A payment gateway is an extremely critical component of your e-commerce website. It allows the merchant to accept online payments done through credit/debit cards and net banking. A payment gateway processes the payment information that customer enters and sends it to the web server. This informational exchange completes the sale cycle and sends the information back to the merchant website.Due to its highly crucial role in your e-commerce transactions, a payment gateway needs to be secure and smooth. It is essential that the payment gateway which you use has both these elements else it will lead to wastage of money as well as harm your reputation.

A secure payment gateway will charge you a nominal fee on per transaction basis, and there are a lot of options available to choose from. After you have completed the selection process ad chosen the payment gateway you need to integrate it with your website. This article guides you through both the processes.

A) How To Choose A Payment Gateway

As explained above it is essential to choose the most appropriate payment gateway.  You can go through the suggestions mentioned below to help you make the right choice.

1) Ask your web host: Some web hosting service providers also include payment gateways in their package which can be implemented to the website. You can check the control panel of your website for payment gateway options available with it.

2) Look for options: If you are not satisfied with the choice coming with your web hosting package then there a lot of payment gateway options available in the market. The shopping cart software provides a list of payment gateways compatible with their system, so check there first. This will tell you which one’s are supportive with your shopping cart system.

3) Check for fees and terms & conditions: Most of the payment gateways charge a one-time fee which is for set up, a monthly package fee and then a small amount per transaction. You should compare rates for different channels to see which ones suit your needs.

4) Select between a direct and external gateway: Direct payment gateways are considered to be more transparent. They do all the processing on store page and keep the customer on your site only. On the other hand, an external payment gateway takes the customer to another website for payment processing. Direct gateways are often suggested for e-commerce websites as they appear to be more professional and secure rather than external gateways which might lead to user insecurities.

5) Sign-up for a merchant account: Once you have finalized the payment gateway, sign up for a merchant account. It will allow you to link your payment gateway with the platform.

B) How To Integrate The Payment Gateway Into Your Website

Now that you have selected and signed-up with the payment gateway of your choice, the next step is to integrate it with your e-commerce store. Follow the simple steps mentioned below to integrate a payment gateway without any hassles.

1) Begin with a web shop set-up: A third party software is used to set up a web shop for an e-commerce store. The web store software handles the order page and the coding for payment transfer information to the payment gateway. Creating a code for secure payment processing can be difficult. Thus, it will be good to leave it to an expert and get it done before integrating the payment gateway.

2) Add payment methods: The payment methods you want on your website might not be available with every merchant. But, in general, you need to enter the payment gateway information for all the methods that you wish to include on your website like Visa, MasterCard, etc. Once finalized, your payment gateway merchant will ultimately decide which payment cards to accept or decline.

3) Test before releasing: A typical payment gateway service provider will give you a sandbox account for your payment gateway service. A sandbox account allows the merchant to make fake transactions for the testing purpose. Make sure you test your payment gateway after integration at least two-three times using different payment methods before making it live. Check for the both security and speed. To check for speed you could try using it in different internet bandwidths to check it runs smoothly and in all internet speeds.

The payment gateway completes the transaction and provides the inflow of revenue into your business. Take all the time you need to choose and integrate the most appropriate payment gateway for your requirements. Good Luck!

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