Payment Processors and Payment Gateways – What’s the Difference and Which Do You Need?

Commercial store fronts in an empty shopping center due to the possible increase in e-commerce
Payment Processing

In the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the need for a strong online presence has never been clearer to merchants who have traditionally operated on a brick-and-mortar-only basis. But with the flood of new entrants to eCommerce comes a flood of questions as business owners struggle to navigate online sales. One question that comes up consistently is what the difference is between a payment processor and a payment gateway. In this article, we’ll explain the difference between the two, how each one works, and, most importantly, how they work together to ensure successful, secure online transactions. 

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Should I Work with A Third-Party Processor?

Commercial store fronts in an empty shopping center due to the possible increase in e-commerce
Payment Processing

Third-party processors, like PayPal, Square, and Stripe, are companies that provide payment processing to clients by pooling all client payments through their own master merchant accounts. For example, if you sign up with PayPal, you do not get your own merchant account. Instead, whenever you accept a credit card payment, that payment is processed through PayPal’s merchant account (along with every other transaction from every one of their members), and you are then paid out, in turn, by PayPal. 

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