What is a Merchant Payment Gateway?

We understand that the concept of a merchant payment gateway might seem complex at first, but it's actually quite straightforward once you break it down. Think of it as the digital equivalent of a physical payment terminal found in a retail store.

A merchant payment gateway is an online service that securely processes credit card payments for e-commerce sites and online retailers. It acts as a bridge between your website, where the products and services are sold, and the payment processor (or bank) that completes the transaction.

How Does It Work?

  1. Checkout: When a customer decides to purchase an item from your website, they enter their credit card details during checkout.
  2. Encryption: The payment gateway securely encrypts (or scrambles) this information to ensure it's safely transmitted over the Internet.
  3. Authorization: It then sends this information to the payment processor or bank for approval, checking if the customer has enough funds and if the card details are correct.
  4. Completion: Once approved, the transaction goes through, the customer is charged, and you're notified that the sale has been successful. The funds will then be transferred to your business account.

Why Is It Important?

  • Security: It ensures that your customers' payment information is securely handled, which helps in building trust with your buyers.
  • Convenience: It automates the transaction process, making it faster and more efficient for both you and your customers.
  • Compatibility: It allows you to accept payments from a wide range of credit and debit cards, enhancing the customer experience.

In summary, a merchant payment gateway is an essential component of any online business that sells goods or services. It safely processes payments, ensuring that the money from sales gets to you securely and efficiently while also providing your customers with a smooth and trustworthy checkout experience.

Payment Gateways (* indicates our preference)

Below is a list of some of the most popular and widely used merchant payment gateways for websites. These gateways have been chosen based on their global reach, reliability, security features, and the range of payment options they offer:

1. PayPal*: One of the most recognized names in payment processing, PayPal offers solutions for both small and large businesses. It's known for its ease of use and widespread acceptance.

2. Stripe*: Favored for its developer-friendly tools and APIs, Stripe allows businesses to customize their checkout experiences. It supports a wide range of payment methods.

3. Square*: Ideal for both online and in-person sales, Square is known for its straightforward pricing and ease of use. It also offers a suite of business management tools.

4. Authorize.Net*: A long-standing player in the field, Authorize.Net is known for its reliability and ability to handle various payment types, including credit cards and electronic checks.

5. Braintree (a PayPal service): Offering a sophisticated payment gateway solution, Braintree specializes in mobile and web payment systems for e-commerce companies.

6. Adyen: A global payment company offering businesses an end-to-end infrastructure connecting directly to Visa, MasterCard, and consumers' globally preferred payment methods.

7. Shopify Payments: Integrated within the Shopify e-commerce platform, it allows users to accept payments directly without having to deal with third-party gateways.

8. WorldPay: One of the global leaders in payment processing, WorldPay offers services for both small and large businesses across various sectors.

9. 2Checkout (now Verifone): Provides a global monetization platform for businesses that want to offer multiple payment methods and localized buying experiences.

10. Amazon Pay: Allows Amazon users to use the payment methods stored in their Amazon accounts for online purchases on third-party websites.

11. WooPayments*: Payments made simple — including WooPay, a new express checkout feature.

Each of these gateways offers unique features and benefits, so the right choice depends on your specific business needs, such as the regions you serve, the types of payments you wish to accept, and the level of customization you need for your payment processing system.

Special Note to Merchants: These payment gateways offer unique solutions for point-of-sale transactions and card swiping. For each unique situation, we make recommendations based on our experience in working with both our clients and in setting up our Click IT stores.

Contact us to learn how Click IT can provide a complete and working solution that integrates and synchronizes your e-commerce with your in-person, point-of-sales and accounting software, at a reasonable cost.