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What is a payment gateway?

A payment gateway is a technology that securely authorizes and processes credit card or direct payments for e-commerce transactions.

It acts as a bridge between an e-commerce website and the bank that processes the payment, facilitating the secure transfer of sensitive payment information between the customer, the merchant, and the payment processor.

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Popular Payment Gateway Providers:

  • Stripe: Known for its developer-friendly APIs and robust security features.

  • PayPal: Offers a range of payment solutions for businesses of all sizes.

  • PayFast: Offers comprehensive payment gateway and point-of-sale solutions for businesses, catering to businesses of all sizes.

  • Peach Payments: Is known for providing secure and seamless payment solutions for businesses, including a range of payment options and developer-friendly APIs.

Key Functions of a Payment Gateway:

  • Secure Data Transmission: It ensures that sensitive payment information is transmitted securely over the internet.

  • Payment Processing: It verifies the payment details and facilitates the transfer of funds.

  • Fraud Prevention: Many payment gateways include fraud detection and prevention measures to safeguard against unauthorized transactions.

  • Integration: Payment gateways can be integrated with various e-commerce platforms, allowing merchants to accept payments on their websites.

How a Payment Gateway Works:

  • Transaction Initiation: When a customer makes a purchase on an e-commerce website, the payment gateway securely collects the payment information, such as credit card details.

  • Encryption and Transmission: The payment gateway encrypts the payment data to ensure secure transmission and sends it to the payment processor or acquiring bank.

  • Authorization: The payment processor or bank verifies the payment details and approves or declines the transaction based on the availability of funds and other factors.

  • Transaction Settlement: If the transaction is approved, the payment gateway facilitates the transfer of funds from the customer's account to the merchant's account.

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