Definition: A payment gateway is a merchant service provided by an e-commerce application service provider that authorizes credit card or direct payments processing for e-businesses, online retailers, bricks and clicks, or traditional brick and mortar.
Payment Gateways are software and servers that transmit Transaction information to Acquiring Banks and responses from Issuing Banks (such as whether a transaction is approved or declined). Essentially, Payment Gateways facilitate communication within banks.
Security is an integral component of all payment gateways, as sensitive data such as Credit Card Numbers need to be protected from any fraudulent parties. The card associations have created a set of rules and security standards which must be followed by anyone with access to card information including gateways. This set of rules and security standards is called the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS or PCI).
Submitting an order is usually completed using HTTPS protocol, which securely communicates personal information through the parties involved in the Transaction. Many Payment Providers enable Merchants with added options when a cardholder purchases a service or product. Aside from providing the ability for real-time transactions, these providers can help to translate currencies between two parties in different countries, as well as bridge language and payment methods.
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