Payment gateways are very important when it comes to the system of online payments. If you end up using the wrong kind of gateway when you are dealing with your customers, it may have an adverse impact on the entire process. You must select a payment gateway according to the type of business you are dealing with and what exactly your business may require at that moment. It is very essential for you to learn the important role that the payment providers play and as a trader, you must know all about it.
This world is working on the basis of networks that are created due to the connections between people. These connections are a result of middlemen being involved. People don’t realize how indispensable this middleman system is. Many middlemen have said that in this world, the ones who actually encourage and become a source of these connections are the real players. The middlemen increase the value of a network by connecting the people that are a part of it. This article will mainly focus on one middleman that aids connections in the online payment industry. When a person is doing an online transaction, he or she will demand reliability and dependability. Let’s focus on what your role, as a trader, is in this system.
The basics of a payment network
In simple words, what happens in an online banking system is that the money is sent by the buyer from his or her account to the seller’s account through the online payment system. The online system can be divided into three parts:
The almost middlemen:
They are the ones that are going to link you (the seller) and the payment gateway with each other. This is done through API. They will pop in at different points of the billing process, like when notifications regarding payment is sent, to manage the subscriptions, and it also will manage your checkout.
They are the ones we were actually calling the middlemen of the online payment system. They are also the ones that actually handle your trader account. This is an account that every trader needs to keep to be able to manage the payments that are specifically related to business.
They are a mixture of both mentioned above. They will make billing even easier for you now. The only drawback of going with this option is that you will not have the flexibility of choosing your own payment gateway or even your choice of trader account.
What does a payment gateway do?
The role of a middleman can be explained very well by the following roles that the middleman has. Let’s list the roles down for you now:
A payment gateway is basically the middleman who is trying to bridge the gap between the buyer and the seller. This is just like Uber, which connects the person in need of a taxi to a person who is in need of a passenger. The payment gateway provider will exactly be in the middle of the process, reducing the distance between your bank, the seller’s bank, and the bank that is the issuer. No matter what the physical distance is, the payment gateway provider will do its work.
As the middleman of the whole process, the payment gateway provider has to maintain quality. It has to do so to be able to keep a good reputation as these things work on word of mouth basis mainly. The payment gateway provider makes sure that whatever details are provided are authentic and are worth sending forward as the guarantee is to be provided by them. To prevent any activities that may even be near-fraudulent, specific tools are used to screen out customers.
A risk bearer:
This is one of the most important roles that the payment gateway providers play. They provide you with security. They keep all the secret information secure that may include your credit card pin or other confidential information as well. They also have to keep up with some standards that ensure that the customer remains safe.
It plays a major role in keeping the two parties at a safe distance from each other. This is done so that the parties can indulge in a healthy interaction. It is easier to send the details through a gateway provider rather than controlling all the information flow by yourself.
There are three main activities that a payment gateway provider indulges in:
It is a validation procedure through which the customer’s information is validated and then a thumbs up is given for the process to continue smoothly.
The second important action that the payment gateway provider performs is that it clears the money transfer. It makes sure that the money has been transferred from the bank account of the customer to that of the trader.
Another essential action that the middleman performs is that it records all the transactions that take place and inform the parties that are involved in the process.
The procedure in detail
For the process to take place, there are some participants that are to be involved. Here are the people that are involved in a conventional:
He or she is the person who decides to pay for the product or is forced to! Anyway, they are willing to pay the money to get their hands on the product.
This is the person or company that wants to sell the product at the price that is in the tag.
This is the platform that the trader is using to sell his or her products and this is where the customer interacts with the company also.
Trader’s bank account:
The whole process is taking place to get money into the bank account of the trader in the end!
This is the bank that has opened the trader’s bank account and it processes card payments for the trader as well.
It is the bank that takes the payment from the customer and provides the payment to the acquirer. All of this is done on behalf of the customer.
Customer’s bank account:
This bank comes into the process when the payment is not through the card. It makes the payment for the customer in that case.
The middleman between the trader, the customer, and the banks that are involved in the online transaction process.
As we have now recognized the characters that play their parts in the process of an online transaction, let’s move on to the sequence of events:
- After the customer has selected the product that he or she wants to buy, they will select the buy button in the online website that they have opened on their browser.
- The browser that the customer is using will encrypt the data of the transaction. This is done for safety purposes and after this, the data is sent to the browser of the online server.
- The server of the online website receives the data and the customer’s IP address. After this verification takes place, which involves verification of the trader, the customer, and the payment gateway provider as well.
- The payment gateway then comes into action. It will ensure that the online website is authentic and reliable. After this, it will allow the customers to see what payment methods are available to them.
- Once the method of payment has been selected, the payment gateway will forward the details of the customer to the acquiring bank, if it is a card payment, or the trader’s bank, if the method of payment is not through the card.
- What the acquiring bank does is it will forward the payment to the issuer bank, if it is a card payment, or to the bank of the customer, in case the payment is through any other method.
- The issuer bank will approve the transaction by having a look at the customer’s card’s limitations. The message will be delivered to the payment gateway through the acquirer.
- The last step involves the deliverance of the message to the customer and the trader. This one is called the “Auth.”
And guess what?
The whole process will take almost 2-3 seconds to be successful. But wait, there is one final step left! In the case of payments that are made through the card, the issuer bank has to clear the transaction with the acquirer bank. This step will take some days in case there are physical goods involved in the transaction. Normally, the Auths that don’t have any issue and have been approved are submitted to the acquirer bank by the trader. The acquirer bank will then the issuer bank to settle the funds that are outstanding. After the acquirer receives the funds, it will transfer them to the trader’s account. This period may be called the settlement period and it will take up to 4 business days to complete the process.