Services -- Gateway Processing

Gateways – Online Card Acceptance

For merchants in virtually every industry, technology can be a key enabler of profitability. In particular, technological advancements in the ecommerce domain can help to create innovative service and product offerings, and if implemented properly, they can enable higher standards of service at significantly lower costs.

In order to be successful and meet the relentless need for greater online visibility and sales revenue, businesses in all industries must be able to quickly exploit new technology opportunities.

Ecommerce can create new opportunities for your business in the form of greater numbers of customers, re-sellers, and/or partners. This can present both an opportunity and a challenge. The challenge lies in being able to quickly and effectively react and scale your business to maximize the opportunity. “Getting ecommerce right” requires two things: a great business plan, and access to informed ecommerce expertise. With a dedicated relationship manager, our operational support, and our Gateway product suite, you’ll be prepared to get the most out of this growing segment of our industry.

Think of a payment gateway as the online equivalent to the point-of-sale terminal found at brick-and-mortar stores. A payment gateway lets you accept credit card, debit and other forms of electronic payments on your Web site.

A payment gateway is actually a system of computer processes that transfer, verify, submit and receive transaction information to the credit card network on behalf of the merchant, using secure Internet connections. The payment gateway is the infrastructure that allows a merchant to accept credit card and other forms of electronic payments.

Payment gateways can be implemented in two different ways. The payment gateway could be a secure order form that takes the customer to a third-party site for the credit card processing, or it could be managed as what's called a merchant API (application program interface) that is integrated with the server hosting your site. In this scenario, the customer never leaves the merchant’s Web site.

MeritCard is linked and certified to over 240 different Payment Gateway providers. Standard set up and integration into these gateways is fast and easy. For those merchants that require additional customization or API integration, MeritCard is here to help.

Payment gateway service providers offer a number of features and value-added services. Here are five things you should look for when choosing your payment gateway vendor.

Cart Compatibility: One of the first things you need to consider is compatibility with your existing shopping cart system. This is a crucial consideration, especially if you have already purchased your shopping cart system.

PCI-Compliance: The payment gateway is the company that will handle and store your customer's credit card information. Any payment gateway provider you choose must meet PCI-compliance standards (PCI-DSS) or use a trusted source to meet compliance standards. If you haven't chosen a payment gateway provider, Visa offers a list of PCI-DSS validated service providers, including payment gateways that can help you narrow down your search.

Multiple card and Currency Support: Another important feature of a payment gateway is the type of credit cards and type of currencies they can process. If you plan to offer items for sale outside of the United States and Canada, make sure the service provider offers support for multiple types of credit cards, other forms of online payment and different currencies as well.

Reoccurring Billing and Phone Order Support: In some cases where you offer support or subscription-based services you need to ensure that the payment gateway supports prepaid billing and automated recurring billing (ARB), and that it also offers management tools for reviewing a customer's account balance and history. Another important feature is the capability to log in and manually process customer transactions -- a phone order for example. This service is called a “virtual terminal,” and it is a service the payment gateway provider you choose should offer.

Fraud Detection and Prevention Service: A good payment gateway will offer automated tools to help fight credit card fraud, including the capability to identify suspicious transactions and to make sure the provider supports industry standards like the Address Verification System (AVS). This security feature ensures that the customer's credit card billing address matches that of the credit card issuer's information.

Ecommerce Brochure (PDF)