Elite Payment Gateway Services

We strive to provide secure, affordable, and compatible payment gateway services for all business types.

  • Reliable processing
  • Countless integrations available
  • Fast processing speeds
  • Easy setup
  • PCI compliant
  • Integratable with the latest virtual shopping carts

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A payment gateway is an essential tool used to securely accept credit card, debit card, and online payments. It’s the software responsible for protecting the sensitive financial data transferred between financial institutions during payment processing.

While card-present transactions at brick-and-mortar locations may utilize their point-of-sale system to secure sensitive data, eCommerce sales require a payment gateway to do so. And with eCommerce sales expected to make up 20.4 percent of worldwide sales in 2022, you’ll eliminate a large portion of the consumer market if you don’t offer your goods and/or services for purchase online. Additionally, payment gateways secure the financial data associated with card-not-present transactions, including purchases made by mail, phone, email, or any other method requiring the merchant to key in the customer’s payment information.

In today’s marketplace, your business needs a payment gateway in order to be competitive. At PaymentCloud, we pride ourselves on connecting our clientele to the payment gateway provider that best fits their needs, tailoring their gateways to maximize security against fraud, and advocating for them to receive cost-effective rates within their business’s budget.

Security is our First Priority

Security is our First Priority

Every one of our products is PCI compliant and tested to the highest security measures to protect you and your business without worry.

Omni-Compatible Payment Gateways

Omni-Compatible Payment Gateways

What’s the use of a payment gateway if you can’t use it? This is why we have ensured that our online payment gateways can connect with all products you use.

Affordable Solutions is our Cornerstone

Affordable Solutions is our Cornerstone

We are the leaders in low-cost processing that fits every budget. Take advantage of our free rate review to see what you could be saving each month.

Finding a Payment Gateway Provider

Acquiring an online payment gateway is an integral part of setting your business up for success. The ability to accept payments online is a necessity for those looking to break into the world of eCommerce.

With hundreds of integration possibilities, PaymentCloud is one of the best providers of payment gateways. With our gateways you can seamlessly hook up to your third-party shopping cart, allowing you to personalize your branding, as well as customize required fields.


Simple Payment Gateway Integrations

Utilize our expertise with APIs and integrations to make the integration process as easy as possible. We utilize the functionality of Authorize.net, NMI , USAePay, and many more providers so that you have the best options to fit your business.

automated integrations


Cybersource allows you the ability to accept your customers payments worldwide, supporting the most popular payment methods. Easy integration with PaymentCloud gives you all the tools you need, and allows you to fully manage your payment solutions from one place.

Jump to a Section

  • How Does a Payment Gateway Work?
  • Why You Probably Need a Payment Gateway
  • How Much Does a Payment Gateway Cost?
  • Are Payment Gateways Secure?
  • Payment Gateway vs Payment Processor vs Merchant Account
  • What to Consider When Choosing a Payment Gateway
  • Payment Gateway FAQs
  • How to Get an Online Payment Gateway

How Does a Payment Gateway Work?

Date Updated:

Now that you know what payment gateways are, below outlines how payment gateways work during payment processing.

The Role of Payment Gateways in Payment Processing

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  1. To pay for a purchase, a customer either enters their credit card information online, utilizes an in-store card reader, or a merchant enters the customer’s credit card information on a virtual terminal.

    Secure High-Risk Credit Card Processing Today
  2. The payment gateway captures the cardholder information, encrypts it, and transmits it to the payment processor.
  3. The payment processor communicates the transaction information to the card-issuing bank, which either approves or declines the transaction.
  4. The payment processor notifies the payment gateway of the authorization or decline.
  5. The payment gateway communicates the authorization or decline to the originator of the transaction. In the event of an authorization, the amount is debited from the customer’s account and credited to the business’s merchant account. In the event of a decline, another payment method may be requested.

Why You Probably Need a Payment Gateway

eCommerce transactions are predicted to account for nearly a quarter of all transactions by 2025. Without a payment gateway, you cannot accept online payments, thus turning away a large (and growing) portion of the consumer market.

In addition to facilitating online transactions, payment gateways supply you with a virtual terminal through which you can input credit card information received from customers via phone, email, mail order, or other appropriate means. And if your in-store card reader is unable to read your customer’s card, you can troubleshoot by keying their card data into your virtual terminal.

 You Probably Need a Payment Gateway

By making sure that your online payment gateway is seamless, you actually can raise your retention rates and reduce cart abandonment.

To be a competitive business in 2022, you must accept credit card payments and online payments. And to offer these payment methods through a secure, reliable mechanism, you need a payment gateway.

Get Your Secure Payment Gateway Today

Our application and approval process makes it easy to get set up with a payment gateway and start accepting online payments.

How Much Does a Payment Gateway Cost?

The cost of payment gateway services varies from provider to provider. However, there is usually a flat monthly fee and a small fee for each transaction. Additionally, a provider may charge various fees on a monthly or annual basis, such as a membership fee or batch processing fee.

Note : When searching for a payment gateway provider, it’s important to analyze each provider’s fee structure. When evaluating fee structures, be sure to inquire about what services you’re receiving for each fee.

Are Payment Gateways Secure?

Because payment gateways are responsible for safeguarding sensitive consumer information, they typically employ several security measures before transferring data to the payment processor. Below details the security protocols most frequently utilized by payment gateways.

PCI DSS compliant gateways

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of security standards that entities associated with payment processing must meet. This includes payment gateways. Before partnering with a provider, do your due diligence by confirming that they’re PCI compliant. You might also consider inquiring about how they, as your provider, can help your business achieve and maintain PCI compliance.

Data Encryption

One of the most basic cyber security methods, data encryption is the practice of converting data from readable plaintext into encoded ciphertext. This encoded text can only be decrypted by a user with the encryption key. Because the data is unreadable to parties without the encryption key, this security measure deters malicious actors from stealing cardholder information.


Tokenization replaces sensitive data with non-sensitive tokens. The sensitive data is stored and only accessible through a tokenized mapping system. This means the original data is completely inaccessible without the tokenized system’s separately stored data. As a result, a security breach of tokenized data does not compromise sensitive data.

Secure Socket Layer (SSL)

Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protects the connections between web servers and web browsers, as the internet itself is an insecure network. Providing privacy to internet communications, SSL encrypts the link between servers and browsers ensuring the data passed between them remains secure.

Originally introduced by Netscape in 1995 as a method to secure online transactions between businesses and consumers, SSL evolved into Transport Layer Security (TLS). If your payment gateway indicates that they utilize TLS, this provides the same protective services as SSL.

Note : Websites utilizing SSL/TLS security have“HTTPS” in their URL instead of “HTTP.”

Secure Electronic Transaction (SET)

Secure Electronic Transaction (SET) is a protocol that ensures the protection of sensitive cardholder information during transmission via electronic portals online. By utilizing encryption and hashing practices, SET prevents hackers and other malicious actors, as well as merchants themselves, from accessing your customers’ cardholder data.

Payment Gateway vs Payment Processor vs Merchant Account

While payment gateways, payment processors, and merchant accounts are three essential tools in payment processing, each performs a very different function. Before detailing their different functions, we’ll outline the four key players of each transaction:

  • Merchant: The owner of the business (you) being paid for their goods or services.
  • Customer: The person paying to acquire the merchant’s goods or services.
  • Issuing Bank: The financial institution hosting the customer’s funds.
  • Acquiring Bank: The financial institution hosting the business’s merchant account.

When your customer uses an in-store card reader or inputs their information online, your payment gateway authenticates, encrypts, and transmits the transaction details to your payment processor. Your payment processor then communicates these details to the issuing bank and acquiring bank.

The issuing bank will either approve or deny the transaction. Your processor communicates the authorization or decline to your gateway, which then communicates this to you, the merchant. This all happens in seconds. Afterward, the processor delivers the transaction funds to your merchant account, where your funds are held until they are accessible to you.

Generally, these funds are accessible in one to two business days, at which point they’re transferred to your business bank account.

While merchant accounts and payment gateways are quite obviously different from one another, it’s a bit easier to confuse payment processors and payment gateways, as their functions are so closely interlinked. Just remember that a gateway’s main responsibility is securing transaction data, while a processor’s main responsibility is communicating that data to the associated parties and executing the transaction accordingly.

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What to Consider When Choosing a Payment Gateway

With so many payment gateway providers, how do you find the perfect payment gateway for your business? Beyond comparing rates and fees, below are a few elements you should consider while shopping for a payment gateway provider:

Integration compatibility

When choosing the best payment gateway for your business, compatibility is a crucial factor. Specifically, it’s important to confirm your payment gateway is compatible with the payment processor you’re currently using and/or plan to use. Additionally, some payment gateways can seamlessly integrate with your accounting software to streamline your bookkeeping. However, you must confirm not only that your payment gateway provider offers this integration, but also that it’s compatible with the accounting software you use.

Your best bet is partnering with a gateway with a generous amount of compatible integrations. This allows you to change your payment processor, accounting software, or another integrated application without changing your payment gateway provider.

Multi-currency conversion capabilities

Multi-currency conversion is a feature that displays the prices of the goods and/or services on your eCommerce store as the local currency of your customers. If growing a global clientele is one of your goals, confirm that your gateway has multi-currency conversion capabilities.

Multiple MID capabilities

A merchant identification number (MID) is a unique identifier given to merchants by their merchant account acquirer. Most businesses only require one MID, but a business may require multiple MIDs if it has differing revenue streams. (For example: A hotel with a bar in its lobby may have a MID for its hotel and a MID for its bar.) If your business has more than one MID, or may require more than one in the future, confirm that your payment gateway has multiple MID capabilities.

Built-in virtual terminal

If you’d like the option of keying in your customer’s payment information yourself, you should confirm that your payment gateway provider will supply you with a built-in virtual terminal. With this feature, a merchant may access their virtual terminal, input their customer’s credit card, debit card, or checking account information, then click “process” to complete the transaction. Not only is this essential for orders made by email, phone, or mail order, but it also allows you to troubleshoot if your card reader cannot read your customer’s card.

Support multiple payment types

Not every payment gateway supports every payment method. It’s imperative that you confirm your payment gateway supports the payment methods your customers most often utilize. In addition to all major credit and debit cards, keep in mind payment methods such as internationally-issued cards, eWallets, cryptocurrencies, eChecks, ACH payments, and various other alternative payment options.

QR code links

Speaking of alternative payment methods, the utilization of QR codes as a payment method has been gaining popularity in recent years. In this case, your customer scans a QR code, which takes them to a checkout page. You can create QR codes for payments by partnering with a payment company offering this specific service. However, in order to accept QR payments, your payment gateway must support QR code applications. And while this is still a niche payment method, it’s growing in popularity, so ensuring your provider has the ability to support QR payments is recommended.

Open APIs

Application programming interface (API) is a connection between computers or computer programs that allows them to communicate with each other. APIs have been implemented to achieve “open banking,” a system in which third parties, like payment gateways, may access necessary information from financial institutions.

Meanwhile, open APIs refer to proprietary API software made accessible to developers for programmatic purposes. Regarding your payment gateway, open APIs allow your servicer to tailor your gateway to meet the exact needs of your particular business.

Automatic Card Update

An automatic card update feature automatically updates any credit card information your business has on file. These updates may include new expiration dates and/or new card numbers. If your business operations include recurring billing, this is an especially desirable feature that you should confirm your provider offers.

Level II & III Processing Support

Merchants interested in lowering their credit card processing fees may implement Level II and Level III processing. By default, your customer-to-business (C2B) transactions process by way of Level I. However, Level II and III are available for business-to-business (B2B) and government-to-business (G2B) transactions. These levels of processing require more information. Thus, they are considered more secure and, in turn, incur lower fees. However, your payment gateway must support Level II and Level III processing in order to execute these transactions.

Advanced Fraud Tools

Your payment gateway can be a vital tool in preventing eCommerce fraud and credit card fraud. To protect your transactions against fraud, your provider may offer the below features:

  • Address Verification Service (AVS)
  • Card Verification Value (CVV) Verification
  • 3-D Secure Authentication
  • Device identification
  • Lockout mechanisms
  • Transaction risk scoring
  • Geographic limitations
  • Ticket and/or transaction limitations

By working with an experienced merchant service provider, you can adjust your payment gateway to achieve the highest level of protection necessary for your business without losing legitimate customers.

Note : 3-D Secure Authentication may also be referred to as Verified by Visa or Mastercard SecureCode. By implementing these services, your business may also be subject to lower interchange fees.

Payment Gateway FAQs

A payment gateway is a technology that securely communicates sensitive payment information to your payment processor. Meanwhile, a virtual terminal essentially turns a device into a merchant-facing credit card terminal through which you can manually enter your customer’s cardholder information for payment processing. Once entered, your payment gateway then secures the sensitive cardholder data and communicates that information to the payment processor.

Most providers supply their clientele with a virtual terminal when they obtain a payment gateway, but these are two different mechanisms that complete different functions.

The term “white label payment gateway” refers to a provider whose gateway may be customized with your own business name and outfitted to coalesce with your brand. Essentially, it veils the fact that a third-party provider is involved in your business transaction, creating a customer experience totally and completely associated with your business.

As a payment service provider, PayPal offers both a gateway and processor. However—and this is a big however—it does not offer individual gateways or processors to merchants. When using PayPal, your transactions are funneled through an aggregate gateway, processor, and merchant account. These channels belong to PayPal and you pay to access their channel. That said, these channels cannot be customized to meet the exact needs of your business⁠. Additionally, PayPal may freeze or terminate your services if you violate their terms of service, which typically impose more limitations than traditional gateway providers.

As a solution, PayPal’s services may be set up quickly and are easy to use, but they are neither customizable nor completely reliable.

How to Get an Online Payment Gateway

Payment gateways are a vital tool in the digital economy. And with eCommerce sales steadily rising and card payments accounting for a majority of transactions, the digital economy is quickly becoming the economy. To be competitive, as well as protected, you need a payment gateway. At PaymentCloud, we’re experienced at connecting merchants with the gateway providers that best fit their business needs, customizing gateways to the exact specifications requested by merchants, and commanding the lowest possible rates for your gateway services.

If you’re searching for the best payment gateway provider for your business, contact us today and let us do the work for you!

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Apply in as little as 5 minutes and you will receive a call from one of our advisors within 24 hours to get you set up with a payment gateway.

Why Merchants Choose PaymentCloud

At PaymentCloud, we're committed to keeping payment gateway services affordable for our clients. With a proud average of 4.8 stars across all review sites, PaymentCloud is excelling in solutions and support. But don’t take our word for it! Here’s what our merchants have to say: