are the new kid on the small business block, at times, the business side of things can get murky and hard to navigate when your strengths lie in why you started your business in the first place — your product or service is your passion! At Transmerit Merchant Services, we’re here to uncomplicate owning your own small business as much as possible, which is why we’ll be covering the topic today of payment gateways, part of payment services.
What is a payment gateway?
A payment gateway — or an ecommerce gateway as it’s also called — is a merchant service. Breaking it down one step further, a merchant service is a financial service that small businesses use to accept customer payments online through an encrypted and secure server. Merchant services generally include the following:
- Debit and credit card processing
- Check conversion services
- Loyalty programs
- Gift cards
- Point of Sale (POS) systems
- Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT)
Back to a payment gateway. The best way to comprehend what a payment gateway is and what it does, is to think of it as a middle person or communicator between the impending transaction and the banks. The transaction — through the facilitation of the payment gateway — knocks on the door of the bank and asks if it can splurge buy a new pair of Jimmy Choo shoes. The bank checks the security and the funds of the account and either accepts or declines the money. The bank sends their answer back, again through the payment gateway, and the business receives the final answer.
What is the function of the payment gateway?
Not only does the payment gateway facilitate communication between the small business and the bank, it has to do so securely. Because of the sensitive information of each customer’s identity along with their bank information, the payment gateway must ensure the encryption is indeed secure in order to authorize the transaction. Security is one of the most important and integral parts of a payment gateway because very sensitive information is being passed at a very quick rate. Without the tools to complete a secure transaction, the payment would be left vulnerable to fraud and cyber criminals.
Providing a secure payment gateway
There are things you can look for in a payment gateway to make a customer’s transactions more secure. Here a few considerations.
- SSL (secure socket layer) – This protocol shows your customers that your website is secure by featuring a “https” instead of the typical “http” — the “s” at the ends signifies it’s secure. This not only protect your customers, but it builds a positive reputation for your business in credibility.
- PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliance – This is the gold standard in the payment gateway sector because the bar is set by the PCI. If your business chooses to follow their recommendations, you’ll have to perform routine onsite reviews and have a reputable company periodically come in and check your data security.
Provide your customers with a safe and secure payment gateway
At TransMerit Merchant Services, we provide a variety of payment gateway options to not only grow your business through transactions, but with safe and secure portals.
Connect with us today!