Integrating a Payment Gateway With an E-commerce Platform or Website

Wondering how to integrate a website payment gateway with an e-commerce platform or website? Learn more about website payment gateways here.

Swiping or otherwise providing a card is a simple and quick way for both businesses and customers to complete a transaction. That means a better experience for customers and an efficient checkout process for the retailer or service provider.

However, speed and convenience aren’t the only needs when it comes to card-based transactions. Security is crucial for everything from keeping customers satisfied to avoiding reputational damage and regulatory impacts.

This is where website payment gateways and payment gateways for brick-and-mortar businesses come into play. Payment gateways enhance security by leveraging processes such as encryption and tokenization. That makes it harder for nefarious actors to illegally access and take advantage of payment information.

Payment gateways can also play a key role in facilitating payments. Sometimes, direct API integrations between a merchant’s point-of-sale system and payment processor aren’t available. In those cases, payment gateways securely bridge the gap, delivering payment info to the processor.

Swipesum can help your business find the best payment gateway for its needs. Our independent consultants aren’t connected to any individual payment gateway or other service provider. That means they focus on what’s best for your business.

Schedule your free consultation today!

Want to learn more about payment gateways for websites and physical retailers? Keep reading and learn about how payment gateways work, key considerations for integration, and more.

What is a Payment Gateway?

We’ve already reviewed why a payment gateway is valuable in the big picture. We also briefly mentioned how it plays into the larger payment processing workflow. But what is a payment gateway, exactly?

A payment gateway is a digital system that secures and transports sensitive payment information. They make it easier for brick-and-mortar and online stores to accept payments. Gateways are often seen as a foundational payment solution. 

These gateways enable communication between the merchant, payment processor, and banks involved in a transaction. They play a key role in the big picture of transaction processing, allowing businesses to receive payments. 

At the same time, online payment gateways for websites and brick-and-mortar stores protect sensitive information and payment details. By securing the data, they play a key role in compliance with relevant regulations and support safer overall business operations.

That communication is key for completing a transaction. It allows financial institutions to determine if the needed funds are available for a purchase. Crucially, the payment gateway also lets the merchant and customer know if the transaction is approved almost immediately.

It’s also important to understand the extent of a payment gateway’s reach. Payment gateways do not directly handle funds or process payments. You can consider gateways as the tool that brings customers, businesses, banks, and processors to the point where a transaction can be safely and accurately completed.

Now that we’ve gone into more detail about payment gateways, let’s take a closer look at how to integrate one with an e-commerce platform or website.

Integrating Payment Gateways for Secure and Reliable Online Transactions

A woman makes a purchase through an ecommerce website on her laptop computer.

Payment gateways are digital tools that can integrate with websites and e-commerce platforms to provide streamlined and secure purchasing. To realize that benefit, online businesses need to choose a payment gateway that integrates with their existing technology stack.

Compatibility is not always guaranteed when it comes to payment gateways and the many e-commerce platforms available to merchants. You can’t simply pick any payment gateway and expect it to integrate with your chosen platform. 

That said, you can find payment gateways that integrate with just about any viable e-commerce platform. It comes down to including compatibility in your search for a payment gateway.

Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need an integrated payment gateway. Hosted payment gateways redirect customers to a new page beyond your website to enter payment information. 

These are secure and work, but some merchants find the customer experience suffers. Redirects and unfamiliar pages can sour some potential customers on completing a purchase.

What does the process of integrating a payment gateway look like? The major steps include:

  • Selecting a payment gateway that has the right combination of security, features, types of payments accepted, manageable costs and fees, and ability to integrate with your existing tech.
  • Accessing the application programming interface (API) keys needed to bridge the gap between the gateway to your website. Depending on your existing tech, tools like plugins may be available to simplify this process. In other cases, the API key will need to be included in your website’s code by you or your developer.

Testing and activating the payment gateway are also key to going live. However, these are relatively simple processes that are required when adding many kinds of functionality to an e-commerce website.

Finding the Right Payment Gateway for Your Business

Do you want to add a payment gateway to your website? Remember that not all payment gateways will work with your e-commerce tech stack. At the same time, you have plenty of options for finding one that does.

As a merchant, your bank (called the acquiring bank in payment processing) likely offers options for payment gateways. You can also source payment gateways from payment service providers who are independent of your bank.

In general, finding the right payment gateway is a balancing act. 

You don’t want to be exposed to excessive transaction fees or other costs, so pricing is important. So is security — a payment gateway is only effective when it’s consistently secure. 

Integration capabilities are foundational as well. The best payment gateway in every other category isn’t very useful when it can’t integrate with your existing tools.

Business owners can and do source their own payment gateways by reviewing and comparing the many potential options available. Feeling overwhelmed by this potentially involved and complex process? Swipesum can help.

Our independent payments consultants have the knowledge and experience needed to help you efficiently find the best payment gateway for your unique situation. They’ll make targeted recommendations that take your needs and requirements into account. That means more time to invest in the core needs of your business.

Count on Swipesum for your website payment gateways!

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Michael Seaman

Michael Seaman

Michael is the co-founder and CEO of Swipesum. A veteran of the payments industry, Michael and his brother Stephen have led Swipesum since its inception in 2016. In his free time, Michael enjoyes time with his three children.

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