January 2022

The global eCommerce industry has seen tremendous growth in the past decade. It is providing customers ease of access, convenience, better alternatives, a simple checkout process, and most importantly a secure payment gateway. Now people can buy and pay through the eCommerce platform without having to step out of the comfort of their homes or dealing with paper money. 

Due to this ease, customers now prefer online shopping over in-person. Moreover, the business world is very well familiar with the great potential of online platforms for sales. Hence companies are moving towards eCommerce for higher customer satisfaction and the best experience. 

Speaking of, the checkout process is considered the most important step in the entire sales funnel. Because this is where conversions and payments happen – the primary goal of your business. At the checkout stage, potential customers decide whether they would like to visit your online store again or not. Therefore, offering simple yet secure payment gateway integration is the right way to go about it. 

What is a Payment Gateway?

A payment gateway is a form of technology that collects and transfers a customer’s payment information to the acquiring bank and later notifies the customer about approval or denial of their payment. 

Additionally, it verifies the authenticity of the customer’s payment details, and availability of funds which in return allows the merchant to receive payments for a product or service. Apart from that, a payment gateway also provides the following: 

    • The temporary storage of payment information until the acquirer verifies the information 
    • It stores the information in an encrypted form for maximum security
    • Payment gateways provide reconciliation reports for identifying any discrepancy
    • Virtual digital terminal capability eliminates the need for a traditional credit card terminal
    • Modern payment gateways offer strong API and integration capabilities with eCommerce platforms

In this blog, I will discuss how you can make your online store’s payment gateways more secure. So let’s dig in. 

Popular Types of Payment Gateways

Before anything else you should know about the 2 different types of payment gateways there is : 

Integrated or Direct Payment Gateway

In this type of online payment method, the customer need not leave the platform (website). Because the customers can directly pay through the platform itself. After the customer has entered the payment data, it is then processed through an API.

A direct payment gateway is considered user-friendly leading to a great user experience. Moreover, you can tweak the checkout process to suit your business and branding needs. Additionally, an integrated payment gateway is the best option for payment through mobile websites. 

Hosted or External Payment Gateway

Even though the payment method is integrated with your platform but after clicking on payment options, it takes users to the payment gateway provider for example if you have decided to offer payment through PayPal or Stripe, once the user clicks on the option for making payment, the user is automatically redirected to PayPal or stripe for payment. Or it uses a pop-up window also known as iframe elements on your website where users can input their details.

Hosted payment methods are simple and require less effort or customization to integrate, unlike integrated payment gateway. Additionally, the payment gateway provider takes complete responsibility not just for the security but also for the compliance of their platform. 

How Does Online Payment Work?

Step 1: Customers initiate a payment through the website

Step 2: Encrypted payment details are sent through a payment gateway to the payment processor

Step 3: Transaction is either approved or denied. In case of approval, the transaction is authorized by the processor.

Step 4: Payment gateway receives the approval response

Step 5: The final payment is settled, added to the cardholder’s statement and the order is processed for delivery

Digital payments are trending. I don’t remember the last time I paid through cash when buying stuff online. Event studies by Statista show a rapid increase and growth in online transactions. Digital payments are projected to reach an estimated amount of US$6,682,332m in 2021 and US$10,517,932m by the year 2025 – with China leading the race of US$2,915,336m in 2021 alone. Additionally, digital commerce is the largest market segment with a projected transaction value of US$4,195,631m in 2021. 

How To Make The Payment Gateway Secure And Protected?

SSL Certificate for Secure Connections

eCommerce websites need to have an SSL certificate to keep sensitive user data protected at all times. SSL certificates not only verifies the ownership of the website but also prevent attacks from happening and attackers from creating a fake duplicate version of the site to play with users.

It is crucial to keep user data confidential if the site is asking users to input their personal and payment details. SSL certificates keep all the interactions private and ensure the authenticity and safety of the site to share details.

Additionally, SSL requires an HTTPS web address because HTTPS proves that the traffic and data are encrypted. HTTPS is an advanced security protocol, unlike HTTP. HTTP sites are without the SSL certificate and are thus not trustworthy. 

PCI DSS Certificate 

PCI DSS stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards. As the name suggests, PCI DSS provides security standards for merchants processing the payments that should follow in order to make the transactions more secure.

The major purpose of complying with PCI DSS is to limit the risk of credit/ debit card fraud. PCI certificate is mandatory for all the eCommerce merchants who accept payments through debit and credit cards for this online store.

Additionally, compliance with this security standard assures customers that their data is secured and are not at any risk of financial risk such as identity theft. 

Privacy Policy 

The privacy policy is a legal document that details how the customer’s information on the website will be used. It makes eCommerce stores more transparent and customers more responsible.

eCommerce businesses should strongly consider having a clear privacy policy on their websites to ensure customer’s privacy. This not only helps improve your business but ultimately improves the way you serve your customers.

Tips to Choose the Best Payment Gateway

    • Before choosing a payment gateway you should take into account the needs of your target audience and their preferences. For example, some may prefer PayPal while others would like to pay through credit and debit cards. Therefore, make sure to have multiple options to choose from. 
    • Another important thing to consider is the geographical location – because if you are catering to a global audience. Your payment gateways should be easily accessible by everyone from anywhere without any geographical limitations, for example; some countries do not allow payments through PayPal. Thus you should keep it in mind when choosing a payment gateway.
    • Choose the method that seems more secure. Make sure to look for PCI DSS and GDPR compliance.
    • If your company is running on a budget, explore all the different options to choose the one that fits well. But the pro tip is to make sure that there are no hidden costs or limitations.
    • Low performance and high downtime may make you lose your potential customers on checkout, therefore, reliability if your payment gateway is the key.

Choosing a secure payment gateway for your e-commerce website can be very challenging yet is the most important step. Considering there are so many alternatives available in the market, finding an ideal provider can be very time-consuming.

If you are looking for assistance in seamless and secure payment gateway integration, our expert team of eCommerce website developers is just an email away. 


Fahad Ali, Author

Fahad is PM at ARFASOFTECH but has a knack for writing. He enjoys writing about the latest technologies and evolving trends. Most of his writings revolve around trending technologies and their integration into operations.

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