What is a Payment Gateway

A common question we get from people new to e-commerce is “what is a gateway?”. The quick answer is that a payment gateway is the technology layer that links a customer’s credit card to your merchant account.


What is the long answer?

When a customer pays with anything other than cash or cheque, their payment is sent through a gateway. The gateway technology connects their bank or card brand to your bank so the funds can transfer from their account to your merchant account.

Within milliseconds the gateway will store and verify their account information, making sure the customer has enough funds in their account. Once everything checks out, the funds are then sent through the gateway from their account to your merchant account.

Since a gateway has all the information necessary to access your customer's bank information it needs to be iron-clad secure. Worldline is PCI-Level 1 compliant (the highest level) and uses a range of security tools to ensure no one can access the transmitting data.


What Then Is A Bank Agnostic Gateway?

To process payments, you need both a gateway and a merchant account. Some merchants will sign up for a merchant account through Worldline, while others will already have a merchant account through another provider or financial institution.

Merchants who already have a merchant account through another provider need to ensure the gateway they choose can connect to their merchant account. Not all gateways will be able to. Worldline’s gateway is bank agnostic. It was designed to integrate with any bank and can plug into virtually every acquiring bank in North America.


Why is a Bank Agnostic Gateway Important for Platforms?

A bank agnostic gateway is key when integrating payments into software. Since integration efforts can be costly in time and money, it important to know that if your customer’s merchant account provider changes for whatever reason, your integration still stands.

Since Worldline’s gateway is bank agnostic, your customers can easily update their account settings without you having to re-integrate to another gateway to support them.

With bank neutrality, your sub-merchants will also be happy since they won’t have to switch merchant account providers to work with your solution. This reduces onboarding friction for your customers.

Worldline’s gateway has the most connections in North America, and we work with more acquirers than any other gateway. We are Your Partner In Payments, and we keep you connected.