For many businesses online payment processing is vital. It should be helpful to not only your business, but your customers as well. It allows for instant payments and makes it really simple and safer for your customers. Even if you have a small business, it can go global with an e-commerce platform on your website. In the latest article from Relativity, the business technology specialists based in Uckfield, East Sussex, we look at what online payment processing is, the three pieces of software involved and how it can help your business.

What is online payment processing?

OK, simple really, an online process to take payments for any goods or services that you are supplying. It’s how your business will complete debit and credit card transactions when engaging in e-commerce and online business activity. However, it needs three pieces of software to ensure the payments are completely seamlessly for your customers.

  • Payment processor – manages the card transaction process
  • Payment gateway – the point-of-sale device
  • Merchant account – specific bank account to accept online payments

Payment processor

The transaction is managed by transmitting information from your customer’s card, debit or credit to your bank and the customer’s bank. The processor will check the card limit, validity and security and if all are in order the payment will go through.

Payment gateway

As a point-of-sale device, it connects your website and the payment processor. It helps to connect your merchant account with the card issuers and is the technical side of the transaction ensuring you receive customer payments.

Merchant account

This is the third part of online payment processing as without a merchant account, there is nowhere for your customer’s money to go. You won’t have direct access to this account, but funds will be automatically transferred within one to two working days.

How can online payment processing help with paying for products and services?

  • Cuts down on administration
  • No more chasing invoices
  • Instant payments
  • User-friendly experience
  • Multicurrency payment processing
  • Fraud and personal data protection

A rapid evolution of credit and debit card payments

Modern payment processing has evolved rapidly. Did you know that the first credit card was issued in 1966 by Barclays in the UK, and 1987 saw the first debit card issued? Pizza Hut was one of the first companies to accept online payments in 1987, with consumers able to order pizza delivery on their Home page. Today there are many payment gateways including Stripe, PayPal, Square, Payflow Pro and GoCardless.

How can Relativity help you with online payment processing?

If you are looking to automate your payments and expand and extend the reach of your business, online payment processing is a must. For more information about how we can help you, call Relativity, the business technology specialists on 01825 280123 or email for more information.

Next time we will be looking at Zoho Checkout in more detail.