How to Select a Secure Payment Gateway

Published: 18th May 2009
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Accept All Major Credit Cards and Electronic Checks for your Online Business, Retail Store and Mobile Sales Force using a Single Payment Gateway Service.

A real-time payment gateway service provides merchants with a secure method for accepting credit card and electronic check payments. A secure payment gateway service allows the merchant to capture customer credit card or checking account information then transmits that information over an encrypted SSL connection. Successful transactions will move the customer payment from the customer's credit card or checking account to the merchant's business bank account.

The top rated payment gateway services can be used to process retail, mobile and online customer sales. As a merchant you want to select a payment gateway service that can support your business as it grows. Therefore, you want to select a payment gateway service that can support multiple sales environments (e.g. retail, online and mobile) without requiring you to open multiple gateway accounts.

Since there are a multitude of real-time payment gateways to choose from I have provided a payment gateway checklist to help you select the right payment gateway service. Ultimately, you must select a payment gateway service that meets the unique requirements of your specific business.

Merchant checklist for choosing a payment gateway service (e.g. payment gateway features must be included at no additional cost):

• Real-time sales reporting

• Virtual Terminal/Batch Uploads for processing manual transactions

• Virtual POS for processing card present transactions

• Recurring Billing capabilities for processing membership and subscription services

• Integration Method for integrating payment processing into your back office software

• Online knowledgebase

• Online Help Desk

• "Live" Technical Support

• Load-balancing for processing multiple merchant accounts using a single payment gateway account. This will become an important feature as your business grows.

• Commercial and Open Source Shopping Cart Payment Modules

• Secure Online Merchant Interface

• Address Verification (AVS)

• Retail POS software support

• CRM Payment Modules (open source and commercial software support)

• PCI Compliant service

Optionally, you should be able to select the following add-on services:

• Electronic Checks processing

• Advanced Fraud Protection Tools

• PCI Compliant Data Storage and Retention for storing customer payment data

• Mobile Payment Software (e.g. iPhone)

Remember when you choose a payment gateway service you are selecting a service to process your customer payments which is the lifeline of your business. Merchants can register for a secure payment gateway service from an ISO, MSP or other reseller. Some payment gateways allow merchants to register for an account by calling the payment gateway service directly. Others require merchants to use a third party reseller. If the payment gateway uses third party resellers exclusively you should contact multiple resellers in order to get the best price. Merchants should also contact the payment gateway service directly for more information.

Recommended Service: Planetauthorize Payment Gateway can service merchants in over 30 countries including the United States, Canada and European Union Member Nations. Planetauthorize is a leading online payment processing engine servicing Internet, Retail, Mobile, and MOTO merchants. The Planetauthorize payment gateway service provides merchants with the ability to accept and process all major credit cards and electronic checks. For more information visit Planetauthorize.

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