What is a Payment Gateway?Varone
Put simply, a payment gateway is a software application that enables merchants to accept payments made with credit and debit cards for instore and online transactions. The payment gateway facilitates transaction processing by securely encrypting payment information and transferring that data between the merchant’s store or website, the bank that processes the payment, and the bank that issued the card used to make the purchase. A payment gateway can be positioned either entirely digitally—with credit card information being routed in from the shopping cart on a merchant’s website— or physically with an in-store POS system at a brick-and-mortar location.
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How Do Payment Gateways Work?
There are a lot of processes happening behind the scenes when a customer makes a purchase, but here is a brief description of how a payment gateway facilitates a payment transaction.
- When a customer makes a purchase using their credit card, the payment gateway encrypts the transaction information and card data and sends it electronically to the merchant’s processing bank for authorization.
- The processor sends the information through the card association that issued the customer’s card, then on to the customer’s bank where the transaction is either approved or declined.
- The customer’s bank sends a response back through the card association to the merchant’s bank.
- The response then goes through the payment gateway to the merchant’s point-of-sale terminal or e-commerce website indicating whether the payment was accepted or declined.
What to Look For in a Payment Gateway Provider
Can the payment gateway easily integrate with e-commerce
If you have an e-commerce site or would like to have the option to launch one down the road, then you should look for a payment gateway that integrates with leading e-commerce platforms. Some gateways offer seamless plugins for the most popular e-commerce platforms such as Magento and WooCommerce.
What is the fee structure?
There are both flat-rate and custom pricing options for gateways. Either way, look for a gateway that has pricing expertise and can offer you competitive rates.
Are multiple payment methods supported?
As more payment methods become available, it’s helpful to have a gateway that supports all major card types and top payment methods like EMV chip, EBT, magnetic stripe, mobile wallets, contactless cards, ACH, and more.
What cardholder data security features are in place?
The Payment Card Industry (PCI) requires all businesses that process payment card data to comply with their Data Security Standards in order to protect sensitive cardholder information. By integrating with gateways that support PCI-certified point-to-point encryption (P2PE) and advanced tokenization, merchants can more easily achieve PCI compliance— or even stay out-of-scope for PCI compliance altogether.
Does it support multiple currencies?
If you currently have cross-border sales or plan to expand into an international market, integrating with a payment gateway that supports multiple currencies is a must.
What kinds of fraud detection and protection tools does it support?
Card-not-present payments account for the bulk of fraudulent transactions. Look for a payment gateway provider that offers robust fraud detection and support for fraud protection tools like 3D Secure 2.0, which help screen for suspicious transactions and verify customer identities.
Does it support recurring payments?
If your business accepts payments for memberships, subscriptions, rent collection, or other payments that occur on a regular schedule, you will save time and money by integrating with a payment gateway that enables you to set up and manage recurring payments. Plus, by choosing a provider that enables you to accept multiple payment methods such as credit cards and ACH payments, you won’t need to purchase additional automated billing or subscription management software.
Is there a dedicated customer service team?
Customer service support can make or break a company’s reputation. While most businesses have some sort of customer service, many do not have dedicated customer or technical support teams. Look for payment gateways that offer live phone support and in-house customer service and technical support agents. Ready to explore your options? Here’s a side-by-side comparison of some of the most popular payment gateways for small- to medium-sized businesses.
Comparison of Popular Payment Gateway Providers
|Payment Gateway||Pricing & Fees||Developer Support||Feature Customization||In-house Customer Support||Card Types||Recurring Billing||Mobile Payments||PCI Level 1 Compliance|
|Stripe||Monthly fee: $0|
Per-transaction: 2.9%+$0.30 (U.S.)
Out-of-box solutions only
Starts at $1800/mo. for live phone support
|All major cards||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Monthly fee: $0-$10 based on plan|
Customized rates based on volume/ other variables
Dedicated technical support team
Customized solutions available
Live phone support at no extra charge
Includes dedicated integration team support
|All major cards||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Adyen||Monthly fee: $0|
Per-transaction: $0.12+payment method fee (varies)
Out-of-box solutions only
|Email & Chat only||All major cards||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Square||Monthly fee: $0|
Per-transaction: U.S./ Canada - 2.9%+$0.30 UK - 2.5% Australia - 2.2% Japan - 3.6%
|No||Yes||Email & Chat only||All major cards||No||Yes||Yes|
|Authorize.net||Monthly fee: $25|
One-time setup fee: $49
Out-of-box solutions only
|Email, Chat, & Phone||All major cards||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Cardknox is a flexible, highly customizable omnichannel payment gateway that comes loaded with features that can be integrated with a wide variety of payment hardware, software, and e-commerce platforms. As a market leader, we were one of the first gateways to offer a variety of cutting-edge features, such as support for EMV chip card processing. With an A+ Better Business Bureau rating and a merchant retention rate of 98.3% over 5 years, Cardknox is a proven leader committed to providing the most innovative payment processing solutions available in the market today. The Cardknox payment gateway includes all the features listed above, plus more. Here’s what makes Cardknox the top choice for small- to medium-sized businesses:
Seamless Payment Activity Management
Our intuitive, user-friendly merchant portal enables users to monitor sales data and transaction history, process transactions, generate reports, schedule recurring payments, view batches, and more.
Support for All Major Payment Types
Cardknox supports magnetic stripe credit and debit cards, EMV chip cards, ACH payments, WIC and EBT cards, contactless (NFC) cards, and more.
Your choice of two rate types—the traditional underwritten plan with the lowest rates possible or a flat rate seamless onboarding model—ensure you are getting the best for your business. In addition, our proprietary IQM (Interchange Qualification Monitoring) technology routes every transaction to the payment processing platform that can process the payment for the lowest cost.
Best-in-Class Customer Service
Our customer service is the best in the industry—just ask our many satisfied clients. In addition to offering email support, we offer outstanding phone support with 96.4% of calls answered within three rings. We also have a dedicated integrations team to help you with technical support issues, and we provide Slack channel subscriptions for developers and merchants.
Cardknox is compatible with a wide variety of POS systems and payment terminals from popular manufacturers like PAX and Ingenico to enable in-store and on-the-go acceptance of customer payments in-person. We also support fast, flexible EMV integrations and EMV Level III certification; unattended retail solutions, including self-service vending machines and kiosks; and mobile apps and compatible card readers.
Gift Card and Loyalty Programs
Our gift card program supports multiple retail locations and comes with advanced security and customization features. Plus, third-party gift cards can be seamlessly migrated so that existing card balances remain active.
Recurring Payments Support
Perfect for membership services, subscriptions, and installment plans, you can customize recurring payments to suit your customers’ needs.
Automated Phone Payments
With Cardknox’s hosted interactive voice response phone system, PhonePay, customers are prompted to make payments with ease using touch-tone data entries. PhonePay lets your customers make payments and donations at any time of the day or night.
Hosted Payment Forms
Cardknox’s PaymentSITE technology is a fully customizable, hosted payment form that can be easily embedded into a website or used as a standalone payment form.
Cardknox: The Developer-Friendly Payment Gateway Solution
Cardknox was created with developers in mind. Our cutting-edge technology solutions make integrating with our payment processing gateway a seamless experience, and they’re sure to supercharge business performance.
Flexible APIs and SDKs
With just a few lines of code, our flexible APIs and out-of-scope SDKs enable you to integrate the latest EMV-ready payment technologies and employ the highest level of PCI compliance.
Fast, Easy Integration
No matter your existing setup, Cardknox will get you up and running quickly and easily. By modifying your URL to include cardknox.com, our gateway emulators will seamlessly migrate transactions to Cardknox from your existing gateway.
Cardknox offers plugins for popular e-commerce platforms and software systems such as Magento and WooCommerce. Secure processing is made possible with built-in fraud screening and advanced tokenization technology.
Advanced Security Features
Our secure hosted iFields technology keeps customer payment card data fully out of PCI scope without having to rely on third-party checkout pages. In addition, Cardknox supports point-to-point (P2PE) certified devices and uses advanced tokenization technology to safeguard customer payment information.
“Since switching to Cardknox, our life has been simplified! The Cardknox integration…has eliminated any errors and made the entire process of accepting credit cards smooth. We also saved money by receiving better rates through Cardknox. I highly recommend this company.”
—Nicholas Pronko, President at Steve Pronko Jewelers
“After evaluating numerous solutions, we are glad that we chose Cardknox. Cardknox provides a fast, cost-effective, secure credit card processing solution that includes tokenization…Transitioning to the Cardknox system was a smooth process thanks to the responsive technical and customer service support provided by the Cardknox staff.”
—Chris Klim, Director of Finance, Jesel Inc.
“It’s such a pleasure to work with Cardknox— their payment solutions and their customer service have both far surpassed our expectations. If you’re looking for advanced payment solutions and outstanding customer service, I highly recommend Cardknox.”
-Jim Broughton, Dataweld
Today’s payment gateways don’t just facilitate secure payment processing—they also come with a world of features to improve your business management, lower your rates, improve your reporting capabilities, automate billing, and much more. The right payment gateway will be of tremendous benefit for so many facets of your business. By integrating with Cardknox, you’ll benefit from the latest up-to-date technology, a higher revenue share, optimized rates, and top-notch customer support. Click here to find out more about how the Cardknox payment gateway can benefit your business.
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