Shopping carts and payment gateways aren't the same thing in the ecommerce world, although these terms are often used interchangeably.
You'll need both a payment gateway and a shopping cart system to successfully sell products and services online, so it's important to understand how these elements work together during ecommerce transactions. This guide provides a thorough explanation to help you select the right set-up for your online business.
What Is a Shopping Cart?
Shopping cart software gives your customers the virtual experience of picking out purchases as they walk through a brick-and-mortar store. Each time they click Add to Cart, the shopping cart saves their selection and recalculates the total cost with taxes and shipping.
Customers can also enter coupon codes for discounts when they head to checkout with their online carts.
What Is a Payment Gateway?
The payment gateway serves the same function as a physical point-of-sale terminal. Instead of stepping up to a cash register and swiping their cards, your customers enter their information in the payment gateway, where it's transmitted to the payment processing provider for authorization.
The processor sends the transaction data to the customer's bank, commonly called the issuing bank. This institution provides approval or decline depending on the customer's available balance. The payment processor returns the decision to the payment gateway, where you'll receive notice of the transaction status.
What Are the Main Differences Between a Shopping Cart and a Payment Gateway?
- Shopping cart software handles the part of the transaction when customers select items and see their total charges. After they enter the details for their preferred payment method, the payment gateway takes over to transmit the necessary information.
- You set up the shopping cart when you create your ecommerce website. To use a payment gateway, you need to sign up with a merchant service provider that offers this service.
- Customers can see and interact with the virtual shopping cart. Conversely, the payment gateway operates outside the customer-facing part of the transaction.
What's the Best Way for an Ecommerce Business to Accept Payments?
Pay.com puts the ability to accept payments in the hands of your small business. Since we provide a full payment infrastructure, you won't need to set up a separate payment gateway to handle customer transactions. Simply connect your Pay.com account to your site's online shopping cart for secure, professional sales.
You won't need to worry about data privacy since Pay.com maintains the highest level of industry standard security. We also charge a transparent flat rate so you won't be surprised by unexpected fees.
The Bottom Line
Virtual shopping carts let customers add items to their cart when they purchase from your online store. They also add up the total, including taxes, fees and discounts. Once they click check out, the payment gateway takes over to transmit the person's payment details to the bank for approval. Although these elements work closely together, they aren't the same service.
When you're ready to expand or launch your ecommerce endeavor, Pay.com can provide the full-service solution you need for seamless, secure transactions. Our easy onboarding process allows you to begin accepting credit cards and other methods of payment shortly after signup, so you'll be ready to begin making money with online sales.
Don’t wait till the last minute! Click here to sign up with Pay.com now.