A payment gateway is a service that connects your online store with your merchant account provider. This Ecommerce solutions service reads the information from the order forms and translates that information for the merchant account. The payment gateway also verifies that the customer’s credit card account has the necessary credit available for the purchase.
You can obtain a payment gateway separately from your merchant account; however you may find it simpler to choose a merchant account provider that also offers a payment gateway.
If your customers will be submitting their credit card information to you online they will want to know that this information is safe. If they are not comfortable with the security your site offers, they will probably not buy products from you.
The best way to alleviate your customers’ concerns is to secure your site using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). When a site is secured with SSL—the standard form of encryption currently used on the Web—visitors will see a special symbol in their browser window that indicates the site is secure. Visitors can also tell that a page is secured by looking at the URL. A secure page’s URL begins with the letters “HTTPS” instead of the standard “HTTP.”