The Value of A Payment Gateway

By Shane Spears, Director, Global Payment Solutions June 05, 2015


Some merchants view payment gateways as yet another point of friction in an already complicated payments process. On the contrary, gateways play a unique role in the payment lifecycle and possess tremendous power to deliver value added features to merchants.

On the contrary, gateways play a unique role in the payment lifecycle and possess tremendous power to deliver value added features to merchants. There are three primary advantages to using a gateway:

  • Reduced PCI compliance scope and potential liability in case of a data breach.
  • Rapid delivery of new features without requiring significant development on the part of the merchant.
  • Increased leverage in the negotiating process with processors.

Perhaps the biggest value created by a gateway is the reduction in liability. In particular, PCI compliance becomes less of an issue as much of the payments process is now out of scope for the merchant and in the hands of the gateway provider. The Accertify Payment Gateway is certified PCI compliant at Level 1, a level of certification that many merchants could achieve only by diverting investment from their core businesses.

In the traditional payments world, if merchants want to take advantage of value-added features, such as a loyalty offering, they would have to do both the development for their internal systems and integration to the processor. With a payment gateway, value-added features are integrated once into the gateway (managed by the gateway provider, not the merchant). Thus, merchants already on the gateway can access the functionality without having to do significant development.

The final advantage of a payment gateway is the ability for merchants to have more power in the relationship with their processors. When using a gateway, merchants may switch processors (or use multiple processors) simply by providing notification of which processor or processors they want to use. There is no development required by the merchant, merchants are not locked in to a particular processor due to the extensive integration efforts, and merchants no longer have to perform any updates as required by the networks (Visa/MC/Amex) as part of their semi-annual updates.

The Accertify Payment Gateway offers the unique advantage of having direct connectivity into American Express. Merchants using our gateway do not pay a processor fee for their American Express transactions, since these do not route through a processor. The savings on these transactions alone could be significant.

In summary, by using a payment gateway merchants can actually reduce their compliance and processing costs, increase revenues by offering valuable features to their customers, and improve their overall payments processing experience.

1 Payment gateways provide the ability to securely route electronic payment transactions to major processors.

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About the Author

Shane is the Director of Global Payment Solutions at Accertify. When he's not chasing bears off his Montana property, he manages the company’s global payment gateway.