When you have an e-commerce site and plan on being able to accept online payments from your customers via credit card and debit card, you will need a merchant account and a payment gateway. The payment gateway is essentially a program that enables your site to accept and process the consumer's credit card information, and then transfers that information to the merchant account provider for acceptance. The merchant account is the company you use to process the payments. Sometimes the same company that acts as your merchant account provider can provide you with the payment gateway.

Payment Gateway integration

 For a seamless purchasing experience, you will need to integrate a payment gateway code into your existing or soon to be built e-commerce website. Before choosing any payment gateway, you should take some time to research the many types that are available to you, as some may be harder to work with than others, and of course price and features are always important factors as well.

Integrating your payment gateway code into your website

This process does not need to be overly difficult, and if you have chosen the right company to work with, it can be extremely easy. Many companies will even take care of the payment gateway code integration themselves or you can seek the services of another company or web professional to handle the process for you.

You might be wondering why you need a payment gateway, when shopping cart functions seem to be able to do the just fine. The payment gateway code actually integrates with the e-commerce site's shopping cart for improved functionality, security and authorization. This is a benefit to both the business and the consumer.

Why a shopping cart isn't enough

Shopping carts only offer so much in the way of security and function. Payment gateways run a whole range of functions, including secure authorization, refunds, secure checkout, saved customer information, encryption of customer information, and virtual terminals.

Shopping carts are also limited in terms of features that can be offered to your customers. Paymentgateway codes can be written to customize the look of your web pages during the purchase process, as well as provide your customers with more options for purchasing and payments.

Integrating the code yourself

If you aren't proficient in web programming, it isn't a good idea to try to integrate the payment gateway code yourself. You may make a simply error that affects security of the payments or the whole payment process overall. You also need to ensure that you have sufficient bandwidth and disk space to handle the payment gateway code, and that it is compatible with the same code language your website is written in.

Choosing an e-commerce web host or payment gateway provider for easy integration

As mentioned earlier, some payment gateway providers can perform the payment gateway code integration for you. This is usually a good option, because they are most familiar with the process and have ample experience performing such processes. They can also easily make changes if necessary and expand your functionality as your business grows.

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