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What You Need to Know About Online Payment Gateways
We’ve come a long way from bartering goats for grain in terms of how we make retail transactions as humans. One of the best innovations over the past few decades in the realm of convenient trade is online retail and the convenience of the payment gateways they use. Who doesn’t like being able to get food from the best restaurants without putting on pants? Or doing their Christmas shopping without having to put on pants? Or buying a new pair of pants without having to even put on pants? Honestly, it seems like the biggest change that ecommerce has made is how often we put on pants, but it really can be more than that.
If stores in your area don’t have your size of shoes or the couch that suits your home, you can just order it from an online retailer on the other side of the continent. All of this has been made possible with the ability to pay for things online through payment gateways. Although there will always be a place in the world for brick-and-mortar shops and restaurants, the ability for commerce to thrive online has made a big difference in opportunities that are available for businesses.
If you are looking to get started with ecommerce for your business, there are some things you will need to know about online payment gateways so that you can be sure that your online store is set up to properly benefit your business. At FirstPage Marketing, we have a wealth of experience in ecommerce website development, and we are always happy to answer any questions you might have about payment gateways and how ecommerce websites work.
What are Payment Gateways?
Payment gateways are systems used in any commerce setting to process payments through credit and debit cards. Any time that you swipe your credit card at your local grocery store or coffee shop, you are using their payment gateway. An online payment gateway is the exact same, just in a website rather than a brick and mortar location. In both online and brick and mortar settings, the payment gateway handles the transaction of funds from the purchaser’s bank or credit card company to the retailer through a secure system.
How are Payment Gateways Integrated to Websites?
There are two main ways that ecommerce websites use payment gateways: the gateway can be integrated into the website so that the user can have a seamless experience and handle everything on the website of the retailer, or the ecommerce website can redirect the user to the website of the payment gateway for the transaction to take place at a different location. It is almost always better to have the payment gateway integrated fully into a website, as a redirect can result in issues with the speed of the transaction and they jar the user out of their purchasing experience.
Integrating a payment gateway into a website can be done through a variety of methods, but the easiest way is to use a CMS (or Content Management System) like WordPress. WordPress can be built into many types of websites in order to allow for better management of pages, products, and transactions. With the right design and development methods, a payment gateway can be set up within a CMS so that it is easy to monitor transactions for the website owner. From the front end of the website, it can look like a seamless component of the website to a user, just like a cash register in a retail store.
What Payment Gateway Should I Use?
There are loads of payment gateways available that can be integrated with websites and it is often possible to integrate more than one gateway for varied methods of payment (for example, PayPal is often integrated alongside other systems). New payment gateways are constantly being developed to offer new solutions; however, in our experience, it is usually best to go with a tried and true system that has lots of established options. Many newer payment gateways are still working out the bugs in their systems and can experience unexpected downtime, or they might not have been around long enough to be implemented as easily with various CMS’s. On top of that, users will be more hesitant to send their money through a system that they do not recognize the name of.
Some of the top payment gateways include:
When looking into what payment gateway to use for your website and your business, make sure that you consult your developer. Also consider factors such as the security of the payment gateway, the methods of payment accepted, and the cost of using it.
Do you have more questions about online payment gateways and how they can be used for your business? Give the team at FirstPage Marketing a call and we can help you figure out everything that you need to know about payment gateways and how they can factor into your website.