Today, many consumers already admit that they are starting to forget what “real” paper money looks like. Indeed, the mass distribution and implementation of information technology in our time allow us to pay for most of the goods and services in electronic form when you just enter your bank card number or use an account in one or another payment system.
Therefore, one of the most common payment methods today is the so-called payment gateway. These are hardware and software systems that allow you to automate the process of accepting payments, primarily on the Internet. This built-in website page for sellers is provided by various payment system operators.
Speaking directly about online stores, the process of payment using a payment gateway is usually divided into several stages:
- Payment form: HTML page on the seller’s website containing a number of necessary parameters – seller’s identifier, amount, any comment, etc. After it, the buyer is usually redirected directly to the payment gateway.
- Confirmation page: one or more forms on the payment system operator’s website, on which the final data on the amount of his purchase is communicated to the buyer. Here you can confirm the transaction (choose a payment method, specify payment details, log in to the payment system, etc.), refuse it, or select any additional options. After accepting all the conditions and confirming the payment, the buyer is redirected back to the seller’s website.
- Payment status page: a page on the seller’s website to which the buyer is redirected in case of successful or unsuccessful completion of the payment process. It usually contains messages like “Wait, your payment is being processed.”
- Payment completion page: a page on the seller’s website, called by the payment gateway bot, regardless of the buyer’s actions. Here, data on the past payment transaction is received.
In other words, despite the straightforwardness of the process for the buyer, in reality, personal payment data is not transmitted to each individual seller, but only directly to the payment system, which allows increasing the security of the transaction for the end-user.
In addition, payment gateways offer several obvious benefits for merchants. For example, a payment system operator (a bank or other financial institution) can expand the functionality of the gateway without any action on the part of merchants, which avoids additional costs for equipment, software development, and ensuring the security of customer data.
Another common and popular type of payment gateway is acquiring: a method of accepting bank cards as a means of payment for goods, work, services, etc. In this case, the transaction is carried out by an authorized acquiring bank through imprinters or POS-terminals (Point of Sale, “payment point”) installed in the trading organization (or mPOS-terminals in the case of mobile acquiring).
Simply put, this, for example, is already a familiar method of paying for purchases in stores using a credit card or smartphone. In Russia, most of these systems are supported by partner banks Visa and MasterCard, which ensures the universality of the relevant payment methods (payments can be processed by any bank with which the seller has entered into an agreement, regardless of the type of card).
Acquiring machines also include ATMs for issuing cash to bank cardholders and various self-service devices.
Cryptocurrency Payment Gateways
However, until recently, all of the above applies only to traditional (fiat) payments. The rapid development and spread of cryptocurrencies have revealed one of their main shortcomings today – digital assets, unfortunately, do not yet compete with traditional ones in terms of consumer “friendliness”.
Indeed, today it is difficult for an individual user to switch to exclusively cryptocurrency settlements – it is likely that in many online stores this payment method is simply not supported, not to mention retail outlets. In the best case, it is necessary to combine cryptocurrencies and fiat.
That is why many companies are now actively developing cryptocurrency payment gateway systems. In fact, they offer the same functionality as traditional ones – a convenient user interface for paying for goods and services, but with the help of digital assets.