Ecommerce plays a major part in today’s digital world. It is the easiest and the most convenient way of buying and selling goods and services. With the increased internet penetration and digitalization, more and more users prefer to shop online and the availability of robust digital payment systems like an online payment gateway has greatly supported this decision. Among all the digital payment methods, an online payment gateway is known to be the safest. But how? What makes an online payment gateway secure? Let’s find out!

An online payment gateway is a modern way of processing payments on the internet.

The Working of An Online Payment Gateway

An online payment generally involves 5 main parties: the customer, the merchant, the customer’s bank, the merchant’s bank and the payment gateway.

In the simplest words, the payment gateway acts as a middle-man or an intermediary between the banks of the sender and the receiver. It is a secure interface that allows customers to make quick payments without having to wait for a long time, and merchants to receive their payments in a hassle-free way.

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4 Things That Make Online Payment Gateway Secure

Payment gateways use a variety of security mechanisms to transfer the sensitive information of the users on the internet. These mechanisms include privacy protocols, security standards, encryption and hashing methods and so on. Below are the four key features used by a majority of payment gateways to achieve a tight level of security :

1. Data Encryption

Data encryption is by far the biggest security method used in the payment gateway industry. When a customer enters his payment information such as credit or debit card details, payment gateways need to protect it from cyber attackers. They pass this confidential financial information between the merchant and the customer by means of data encryption. Usually, the transformation of private data is based on the key-value and the data encryption algorithm. After having the payment details, gateways encrypt it using a public key. This information can only be decrypted by the private key payment gateways. Moreover, the security level of this encryption process depends on the secrecy of the keys used. It prevents the access of private data by unauthorized parties.

No third party can modify this data when it is being transformed over the network. Thus, it increases the data integrity between all the involved parties including the customer, merchant and also the payment gateway. Overall, the data encryption method prevents private data from being stolen and misused.

2. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

Secure Sockets Layer or simply the SSL is nothing but a network security protocol used in the servers and the web browsers. It creates a tightly encrypted channel for transmitting private data over public networks with the authentication certificate. Most payment gateways come with SSL certification to offer tight security for the users.

The type of SSL certificate may be single domain , multi domain, wildcard SSL, etc. For example, if your ecommerce website needs a wildcard SSL for different subdomains, you can find low priced or cheap wildcard SSL certificate in the market. The type you choose for your website plays an important part in choosing ecommerce security.

3. Public Key Infrastructure

Payment gateways involve the use of sensitive information as we have already discussed. So, the Public Key Infrastructure is another mechanism that is deployed by many payment gateways to protect their user information from unauthorized access. PKI system enhances the security of eCommerce by making use of certification authorities, digital certificates and a few other regurgitation authorities.

PKI is based on public key cryptography that involves the use of a public and a private key. The private key is used for evaluating signatures and is kept private. On the other hand, the public key is used for verifying these signatures.

In this digital signature system, the owner encrypts the data using a private key and the receiver decrypts it using a public key. Digital signatures ensure integrity, authenticity and non-repudiation of the online transactions.

4. PCI Compliance

If you accept customer payments on your site or work with payment providers, you’ve definitely heard about PCI compliance. This is one of the most important features to look for in a payment gateway. The best online payment gateways are the ones that are PCI compliant.

In simple terms, PCI DSS is a standard set of regulations that are created by reputed card providers such as MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express. This policy requires businesses to comply with 12 basic security requirements that every online merchant needs to follow.

PCI compliance is needed by credit card companies to make digital transactions safe and safeguard them against identity and data theft. As per the rules of the PCI Compliance Security Standard Council, any merchant who wants to use or process a credit card needs to be PCI compliant.

Online payment gateways are undoubtedly one of the most trusted payment systems of both the merchants and the customers. The main reason behind this popularity is the excellent security they offer. The above-mentioned methods are the most used security features that modern payment gateways use. So, if you’re looking for a suitable online payment gateway for your business, make sure to look for any one of these features.