A Guide to Choosing the Best Payment Gateway for Tech Support

Wednesday, June 15th, 2022

Does your tech business accept credit cards? If you answered “yes”, you need a payment gateway. A payment gateway is a merchant service that processes credit card payments for eCommerce sites and traditional brick and mortar shops. Think of a payment gateway as the metaphorical cash register in the payment process; similarly, it needs to be secure and convenient to use to be effective.

How Does a Payment Gateway Work?

The role payment gateways play in the payment process is very quick and seamless (or it should be). They accomplish their task in just a few seconds through the following steps. First, the gateway encrypts the data between the user’s browser and the server of the retailer for exclusive use between the two parties.

The authorization request then takes place when the processor receives approval from a credit card company or financial institution to proceed with the transaction. Finally, when the authorization is given, the gateway allows the website to proceed to the next action. 

Why You Need a Payment Gateway

The terms “gateways” and “processors” are often used interchangeably. In reality, they are important distinctions between the two. A payment processor analyzes and transmits transaction data, while the payment gateway completes the tasks listed above and authorizes the transfer of funds between buyer and seller.

There are three types of payment gateways to choose from:

Payment off-site. With this type of gateway, the front-end checkout will occur on your site, but the payment processing will happen off-site (e.g. Stripe). 

Redirects. This type of gateway takes your customer to a processor’s payment page (e.g. PayPal) to handle the complete transaction.

On-site. With on-site payments, the entire checkout and payment process takes place through your business system. (Large-scale businesses tend to use this option.)

How to Choose a Secure Payment Gateway

When choosing a payment gateway, it’s important to consider your business type and industry. You need a provider that understands the challenges you face, and how to help you manage them. They should offer industry-leading products and services – like a payment gateway for tech support – and strong customer service support. Make sure the provider’s customer reviews are also positive. With this knowledge of the payment gateway function, you should be able to compare and choose the right option for your business needs.