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Online Payment Gateway – A Brief Overview

An Online Payment Gateway provides the most versatile method for processing sales. From any online computer terminal you have the ability to process transactions quickly and securely, without the need for any specialized hardware.

A Payment Gateway is a private website, accessible only with your private username and password, through which the merchant enters all of the customer’s pertinent credit card information: name, address, billing address, and of course, credit card information. Everything is entered into the Gateway’s online forms, clear templates and is very easy to use. It then verifies the purchaser’s information and completes the transaction.

Of course, you need proof of every transaction. That’s why email confirmations are automatically generated as receipts, detailing every sale just as a traditional paper receipt does. These are sent to the purchaser and to the merchant for record keeping. In addition, a payment gateway sends the merchant a summary of the day’s batch (total transactions), providing you with a clear and useful record of account activity.

Plumbers, trade-shows, locksmiths, estimators, and a host of professions don’t sit behind a desk all day and payments don’t wait. If your sales are mobile, your transactions have to be as well. A Payment Gateway has the distinct advantage of enabling you to process transactions anywhere you have access to internet. This could be by means of broadband service, cable, WiFi, or mobile broadband. Not only that, but it requires no special hardware: your laptop, or even your mobile phone’s web browser, gets the job done.

The Payment Gateway is also scalable for multiple points of sale. For example, very often special events like concerts or fundraisers require multiple entry-points or sale-points. Payment Gateways are perfect for this purpose because you can be running five laptops, on one gateway with one central way of tracking all transactions.

Customization options of your online Payment Gateway gives added flexibility, features, and security. You can add a link to your business website for customers to make their own purchases. In the Gateway itself, you can build in an option for “Sale” or “Authorize” if you want to put a hold on a specific dollar amount to take a security deposit, without actually running the sale.

To read more about Online Payment Gateways and how they can help increase your bottom line, or to apply for an account click here.

Tips on Selecting Securing Payment Gateway Services

If you are thinking of getting online to make some money, or putting website online that will generate income and earn some money for you, then you need to know that unless you already have a merchant account, you cannot receive any payments online. While some clients can easily wire you the money before service delivery, many people are gradually perceiving that the internet seems safer as a result of the security measures put in place by many e-commerce companies than sending their hard earned cash to someone who may not even deliver on his promises.

An important component that helps facilitate online payments is the payment gateway. Payment gateway service providers basically stand as the middle point between all financial transactions online. These do not function as banks or merchant accounts by themselves. Instead, they are more about security and validation. Most payment gateway service providers help ensure that the buyer’s information is safe by encryption, validates the data, decrypts it and sends to the merchant account. Bottom line, it stands as a security guard decrypting and encrypting the responses between websites and buyer’s credit card company or bank.

Payment gateways are important in helping to reduce the rates of fraud online, makes payment online faster. Back in the days when online payment solutions just began, people made payments and had to wait for close to a week before their cards could be verified with the bank -and mind you, one week was fast! Now, you can make an order and have all your identity and data verified within a few seconds. Payments are also smoother and faster as a result of these gateways.

While payment gateways are very important, it is important to know which type suits your needs at a point. This will help you make smart decision and decide on which payment gateway solutions to choose.

Know what Shopping Carts Are compatible with your intended payment gateway. This is very important as you might set up the shopping cart only to find that the payment gateway service you are using isn’t compatible with it. Thus, asking for a compilation of all shopping carts compatible with your intended gateway is a smart idea. Also be sure to make your comparisons of the price differences between each and every package. In cases where you do not understand certain aspects of the package, ask questions. Most sales people expect this and do not be forced or pressured into choosing an obviously incompatible package. If you go ahead, you could be entangles in a whole load of problems trying to figure out why your shopping cart isn’t recording any sales while you are indeed losing sales and profits.

If your website comes with a shopping cart, ensure that the payment gateway is seamlessly integrated. Most shopping cart vendors often have all these figured out already. But check just to be sure of what you are getting. After setting up the shopping cart, the easiest way to see if it’s working is to try buying from yourself. If your transaction goes through smoothly, then you do not have anything to worry about.

Choose A Secure Online Payment Gateway

Nothing can be more advantageous than having an online payment gateway formoney transfer services integrated in your website. With an online payment integrated, your visitors get a first hand opportunity to buy from your website. However, the most important aspect in a payment gateway is security.

How can you test the utility of any online payment gateway?

  1. Any secured online payment gateway should be able to deliver real time transaction facilities. You cannot process an order now and get the money transferred after a day.
  2. An online payment gateway should be interoperable. A system that works securely in Windows environment but fails in any other environment isn’t that worthy.

Security of online payment gateway

Security should be the most important determinant of an online payment gateway. To ensure that the payment gateway that you are utilizing is secured, you need to do a bit of research, for which some first hand knowledge and education is necessary. The best way would be to read about technology innovations related to online payment gateways and enquiring about security features offered by online payment gateway providers.

Some security features that work

    Digital signature – This is one of the safest ways to ensure security. A digital signature makes system literally hacker proof even if the id is hacked. Hence, opt for an online payment gateway that offer digital signature. Dynamic IP protection – Dynamic IP protection allows complete security as the system checks and verifies the same IP used in the previous successful session for any further online money transfer request. 128-bit security with SSL – this ensures that all transactions are automatically encrypted from the users’ browser with an encryption key length of 128-bits which is used extensively all over the Internet and is one of the highest browser encryption presently available.

Choose The Most Secured Payment Gateway

By integrating an online payment gateway, you can start receiving credit card payments through your website. A payment gateway is a special service that systematizes the collection of credit card, and is an equivalent of credit card processing terminal.

There are a number of advantages of having an online payment gateway. First, an online payment processing system will increase your business substantially because users will purchase your products at the very first time if they find an affordable payment system.

Many times users just back out if they are not able to purchase at the very first time and then return to some other website and purchase. This means loss of business for you. Secondly, by opting to receive online payment, you cut down substantially on manpower costs, apart from receiving payments instant. The most important advantage of online payment is that you are not restricted to fixed shopping hours. Your website is available 24 hours a day and hence users from various parts of the world can visit your website to place orders.

Payment gateways usually come in two types, a secure order form, and a merchant side application. a secure order takes users to a third-party website, the website of the payment service provider or credit card processing company. This is the most common type. The second type is a merchant-side application program interface. Here, a code is integrated into the server that is hosting the merchant’s ecommerce website, which automatically process credit card payments.

Whatever payment gateway type you opt for, you should choose one that offers the following advantages:

· Allow you to accept credit card payments from customers located anywhere in the world in seconds

· Be easy to use for shoppers

· Should be in real time. Customer should know instantly whether their credit card payment has been accepted or not.

· Should guarantee 100% security and charge back facility

EPAY is a secured online payment gateway, and offers a variety of services in addition to processing payments online. Using EPAY you can make and receive payments through sms, mobile, and even email, a definite advantage over other online payment gateways.

The Quick and Easy Way to Accept Online Payment Today


Online shopping volume continues to grow at a breathless rate; online shoppers spent $30 billion during the holiday season last year, a 30% increase from 2004. The full-featured online payment gateways make this growth possible. A shopper is never more than a few keystrokes away from his purchase – he can act on a whim before his judgment has time to kick in. And there’s no reason for any small business or individual for that matter to miss out.

There is still a common misconception that to do business online you need to apply for a Merchant Account, sign up with a Secure Payment Gateway and integrate the two, with all the accompanying effort and expense.

You don’t.

The Slow Way: Merchant Accounts & Secure Payment Gateways

Most everyone has heard of Paypal, but not everyone understands how Paypal (and other third-party Online Payment Processors), Merchant Accounts and payment gateways relate to or differ from each other. A Merchant Account with your bank or other financial institution allows you to accept credit cards. To get one, you usually have to go through a credit check and pay a setup fee of $100 or more. Your website needs to connect to the Merchant Account, and this is where the Secure Payment Gateway comes in. Your Merchant Account should identify one or more payment gateways that are compatible with their system, and to use one of these you can expect a setup fee of several hundred dollars, monthly fees, and per-transaction fees.

The Quick Way: Third Party Processors

Third party online payment processors greatly simplify the whole process – you simply pay a (usually higher) percentage of sales as a transaction fee. The payment processors available today will allow you to accept online payments within a day or two after a simple verification process, without any hassle of qualifying for merchant accounts. Usually no deposits are required and there are no monthly fees. These are often the best option for small businesses and startups to be able to do business online very quickly.

Accepting credit card payments online is standard for any online payment system since the majority of online shoppers pay with their credit cards. However, some 10% of buyers actually don’t have or prefer not to pay via credit card, so you may also want to consider accepting online checks, debit cards and digital cash. Many of the current online payment services also allow customers to transfer funds directly from their bank account. The more flexibility you give your customers, the more likely they are to make a purchase.

Get Started!

Thousands of small businesses and potential entrepreneurs still hold back from doing business online, mostly due to imaginary technical or logistical obstacles. With third party online payment processors, you can turn a business idea into revenue within a day. Look around and assess your options – don’t just go with the bank’s recommended Merchant Account and the large payment gateways such as Authorize.net and Cybercash. You will save on setup and monthly fees by starting off with a smaller third party processor. The downside is that you will pay higher transaction costs per sale, but this is worth it in the short term. When your business is up and running and bringing in cash, you will have the option and means to consider getting a Merchant Account.

Payment Gateway Options For South Africans

It seems like there has always been an issue with South Africans trying to stay ahead in the Internet Business game. This issue is the one of having a way to accept online payments from clients. In most other countries in the world you have always had a multitude of options, but we always struggled along trying to find one option. Recently though a lot more companies have come to light.

Although I don’t personally use most of them, in one way or form I’ve had to work with every one of the following. I do a lot of web development work, and 80% of the time a payment solution is also required. Due to this I’ve had to implement most, if not all, of the payment gateways that are available for South Africans. Every one of them has their upsides and their downsides.


This is one of the first payment gateways I had to integrate with a website for a client. What I liked about this was that it provides a simple and secure interface for the client to fill in their credit card details, and then they get directed back to your site for your software to process the order. You are also able to customize the interface using your own logo, so that it feels to the client that they never leave your site.

VCS also offer recurring credit card payments, which makes it ideal for membership sites. The last time I checked, you still needed to have a special Standard Bank account to be able to use VCS.

Setcom / Monsterpay

Setcom was one of the first PayPal-type payment gateways in South Africa that I knew of. When I say PayPal-type, I mean that the purchaser had to also create an account with Setcom, before being able to purchase something from you.

We used this exclusively on our ITC Check website for quite some time. My biggest gripe was that we were losing clients due to people being too lazy to register for an account to be able to pay for their service. The other problem was that Setcom is always on the buyer’s side. This means that if a client has a problem with the product or service they received, Setcom would just refund their money. Sometimes without even consulting us.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to accept payments, I can recommend this service. If you’re just starting out, it also helps that there is no monthly fee associated with this account.


The reason we started using Netcash, was to have a debit order facility for our business, CM Computer Services. This is a great facility to have if you have monthly clients, as it helps with cash flow. There is a secure interface where you load up your client’s banking details, and then every month you enter the debit order details that needs to go off their account and into yours.

One client requested that we integrate their accounting system with Netcash’s debit order system. This was done and works seamlessly with their accounting software. Each month the accounting package would just “tell” Netcash how much to withdraw from each client’s bank account.

They then released their Credit Card Payment Gateway service as well. It was similar to VCS, with the distinct difference that you didn’t need a separate banking account. I think the same afternoon I learned about this new service, I signed up and integrated it into our Credit Report site. The integration was done easily, and we haven’t had problems with them since day 1.

This is the one payment gateway I recommend to people whenever they ask me what to use on their site.

I’ve done a lot of integration with Netcash’s Credit Card Payment service. From small 1 product sites, to large multi product shopping carts.


Until recently, South Africans could only use PayPal’s service to purchase things from other countries. I must say, with the support that you get from PayPal, your mind is put at ease when you purchase something from a person you’ve never met. There have been a few instances where I’ve requested a refund, and PayPal has helped me. There has just been once where they have not been able to help me, and that certainly has left a bad taste for me.

Anyways, skipping to the present, FNB has now been able to secure a deal where we can use PayPal’s service to also accept payments in South Africa. This is definitely something to explore, because after doing a few integrations for clients on their websites, it’s quite clear that PayPal offers an awesome service. One downside, and quite a big one, is that if you are South African trying to sell to South Africans, you might have a problem. You’re not able to sell your products in Rands. And although other countries might not see this as a problem, a lot of South Africans will still be concerned when they see a site trying to sell something in $. After all, we’ve been taught that $ is evil

On the international sites, I haven’t had any problems. In fact, since introducing PayPal as an option on my Karma Sutra Positions website, the sales have definitely improved. The reason PayPal works so good as a payment gateway is because EVERYONE knows about it and trusts it.

Once you have an account, you can quickly add a Pay by PayPal button on their website that is linked to a unique product code and price that you can easily track within PayPal.


This is another payment gateway where I only have experience in implementing the credit card gateway for a client’s online shopping cart. Documentation and implementation guides are very adequate, and it was easy to get this working. It’s also a very similar interface to Netcash and VCS.

An added bonus of this service is that they also offer a debit order service, and from what I understand you don’t need to have a separate Internet merchant bank account to make use of their service.


I have not used this on any of my own sites, but I’ve had to do work for 1 client. It was to integrate it into their online shopping cart. The developers documentation and integration procedure was much like that of Netcash and VCS, so it went fairly quickly.

With PayGate you also need to have a special Internet Merchant banking account. And although it’s probably not such a big thing, it does make the whole process of getting the account a lot longer.


Having had this account for ages, I recently decided to test it out. I’ve done multiple integrations for other people using 2CheckOut, so I knew the process fairly well. Once you’re logged into your account, you can easily add and edit products you want to sell. Then it’s just a case of adding your links to your website to easily track your sales.

The client is presented with a simple screen where they enter their details, and you select what must happen once the transaction goes through. Either a simple email to them, or you can integrate it into your website management software.

I’ve notice they do random fraud checks on transactions as well, so this helps to make sure you don’t get screwed at the end of the month.

2CheckOut is the preferred payment gateway used in the Global Warriors Community.

As with ClickBank, you can also list your products on their Affiliates pages, which allows other people to sell your product for a certain commission.


The only time I’ve made use of ClickBank, was as a promoter of their affiliate products. Recently having had an Illustrated Karma Sutra Positions eBook developed, I looked at all the different ways of selling it. ClickBank is one of them, and the advantage is that thousands of other people can promote your product as well. You need to have a payment system in place already, but this is a nice additional feature to have someone sort out your affiliate payments. So although not strictly a payment gateway, it’s definitely worth knowing about.


You’ll see I don’t mention the pricing structures for these different services here. T
he reason for that is simple, they are all pretty much the same, or very close to being the same.

Each Payment Gateway Service has their own Terms and Conditions. This will include a list of products and services you are allowed to sell through their service. Always make sure to check that out first, before signing up!

I know it can be difficult to choose a payment gateway supplier. If you want, you can contact me for some feedback on which solution will work best for your needs.

E-Commerce Payment Gateways

The primary reason why you set up a virtual storefront is to make a sale. When visitors see your products, you want them to make a purchase. Services offered by payment gateways are very useful when customers need to pay you for their purchases.

A gateway serves as a channel that can bring a thing from one place to another. When doing eCommerce, a gateway plays an integral role in making verifications and allowing credit card transactions to come through. A payment gateway is an essential component of any online business.

For businesses to be able to accept credit card payments, they need to have a merchant account. Business owners can open a merchant account in the bank where they do their banking transactions. This type of account is where revenue derived from credit card transactions will be transferred after verification by the gateway.

A number of online companies offer payment gateway services for businesses that accept credit card payments. Business owners can choose the payment gateway provider of their choice. However, there are companies that offer a combination of services such as those that offer software packages that include a merchant account and a gateway service option as well.

Setting up the Necessary Accounts

The first thing that you need to do to get started is to open a merchant bank account and payment gateway account. When opening a merchant bank account, make sure that you choose a bank that will accept funds from your payment gateway account. This type of account lets you set up payments between your eCommerce site and your merchant bank account.

Online businesses that accept credit card payments should also have an Internet merchant account. All funds received from credit card payments are transferred from the payment gateway to this account. However, funds only stay in this account temporarily as they will be transferred to another account that a merchant designates beforehand. Transfers are done regularly and automatically.

How Things Work

Below is a step by step account of the process involved in each transaction. There may be a lot of steps involved but remember all these happen in the span of just several seconds.

1. Customers will go to your site and click on a product or products that they wish to purchase. When they are done with their shopping, they will be directed to the checkout page to pay for the products. In this step, they will confirm that they wish to buy the item/s that they have chosen and they will indicate the form of payment that they will use.

2. As soon as payment is done, the transaction will be forwarded to the payment gateway that you have chosen. Through this service, the transaction will be sent to your bank’s processor.

3. Then the transaction will go through the credit card’s network which will then send it to the bank that issued your customer’s credit card.

4. If your customer’s credit limit is enough to pay for all the items, then transaction will be approved. Then it will go through the same path that it has taken.

5. Once the payment gateway gets the message that the transaction is approved, it will inform the customer through your site. Then it will also send information to you, the merchant.

Payment gateways are an indispensable tool if you wish to accept credit card payments in your site. It will free you of the hassle of processing credit card payments manually allowing you to concentrate on the other aspects of your online business.

Choosing Your Payment Gateway

If you’re an online merchant, you should be aware of the need for you to choose an online payment gateway that will allow you to accept credit cards without compromising your customer’s safety and your own. Aside from being provided an efficient way of handling your income, this gateway should also be involved in making sure that all payments made to you will not be a subject of abuse by any malicious elements around the web. For this reason, you need to choose a provider that gives you the best service there is.

You will probably observe that there are many payment gateway services offering their services online. It does look like competition among these businesses is tough but as a potential client, what you need to do is simply to get a list of these providers and note down features that each of them have such as credit card processing fees, machines and terminals and the like. Then you can make comparisons before finally settling down on a choice which you think will be able to give you the highest level of service and security. In other words, research is your first move when looking out for a good payment gateway. Aside from looking up the names of these providers, you might also find it a good idea to get actual names of persons whom you may contact or approach in case you have questions or doubts about their services which you’re looking to avail of.

As you choose the provider that you believe is best for you, bear in mind the importance of shopping cart compatibility as you choose the right online payment system. For this, you’re going to need the involvement of your department before making any decisions. The staff member who has been handling your database and shopping cart will be in the best position to gauge which of the payment gateways you’re choosing from is actually compatible with your shopping cart. Nearly all payment gateways have a way of ensuring compatibility but it is always better not to take your chances. After all, what you’re after is choosing a gateway that will make things easier for you to handle your sales, not something that will complicate it further.

Nearly all payment gateways share the same features although for each gateway, a feature’s price may vary. Even so, it’s not advisable to immediately choose the provider that offers the cheapest price. In fact, there will be hidden costs that you’ll have to uncover. What you’ll actually need is a service that offers you the most efficient way of handling your bookkeeping and other related tasks as efficiently as possible.

Avoiding Fraud When Accepting Online Payments

If you run an online business, fraud is one of your biggest fears. You lose money and products when fraudulent purchases are made, and sometimes it feels as though there is nothing you can do to fight it. While fraud is a very real problem, there are things you can do to fight if you do your homework beforehand.

Recognize Fraudulent Orders

While you may not be able to recognize all fraud, there are some clues to watch for. Look out for orders with the following characteristics:

o Placed late at night
o Orders for huge volumes of merchandise
o Address that does not match credit card billing address
o ISP in a different area than the customer’s address
o Email addresses from free email programs that are not assigned an ISP
o Repeat purchases using a credit card number with different expiration dates

Obviously, it would be impossible to block all attempts that had some of these characteristics, but if you can learn to identify them, you may be able to fight back.

Fighting Fraudulent Credit Card Purchases

When fighting fraud, you must look for a balance between fighting crooks and making it possible for people to make purchases without going through too many loopholes. Remember, requiring your customers to do too much to prove their identity may cause them to not make the purchase, thus lowering your profits. You will have to decide what steps to take, but consider these:

o Require customers to provide full information, including phone numbers and billing address.
o Consider calling customers using the phone number they provide in order to verify their identity and the fact that they placed the order. If you do this right, the customer will not mind, because they will view it as an attempt to protect them from identity theft.
o Use a database to block credit card numbers that are identified as high-risk.
o Ask for the security number on the card. On MasterCard or Visa cards, this is on the back on the signature lines. It is on the front of American Express cards.
o Consider blocking customer who use free email programs. Keep in mind that this will hurt many legitimate sales, because millions of people use these as their primary email addresses.
o Ask customers to use an online payment gateway like PayPal that provides some protection from fraud.
o Delay delivery until the payment clears.
o Never offer cash or check refunds. Some scammers will make a credit card purchase on a fraudulent card, then immediately ask for a refund via check or cash. If refunds are required, put the money back on the card.

Go through this list, and put in place the protections you feel comfortable with. Remember, you may not be able to avoid all fraud, but with the right steps, you can prevent much of it, protecting yourself and your customers. When you do face fraud, remember that even the best traditional merchants occasionally deal with it, so fight the crook as well as you can, put extra security in place, and move on. There are more sales to be made and more money to earn!