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Payments are vital…

though often dreaded, part of managing any business. Signing up for credit card processing can be a daunting task, and finding a processor who not only charges reasonable rates but also offers other services and functionalities the merchant may want or need can be difficult. Then, to further the stresses associated, if the need arises to switch to a new processor, the merchant may have to pay dearly in early termination fees and liquidated damages, and after it’s all over they’ve lost access to the processor’s transaction and batch reports for the duration of their business relationship.

This is where the gateway can be a lifesaver. A powerful and flexible gateway can remove some of the pain points associated with choosing a processor. A gateway cannot alleviate processing fees, but it can help in a few other areas.

1. Maintain access to transaction and batch reports:

This means keeping that customer transaction information that is so valuable to a merchant in today’s data-centric world. Occasionally a merchant may run into the issue of having a processor attempt to hold their customer data hostage upon service termination. Since transactions pass through the gateway, which stands between the merchant and the processor, a reliable gateway can allow the merchant to maintain access to that historical transaction data as they make the transition to a new, more fitting processor.
  • Maintain card-on-file functionality
  • Seamlessly continue automated marketing programs that are based on transaction history
  • Access transaction and batch information for disputes, account balancing or other reference purposes.

2. Never have to worry about PCI Compliance:

A gateway can also serve to remove the merchant out of PCI Scope, ensuring that the precious consumer card data is not only maintained, but is also kept secure no matter the processor. With small businesses paying on average $117,000 for a data breach, and 66% of consumers stating that they are unlikely to shop/do business with an organization that experienced a sensitive data breach, it is increasingly vital to a merchant’s livelihood that consumer data stay secure no matter the processor or the payment platform (In–Store payments, Mobile Payments, Web Payments, etc).

If the merchant goal for utilizing a gateway is the freedom and flexibility it offers (there are different types of gateways so the purposes may vary) then be sure to choose one that offers card tokenization, end-to-end encryption with any integrated processor and P2PE validated PCI compliance. This way, as the merchant begins the journey to choosing a new processor, they can rest assured that no matter who they choose, as long as the processor is integrated to the gateway, card security will be handled.

3. Access Added Value Options:

An ideal gateway solution will offerintegrations to other valuable tools that can help grow the merchant business using the transaction data that is securely stored through the gateway. Once again, this gives the merchant the freedom to switch processors without losing the additional services that have helped the business thrive. A few examples of such services include:
Choosing a credit card processor is stressful enough without having to consider loss or security of transaction data or the loss of value-added services. With a flexible and powerful gateway, these additional concerns can be alleviated.