Taking your business global enables you to reach a much wider target audience and, as a result, you can substantially increase your revenue. You may already be trading successfully in the UK, but what if you could expand your audience from 67 million UK residents to 8.1 billion global citizens?

The e-commerce industry is already valued at USD5.717 trillion, and this is expected to increase to USD8.148 trillion by 2026 according to Forbes. As online sales continue to flourish, UK-based e-commerce companies need to take their brand global to capitalise on the opportunities available.

While global expansion may be a top growth strategy for e-commerce firms, these aren’t the only types of companies that can benefit from accepting online payments. Whether you’re a B2B service provider or a B2C retailer, enhancing your online functionality enables you to deliver a better and more convenient service to your customer base.

Of course, if you want to bring UK business to the world, you’ll need a payment gateway that can facilitate sales from any location and, at PayAlly, we have the answer.

What Is a Payment Gateway?

You may not be familiar with the term ‘payment gateway’, but there’s no doubt you’ve used one. A payment gateway is simply a form of processing technology that facilitates online payments. It captures, holds, and transmits card information before approving or denying the transaction.

When you make a purchase online and input your card details on the website, for example, you’re using a payment gateway to connect you, the customer, to the retailer (or merchant).

How Does a Payment Gateway Work?

The theory of payment gateways is fairly simple, but things are a little more complex in practice. In general, a payment gateway works in the following way:

  1. A customer visits the payment or checkout page on a website and enters their card details.
  2. This data is transmitted securely to the payment gateway using the company’s specified method of integration, such as client-side encryption or server-to-server integration.
  3. Once the payment gateway receives the card data, it encrypts it and undertakes fraud checks.
  4. The merchant’s account provider (also known as the ‘acquirer’) then sends the data to the relevant card scheme (such as Mastercard).
  5. The card scheme conducts additional fraud checks before submitting the data to the card issuer.
  6. The card issuer validates the transaction and then approves or denies the request before relaying the decision to the acquirer.
  7. The acquirer tells the payment gateway whether the transaction is approved or denied, and the payment gateway forwards this information to the merchant (seller) and this is displayed to the customer on their screen.
  8. If the payment is authorised, the purchase amount is ‘captured’ by the merchant from the customer’s account. Essentially, this means the funds are reserved.
  9. Finally, the acquirer collects the payment from the customer’s account and puts it into the merchant’s account (when the funds become available to the merchant often depends on the agreement in place between the merchant and its payment service provider).

The process may seem complicated because it involves lots of steps but, this all happens in a matter of seconds.

Similarly, it appears that a large number of entities are involved in approving or denying an online payment, but this isn’t always the case. In some instances, one institution or organisation may play multiple roles. Mastercard can be a ‘card scheme’ and ‘card issuer’, for example.

Despite the apparent complexities, companies needn’t concern themselves with the minutiae of what goes on behind the scenes. In fact, discovering which factors to look for in a payment gateway provider can be far more valuable.

What To Look for in a Payment Gateway Provider

If you want to bring UK business to the world and accept online payments from any location, you’ll need a payment gateway to facilitate this. To help you find the right solutions for your business, take a look at the things to look for in a payment gateway provider:

Accepted Payment Methods

Make sure your payment gateway can accept payments via a selection of methods, as this will ensure every customer can complete their transaction. From VISA and Mastercard to Apple Pay and Google Pay, it’s vital to make sure that your payment gateway meets the needs of your target audience.

Hosted Checkouts

If you want to simplify your website management, choose a hosted checkout that’s fully managed by your payment gateway provider. Situated on a third-party website, a hosted checkout ensures seamless functionality and a hassle-free maintenance for sellers or companies.

Multicurrency Functionality

When you’re selling goods or delivering services globally, it’s important to be able to accept payments in a variety of currencies. Choosing a payment gateway that offers multicurrency functionality should, therefore, be a top priority if you want to bring UK business to the world.

Enhanced Security Features

Optimal security features will protect sensitive data and give customers the confidence to make purchases from your website. By using a payment gateway that offers enhanced security features, such as 3DS2 or tokenisation, you can protect your company and your customer base.

Low Fees

Your payment processor will charge a fee but the exact amount you pay will vary depending on your agreement. Combining low fees with industry-grade security and optimal performance means you’ll benefit from a cost-effective online payment portal that meets the needs of your business and your target audience.

Integration Options

If you want to integrate an online checkout into your website, rather than using a hosted checkout, make sure your payment gateway provider offers the right integration options. From Java and C# to Magento and WooCommerce plugins, there are multiple ways to integrate online checkouts into your website.

Tailored Payment Gateway Solutions from PayAlly

At PayAlly, we understand that every business is different, which is why we offer bespoke payment gateway solutions. By working with you to understand your commercial objectives, we can deliver unique payment gateway arrangements that enable you to achieve your goals.

To find out more or to bring UK business to the world now, talk to our expert team today.