Every merchant, no matter how big or small they are, needs a way to take payments in exchange for whatever wares they are offering. Whether you are as big as Costco or small as, well, as small as the single one-man-show operating his/her Etsy account.
Long gone are the days where a shop owner flips the open sign and waits for his customers to walk through the door. We are selling in so many different ways it is dizzying. In addition to retail locations, a merchant may operate in e-commerce, mobile, MOTO or even an integrated environment such as in-app purchases. You have to be able to perform business operations wherever your customer wants to buy from.
Payment Gateways aren’t just for E-commerce anymore.
It used to be that payment gateways were only for online sales or e-commerce. While every merchant needs a merchant account, every merchant account doesn’t require a terminal or a POS. Nowadays, many merchants, even ones with brick and mortar operations are opting for accepting credit cards, whether thru swipe or manual key entry, as well as processing checks through the use of a payment gateway.
Payment gateways are used as the secure “bridge” between many payment processors and POS Systems. Your payment gateway is a middle man so to speak. It is the avenue by which secure information travels between your shopping cart on your website to the card issuing bank for approval and back again. Because, due to security reasons, it is prohibited for a merchant to transmit credit card transaction information directly from their website to a payment processor a payment gateway is used to facilitate the transfer of that payment information between the merchant and the processor or acquiring bank. The gateway will capture the information for the credit card and transaction details and encrypt the customer’s sensitive details before passing that information securely between the customer, the merchant and the acquiring bank. A payment gateway allows a merchant to accept credit cards and signature debit cards through any Internet connection, with no terminal needed. This means they will be able to perform payment processing anywhere, anytime via any device as long as they have an Internet connection.
Your online payment gateway has 3 main functions: authorization, settlement, and reporting.
Firstly, the credit card issuer must approve the payment, the gateway checks with the bank to make sure the card is acceptable and sends back the answer ultimately allowing for the charge.
Then in order to get paid the payment gateway needs to perform a settlement, or batch. It will send a summary of all the transactions performed that day to the bank so they can transmit your payment to your merchant account. This can be performed manually at the time of your choice or can be configured to auto-batch at the same time every night or at the end of your business day.
Lastly, it will create a comprehensive report of all of your transactions. The report facilities will allow you to view your total sales, including card types, print the report or download to your computer or into your bookkeeping software for further processing.
Payment gateways can vary greatly in their sophistication and capabilities. A robust payment gateway like the one we offer will provide much more than just efficient payment processing. It can truly be a way for the merchant to streamline all their processes from accepting credit cards to overseeing their security and PCI compliance to managing their bookkeeping and back office duties.
Need to be able to complete multiple payment transactions, all at the same time, from various locations? An Internet payment gateway can do that. The payment gateway can be integrated with any website and their virtual shopping carts. The Virtual Terminal makes it a breeze to accept payments over the phone and through mail order by allowing for manual entry of the payment details. Offer your customers more payment options by accepting Apple Pay and in-app purchases through mobile applications.
Your payment gateway will also be able to set up recurring billing for those types of businesses that offer a service or membership. All you have to do is set the date for the recurring billing schedule and let the gateway do the rest!
Do you have more than one branch of business each with its own merchant ID? The single gateway allows you to manage multiple MIDs on one account. Organize products, manage branches and consolidate reporting all in none convenient place.
Would you like to be able to take advantage of electronic invoicing? Customers will appreciate the efficiency of a secure way to pay as well as the ability to print or save their invoice, which was delivered directly to them in PDF form right into their inbox, for their own bookkeeping purposes. Merchants will appreciate the quick turn around from customers ability to pay their bill quickly and efficiently through the secure link embedded in the email billing.
Further streamline business processes by utilizing inventory and product management tools where the business owner can enter and manage product SKU’s allowing for quick recall of frequently sold items. Then sync all sales with your QuickBooks program, let the software mark the transaction as paid and then create the appropriate accounting entry for you.
Security is the payment gateway’s first priority.
Your transaction data is your biggest asset therefore it must be protected at all cost. But the truth is many merchants just don’t seem to be taking this seriously enough. Worldwide credit card fraud now amounts to about $5 billion annually and even so a recent study revealed that only 1 in 10 merchants were “fully compliant with PCI DSS 2.0”. Merchants have to make sure they always remain PCI compliant. You can reduce fraudulent transactions with the sophisticated software within the payment gateway. Fraud screening tools such as address verification and card code value (CCV) or card verification value (CVV) as well as payer authentication.
With the encryption that happens behind the scenes merchants won’t be able see, handle, transmit or even store any sensitive payment information. All credit card info is stored in the Internet payment gateway, locked up through secure tokenization and stored in a secure environment rather than on the merchant website which helps to reduce liability for theft or fraud.
With all of these amazing features you can easily see how any business owner could be interested in a robust payment gateway to help streamline their business processes. Payment Gateways are NOT just for E-commerce Anymore.