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Payment gateways explained

2 March - 4 min read

A payment gateway is the technology which securely facilitates the transfer of information during the payment process between your business and your customer. It is used to authorise payments which ensures payments are accurate and all of the necessary information is exchanged correctly to successfully process the order.

Whether you’re a product or service-based business, creating a great experience for your customers is critical. Accepting digital payments is a key part of attracting and retaining customers, which ultimately leads to growth.

Diagram showing the process of how a payment gateway works
How a Payment Gateway works

What are the fees involved?

There is a range of payment gateway providers that allow businesses to accept payments, and the fees depend on the provider. The typical charges you can expect include:

  • A set up fee
  • Annual fees
  • Transaction fees

The transaction fees are ongoing and typically charged as a percentage of the total transaction value, along with a small fee for card payments. Make sure you check what fees different payment gateway providers charge before you choose one.

How can you accept digital payments

There are three key components that you need to accept digital payments:

  • A payment processor – the company that processes credit card payments between the customer’s credit card to your bank account and the customer’s bank account.
  • Merchant account – A bank account that allows businesses to make and accept a range of payments, including credit card and other electronic payments.
  • Payment gateway – The ‘bridge’ that connects a payment processor, merchant account and credit card companies.

A business needs all three of the above components to accept digital payments.

What’s the difference between a payment gateway and a merchant account?

A merchant account is the business bank account specifically designated for making and accepting payments. The payment gateway facilitates payment to this account. You won’t be able to accept digital payments without a payment gateway. With an integration solution, you have access to a range of backend infrastructure in one place which will allow you to manage everything on a single platform while syncing with other systems such as your accounting software.

How to choose the best payment gateway for your business

Each provider has different features, and you’ll need to decide what’s important to you in a payment gateway provider. Fees will be an important part of your decision-making process, particularly for businesses that process a large volume of transactions. Choosing a provider that offers an integrated solution can also be an efficient way of improving how you sell, including managing other parts of your business, such as stock levels and your suppliers.

Accept payments with Spenda

We offer an integrated solution for businesses that want to accept payments with ease. Enjoy the efficiency of setting up an e-commerce store, managing stock levels and accepting digital payments all from one intuitive and safe platform. With our competitive rates, along with a range of other tools to power your business, Spenda can improve the way you sell and accept payments.

Apply for B2B payments or get in touch and learn more.

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