Payment gateways can provide a crucial door to global commerce, according to Adriana Vas, Gateway Product Management Lead, Enterprise & Digital Commerce at Fiserv in EMEA, who provides insight for Payment Expert in the first part of a two-part series.

When it comes to commerce, all the world’s a store, and an increasing number of merchants are ready to take their place on the global stage. This requires the delivery of omnichannel shopping experiences capable of spurring meaningful sales growth across geographies, and it all starts behind the scenes with the right infrastructure, including the often overlooked but oh-so-important payment gateway. 

As the lines between digital and physical shopping blur and consumers demand a wider range of payment options, preferably in their preferred currency, merchants are under pressure to deliver an omnichannel experience that ensures both e-commerce and card-present transactions are completed quickly and easily. The stakes are high, as any disruptions to the shopping experience can result in lost sales, creating a competitive disadvantage for the business.

The payments gateway is the key to delivering a seamless omnichannel commerce experience.

What is a payment gateway and why does it matter? 

A payment gateway is a backbone for e-commerce and card-present point-of-sale transactions, providing different interfaces for authorisation and settlement of various payment methods and related services. Much as its name suggests, a gateway is the entry point for merchants to connect to the payment processing cycle. The gateway also offers security functionality, helping to prevent fraud in cooperation with other security systems and platforms. 

Gateways are taking on ever-greater importance for e-commerce and card-present transactions as global commerce grows. 

According to Statista, 2022 retail e-commerce sales amounted to approximately 5.7 trillion US dollars worldwide. This figure is forecast to grow by 56% over the next four years, reaching about 8.1 trillion dollars by 2026. 

Payment gateways that support payments across geographies can play a key role in helping companies meet their global growth goals, supporting card-present point-of-sale payments in multiple markets through a single integration with unified management and reporting. 

Indicative of the anticipated growth in both e-commerce and card-present transactions, a recent report predicts the global payment gateway market is predicted to reach $106.4 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 16.8% from 2022 to 2030. 

Ensuring transactions are secure

Gateways also serve the important function of ensuring greater security around transactions. This is particularly important to merchants who are obligated to remain in compliance with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) security standards. 

PCI DSS was designed to ensure that all companies that accept, process, store or transmit payment card information maintain a secure environment throughout the transaction process.

In addition to facilitating compliance with the standards around accepting, transmitting, or storing cardholder data, PCI DSS also covers all of the technical and operational requirements merchants must exercise to protect sensitive cardholder data. 

One of the many benefits of a robust gateway is that merchants using value-added services, such as hosted payment pages, can avoid going through PCI DSS compliance certification because all sensitive card data is hosted on the provider’s secure servers. Since the merchant does not have access to or have to store cardholder and card details on their own servers, there is less risk that the data will be compromised.

Realising global growth goals

As global commerce continues to evolve, merchants that want to nab a leading role will need to have the right infrastructure in place. The right payments gateway will facilitate a frictionless omnichannel shopping experience with a wide range of secure payment options, helping merchants boost customer satisfaction, increase sales, and drive global expansion.