Five key benefits of payment gateways for businesses


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Meer informatie 
  1. Inleiding
  2. What is a payment gateway?
  3. How does a payment gateway work?
  4. Benefits of using a payment gateway
  5. Benefits of Stripe’s payment gateway solution

The global ecommerce market is expected to top $8 trillion by 2026. To take advantage of this trend, businesses that currently accept customer payments online or plan to in the future should proactively determine how to build and manage their own payments ecosystem. This begins with understanding the key components that power online payments.

A payment gateway is an important component of ecommerce payment processing that provides a flexible, secure, and efficient platform for online transactions. Payment gateways offer many benefits, including improved customer experience, increased operational efficiency, bolstered security measures, and even scaling and global expansion.

Whether you're an early-stage startup or an established brand in ecommerce, you can benefit from payment gateways. Here’s what you need to know.

What’s in this article?

  • What is a payment gateway?
  • How does a payment gateway work?
  • Benefits of using a payment gateway
  • Benefits of Stripe’s payment gateway solution

What is a payment gateway?

A payment gateway is an online tool that businesses use to securely process debit or credit card payments, digital wallets, and bank transfers from customers. It's part of the network that processes payments for online transactions.

A payment gateway acts like a bridge, connecting a business's website to its payment processing provider. When a customer buys something, the payment gateway securely conveys the payment information from the customer to the payment processor, which then completes the transaction authorization and settlement process. Payment gateways are where online transactions begin and where their conclusion is communicated to customers.

How does a payment gateway work?

A payment gateway acts as an intermediary between the business's website and the bank that issued the customer's credit card, also called the issuing bank or just issuer. This is a complex, multistep process that ensures the transaction is secure, accurate, and efficient. Payment gateways play an important role in transferring funds and protecting sensitive customer information.

Here’s an overview of how that works:

  1. The process begins with the encryption of data. When a customer places an order on a website, they enter their credit card information, which the web browser immediately encrypts. This encrypted data is then sent to the vendor's web server. The use of SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption ensures the data remains secure during this step.

  2. Once the data is encrypted and sent, the secure order information is transmitted to the payment gateway. The payment gateway then sends this encrypted data via a secure SSL connection to the business's processor.

  3. The transaction processing stage follows. The business's payment processor forwards the transaction data to the appropriate credit card network. This network then routes the data to the bank that issued the customer's credit card.

  4. In the fourth step, the payment processor initiates an authorization request. The issuing bank receives the authorization request and sends the processor with a response code. This code may indicate approval for the transaction or a decline, due to reasons such as insufficient funds or a lost or stolen card.

  5. The final step in the process is order fulfillment. The payment gateway receives confirmation from the customer's bank or credit card company that the payment has been approved. The payment gateway sends this response to the business's interface, usually their ecommerce platform or website. This is the moment the payment is officially considered processed. After this, the business can then proceed with fulfilling the order.

While this might seem like a lot of steps, this process occurs almost instantaneously. A payment gateway is not just about facilitating a transaction, it's also about maintaining the integrity and security of sensitive financial information. And on top of this basic functionality, modern payment gateway solutions often provide additional features, such as screening orders for potential fraud and calculating tax in real time.

Benefits of using a payment gateway

Payment gateways come with an array of benefits that can help businesses increase operational efficiency and improve customer experience. Here are the main advantages:

  • Enhanced customer experience
    Modern customers expect intuitive, flexible, and hassle-free shopping experiences, and a payment gateway caters to these expectations. It allows customers to make payments anytime, anywhere, and from any device. This level of convenience not only improves the customer's experience but also increases customer lifetime value (LTV), which is the total net profit a company makes from any given customer. A positive payment experience can foster customer loyalty, leading to repeat purchases and long-term customer relationships.

  • Improved security
    Payment gateways implement stringent security measures to protect sensitive customer information. They use high-level encryption technologies and secure protocols to safeguard data such as credit card numbers, ensuring they are safe from possible fraud and data breaches. Additionally, many payment gateways employ sophisticated fraud detection tools that screen transactions for suspicious activity. These comprehensive security measures help build customer trust and confidence in the payment process.

  • Quicker processing
    With payment gateways, automated processes handle transactions faster than manual processing. This speed provides a swift checkout experience for customers and accelerates the sales cycle for businesses, improving cash flow.

  • Global expansion
    For businesses that are expanding their reach globally, a payment gateway is an invaluable tool. Many payment gateways support multiple currencies, enabling businesses to cater to customers in various countries. This capability is particularly beneficial for businesses selling products or services internationally, as it allows them to accept payments in the local currency of their customers. This can enhance the customer's shopping experience and contribute significantly to a business's global expansion efforts.

Payment gateways not only enable online transactions but also improve overall business operations. By providing a more secure and efficient transaction process, enhancing customer experience, and facilitating global reach, payment gateways are an important component of digital commerce.

Benefits of Stripe’s payment gateway solution

Stripe offers an all-in-one payment gateway and payment processing solution that caters to the varying needs of businesses, from startups to large enterprises, and is optimized for growth at every stage. Let's look at some of the key benefits in more detail:

  • Comprehensive payment systems and support
    The most notable distinction between Stripe’s solutions and traditional payment systems is its comprehensive approach. Instead of piecing together separate payment gateways and processing components from various providers, businesses using Stripe have access to a system of dynamic payment processing solutions that are engineered to work together—both on the frontend and backend. This reduces startup costs, time spent on implementation and maintenance, and operational friction.

  • Easy integration
    Stripe's extensive documentation and libraries for various programming languages allow businesses to easily integrate this payment gateway into their existing systems, regardless of the technology stack they use.

  • International payments
    Stripe supports over 135 currencies and can automatically handle foreign currency conversions. This feature enables global business expansion and makes it convenient for businesses to accept international payments and receive payouts in their preferred currency.

  • Advanced security
    Stripe adheres to the stringent security standards of PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard), ensuring the protection of sensitive payment data. And Stripe Radar uses machine learning for world-class fraud detection and prevention, providing an additional layer of security for businesses and their customers on every channel.

  • Customizable checkout experience
    With Stripe, businesses can customize their checkout process, creating a bespoke branded experience for customers while providing a payment gateway that is easy to set up and use.

  • Unified commerce for seamless service
    The majority of abandoned carts are attributed to a burdensome or overly frictional checkout experience. Stripe’s payment gateway and payment processing functionality exist within a powerful suite of payment solutions that is designed to provide a unified commerce experience. This saves businesses time and resources, reduces inefficiencies, and improves customer experiences across channels.

For more information about getting started with Stripe, read more here.

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