Many merchants and consumers who are unfamiliar with payment gateways will have questions about their safety. In fact, payment gateways are highly secure when they’re setup and managed properly. They are used by most e-commerce sites, both large and small. In order to understand why, it is first important to understand how these systems work.
What are Payment Gateways?
A payment gateway functions like a relay which exists between the e-commerce website and the merchant bank, which will be a part of a group of banks that issue credit cards. Payment gateways facilitate communication between the various parties of a transaction, and equally important, it ensures that the transaction is encrypted. A high quality payment gateway will use SSL encryption which is 128 bit encoded. This is used both for the encryption and decryption of the credit card information.
Without the encryption offered by payment gateways, all the information transmitted regarding a transaction could be comprised by anyone with enough skill to breach the network. Another benefit of payment gateways is that they are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Payment gateways are the reason e-commerce sites never have to close for the day like traditional stores, because it is always available to facilitate communication and secure transactions. In traditional stores, you have to wait until the store opens so there is someone present to facilitate communication and process payment.
Payment gateways also have less paperwork and feature automatic reports which provide you updates on the payment status along with a history of other payments. Purchase records are often made available online, and it is a more efficient and streamlined method for settling payments. This makes online accounts much more convenient to manage.
Most payment gateways also feature auto reminders, which will notify you of upcoming bills 48 hours before they are due. This notification will usually be sent by email. Payment gateways are also frequently used for the recovery of invoices. This allows the customers to obtain a bill which they’ve lost. This is convenient because the customer avoids wasting time trying to get the duplicate invoice.
Additional Security Measures Offered by Payment Gateways
The security measures offered by payment gateways don’t end with encryption. Another important security feature is digital signatures. Digital signatures are security tools which are designed to protect e-commerce sites against hackers. Even if a hacker manages to acquire the ID, it will have little effect on the customer due to the digital signature. Another powerful tool that payment gateways use to protect credit card transactions is dynamic IPs.
Dynamic IPs provide a high level of security, because the system will assess and confirm the same IP that was utilized in previous transactions that were successful, meaning that if the IP is different, the transaction will be denied. Payment gateways are a critical component of online credit card transactions, and without them e-commerce wouldn’t be possible. They provide the highest level of security possible for merchants and customers who wish to securely process transactions over the web.