An online payment gateway is an easy-to-implement solution that businesses can use to accept payments using a customer’s preferred payment method.
There are numerous methods of electronic payment available – credit card, debit card, ACH, eCheck – and each has different authorization requirements. Compounded with all of the different ways to initiate transactions – in person, mobile, by phone, online – a payment gateway can be necessary for merchants to keep their businesses running smoothly.
This is where an online payment gateway can help. With an online payment gateway, a business can:
- Automate Payments: An online payment gateway automates and streamlines billing and payments, allowing a business to instantly accept payment online, through a website or on a mobile device, over the phone, or in a retail environment.
- Record Customer Data: An online payment gateway can preserve a record of all customer interactions, either becoming a customer relationship management system (CRM) or integrating new data with an existing CRM as it is generated.
- Integrate with Financial Systems: Transactions occur in a number of different ways; an online payment gateway gathers all of the necessary information from electronic transactions, which can then be integrated with accounting and finance systems to provide a comprehensive view of a company’s financial affairs.
An online payment gateway can help a business to streamline and manage internal processes, reporting, and real-time data acquisition, which can be leveraged to optimize operations.
How Does An Online Payment Gateway Work?
A payment gateway serves as a translator between the merchant and the payment processors. Businesses must have a centralized processor to handle electronic payments and in many cases, credit or debit card processors are different from ACH or eCheck processors. The gateway manages the connections to multiple processors, reducing the amount of work businesses need to do to get connected and ready to process.
When a customer initiates a transaction the payment gateway checks that the information submitted is valid, securely transmitting information to the appropriate processor. In the case of credit/debit card processing, transaction authorization is received immediately. ACH payment processing and eCheck transactions are batched daily and sent into the ACH network each night.
Online payment gateways gather data throughout the process, which can then be used to create reports and provide valuable insight, allowing a business to make better, more informed decisions.
Benefits of an Online Payment Gateway
An online payment gateway provides a company with a number of benefits:
ACCESS TO MULTIPLE PROCESSORS WITHOUT THE NEED FOR TECHNICAL INTEGRATIONS
Online payment gateways have access to multiple payment types, including credit card, ACH and eCheck. A benefit to these gateways is that access to the payment processors is possible without needing to perform potentially cumbersome one-off technical integrations. All transactions are able to be processed through the online gateway without sacrificing security or reliability of the data.
ACCEPT MULTIPLE PAYMENT TYPES
Customers have a number of payment options at their disposal. A payment gateway allows a merchant to successfully accept different types of payment – debit, credit, eCheck and ACH – from a number of different sources, including online and mobile transactions.
AUTOMATE RECURRING BILLING
With a recurring transaction engine, regularly recurring payments can be automated, as can billing notifications and receipts sent to customers. This relieves the administrative burden on the merchant and allows them to focus on their business or improve customer service.
IMPROVE DATA AND REPORTING
Online payment gateways collect data on customers, transactions, and cash flow, and uses this data to create custom reports that provide merchants actionable insights for more informed and better business decisions.
Protecting the data used by clients is a top concern for merchants. Additionally, ensuring merchants themselves are protected from customers utilizing fraudulent payment methods is a pain point. Online payment gateways use advanced data encryption, ensuring that data is secure and transactions are protected from fraud. Any gateway that accepts card transactions must be PCI compliant.
IMPROVED CUSTOMER SERVICE
Online payment gateways are available 24/7, allowing customers to access accounts and initiate transactions at their convenience, improving customer satisfaction. Integrating the online payment gateway with a CRM, or using at a customer management tool, allows a company to improve customer interactions with better data and historical information.
An online payment gateway can help a company to manage electronic payments, improving customer service and streamlining cash flow, payment processing, recurring transactions, and data collection and reporting.
Payliance’s online payment gateway not only provides a processing solution for electronic transactions, it includes data security, streamlining business transactions through automation, and the enhanced decision-making through advanced data collection and customized reporting. Payliance is also integrated into major payment gateways such as:
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