What Is a Payment Stack? 2023 Guide to Payment Solutions

Payment stacks provide everything your company needs to accept credit cards, digital wallets, and other payment methods. Get to know their critical components.

Your company's payment stack consists of the services, software, and systems interacting behind the scenes when someone buys something from your store. You're likely aware these components exist, but you may not spend a lot of time thinking about how the process works. 

If you're ready to grow your business, understanding your payment stack can be a valuable first step. You can identify user experience issues that might reduce sales. For example, a clunky checkout process can cause cart abandonment when customers get frustrated. This affects your company's revenue and its reputation.

We've designed this guide to help you become more familiar with your payment stack so you can optimize each component of the payment process.


What Is a Payment Stack?

The payment stack includes all the technology your business uses throughout the ecommerce process. This term covers the various systems and vendors that:

  • Initiate payment requests
  • Determine payment types
  • Authenticate transactions
  • Process payments
  • Settle transactions
  • Transfer funds from the buyer to the seller

What Are the Components of a Payment Stack? 

The parts of your payment stack ideally work together to create a seamless experience for your users. A comprehensive system should include these components.

Checkout Page

The checkout interface is the customer-facing part of your payment stack. On this page, your users can review their purchases, select their preferred payment methods in the appropriate currency, and complete the transaction. 

Pay.com helps you boost your conversion rates by creating a smooth, frictionless checkout process. Your developers can use our API to integrate our service with your existing user experience, or you can choose one of our no-code solutions.

A checkout page that matches your brand's look and feel boosts customer trust. It’s also a good idea to display the official PCI DSS compliance badges to show your customers you prioritize security.

Financial Reporting

You'll need a way to access all your payment data. This part of your payment stack provides comprehensive transaction reports so you can monitor sales, returns, chargebacks, fees, and other important information.

Pay.com gives you detailed customer insights on your Pay Dashboard. You'll have the data you need to make informed decisions, connect with your customers, and improve sales.

Payment Gateway

Your customer enters their payment information in your company's payment gateway. This part of the stack consists of your point-of-sale software. Users can enter their details when buying online or tap their cards in person to initiate the transaction. The payment gateway transmits this information to the payment processor.

Payment Processing and Recording

The payment processing component of your stack receives the transaction information from the payment gateway. The processor sends payment details to the customer's bank, also known as the issuing bank, which approves or denies the purchase.

The payment processing system also reconciles transactions by ensuring you've received funds for each recorded purchase. It tracks receipts and other entries, checking them against account records if errors appear.

Security Measures

Customers expect protection against false transactions, identity theft, and other forms of fraud when shopping online. Your business will also benefit from strong security measures. 

Pay.com has Level 1 PCI DSS compliance and supports 3D Secure 2.0 authentication and payment data tokenization. We'll make sure you don't lose money to fraudulent purchases and shield your customers from financial loss as well.

The Benefits of Choosing Pay.com as Your Payment Service Provider 

Pay.com offers an array of benefits for your business, whether you're shopping for a new payment service provider or expanding to ecommerce from a physical business. Advantages of our intuitive, scalable platform include:

  • Easy onboarding so you can get started quickly
  • Robust developer APIs that integrate with your existing checkout process
  • Security systems that comply with PCI DSS, the industry standard for transaction safety
  • Multi-factor authentication and tokenization to protect your customers from identity theft
  • Transparent rates with a flat-rate pricing model that's free of surprises
  • Comprehensive reporting to analyze sales data and act on customer insights

The Bottom Line

The payment stack includes lots of moving parts, all working together to ensure a smooth ecommerce journey for your customers. Understanding how these systems operate allows you to optimize your brand's user experience.

Pay.com has everything you need to accept multiple payment methods from customers in the US and worldwide. Sign up today to see how we can revolutionize your company's checkout, removing friction that reduces sales.

Click here to create your Pay.com account now!


What's the best way to accept payments online?

Pay.com offers the best payment solutions for businesses of all sizes. You'll be able to accept many payment methods from both local and international customers. We offer the highest level of industry-standard security so your customers can trust in every transaction. Click here to get started now!

How can I accept multiple payment methods on my website?

Pay.com lets you accept multiple payment methods through your website. We support major credit cards and digital wallet apps along with many other payment methods. You can add or remove options with a single click through your user-friendly Pay Dashboard.

What is a payment system?

Merchants use payment systems to receive payments from their customers. When someone makes a purchase, they enter their information into the payment gateway, one component of a payment system. The gateway provides these details to another component, the payment processor, which facilitates the fund transfer from the customer's bank to the merchant account.

What is the difference between POS and payment gateway?

The point-of-sale (POS) system allows merchants to take payment details, track inventory, and perform other business functions. POS systems often include a payment gateway, which accepts and authenticates payment information.Your business can also use a separate payment gateway. Customers submit payment details, which the gateway sends to the payment provider.

Meet the author
Andrea Miller
Andrea Miller has been a writer and editor for more than two decades. Specializing in business and finance, she has written for some of the major websites in the financial sector. Outside of work, she spends most of her time with her family and enjoys hiking, yoga, and reading.
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