If you’re a business that accepts credit and debit card payments online, you need to select the appropriate payment processor. Online payment processors handle all the heavy lifting, from capturing sales to sending you a bill statement and collaborating with banks to make sure you get paid.

When a buyer purchases something from your website or in person at your brick-and mortar store the credit or debit card details passes through a payment gateway or PoS terminal. The gateway encrypts the data to ensure its security. It sends it to the payment processor who then transmits it to the card network of the customer. The card network checks with the customer’s bank to determine if there is enough money in the account to pay for the item. If the bank accepts the purchase, the card issuer will transfer funds from their account to the merchant’s bank. The payment processor will transmit this information back to the merchant’s website or PoS terminal and notify the customer that their payment was successful.

When choosing a processor, consider aspects like security, ease of use, and compatibility with current systems. Make sure you choose a processor which provides APIs or plugins that can seamlessly integrate with your online store system or POS. You should also assess your customers’ experience when they shop and your team’s transaction check management and reporting experience. Finally, make sure you are familiar with the contract terms and how easy it is to switch providers in the future.