Why Does My Website Need A Payment Gateway?
For health, wellness and medical practices, an increasing number of business owners are benefitting from accepting payment online and the ability to offer valuable products and healthcare solutions over the Internet. Is your company’s website set up with a payment gateway to accept online payments from clients?
Complementing your practice with an ecommerce website is not only a convenient way for your clients to pay their bills following an office visit, it also makes it possible to boost your income with supplementary products and services.
Payment Gateway Basics
To accept and process debit and credit card payments online, your company needs a couple of basic components – a merchant account, and a payment gateway account. Both of these are easily obtained through a full-service, payment processing solution like Beacon.
While the merchant account is a specialized business bank account that allows you to accept and process debit and credit card transactions, the payment gateway – as its name implies – is the virtual portal into that account.
A payment gateway functions much like the physical point-of-sale (POS) terminals used in many retail establishments. Your customers access it through the simple click of a button on your website, or it can be integrated into a more complex shopping cart system.
In either case, a payment gateway is what allows your website to:
- connect to a secure payment processor
- exchange customer payment information with your merchant account
- receive authorization for credit card payments
In a nutshell, payment gateways play a fundamental role in processing and approving the release of funds from your client’s bank account to yours. And they perform that role with the help of advanced encryption technology that ensures sensitive financial information remains private.
Payment Gateway Benefits
Beyond their ecommerce capabilities, gateways are essential in a wide range of payment processing environments – from portable credit card readers to smartphone apps. As a safe and reliable way to conduct sales transactions, payment gateways offer a host of useful features designed to keep healthcare practices and other businesses running smoothly.
Some of these benefits include:
- the ability to accept multiple currencies and charge cards, including Visa, MasterCard, and American Express
- recurring billing capabilities for subscriptions and other payment series plans
- enhanced product management and detailed transaction reporting
- the option for multiple locations to use and organize multiple merchant accounts through a single payment gateway
With their built-in fraud protection and handy back-office applications, payment gateways make it possible for your clinic or practice to expand its client base – and conduct sales safely – both when you’re present, and when you’re not.