‘Gateway’ and ‘e-Commerce’ are typical terms used in online transaction processing. To understand what these are all about, we should first explain what e-commerce is and how it is achieved through the use of the payment gateway.


E-Commerce, as the name implies, is the process of initiating, carrying out and completing commercial transactions online or via the internet. It allows for the trading of goods and services over internet and other computer networks by enabling traders to offer their goods and services online.


Once these are available, e-Commerce allows potential buyers to not only view the goods and services available online but to also make payments for their purchase over the internet. The payment gateway is an online application interface that authorises payment to traders for their goods and services through the use of credit cards, bank cards and mobile money processing services. It therefore forms the link between the person making the purchase or the shopper and the person receiving the payment or the merchant.


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The most important function of the payment gateway is to authenticate the shopper’s details such as the credit card number, the availability of funds or credit limits and the authorization required.

Once these have been properly identified and recognised, the gateway then securely passes this information to the acquiring bank where the details of the amounts being traded in are relayed and the appropriate transfer of funds from the shopper’s account to the merchant’s banks is initiated and recorded.