Overview of Online Payment Systems and Payment Gateways

Online payment systems and payment gateways play a crucial role in facilitating transactions on ecommerce sites by securely processing payments made by customers. They act as the intermediary between the merchant's website and the financial institutions, ensuring the seamless transfer of funds.

For businesses, utilizing payment gateways enhances operational efficiency, improves cash flow management, and boosts credibility by offering a convenient and secure payment method. For consumers, online payment systems provide a convenient, fast, and secure way to make purchases, instilling trust and confidence in the transaction process.

This article dives into the intricacies of payment gateways, outlining different types available and assisting businesses in selecting the best option for their ecommerce platform, with a focus on gateways tailored for enterprise-level operations.

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What Is a Payment Gateway?

A payment gateway securely authorizes and processes online payments made by customers on ecommerce websites.

Payment gateways serve as the virtual equivalent of a physical point-of-sale terminal in a brick-and-mortar store, encrypting payment information to ensure secure online transmission. When a customer makes an online purchase, the payment gateway securely captures their credit card or other payment details, encrypts the data, sends it to the payment processor for authorization, and then returns the transaction outcome to the website.

This process all happens in the background, allowing customers to complete transactions quickly and securely while providing businesses with the assurance that payments are safely and efficiently processed. By acting as the intermediary between the merchant, the customer, and the financial institutions involved, payment gateways play an important role in facilitating online transactions and making the overall shopping experience on ecommerce sites better.

Payment Gateway vs. Payment Processor

Now let’s take a look at what differentiates a payment gateway vs. a payment processor.

A payment gateway serves as the interface between the customer and the merchant, handling the initial and final steps of the transaction such as collecting credit card information and providing transaction approval or denial. In other words, a payment gateway is like an online point-of-sale machine that receives payment requests from your website and directs them to the payment processor.

A payment processor acts as the intermediary responsible for securely transferring payment data between the customer's financial institution and the merchant's bank. Essentially, the payment gateway is the entry and exit point for transactions, managing customer interactions, while the payment processor facilitates the movement of information between the banks involved, ensuring that every online transaction is processed efficiently and securely.

Different Types of Online Payment Systems

There are many different online payment systems to choose from, whether you’re a small business or an enterprise organization. Here are some of the best online payment systems available:


Authorize.net is an online payment gateway service provider that facilitates the process of accepting credit card and electronic payments for businesses. It acts as a secure intermediary between the merchant, customers, and financial institutions, enabling transactions to be processed seamlessly through websites, in-person interactions, and mobile devices. What sets Authorize.net apart are its efficient payment processing capabilities, ability to manage customer information securely, and support for various payment methods like credit cards and eCheck payments.


Nuvei is a global payment processor that provides businesses with a wide range of payment solutions, including international payments, non-traditional payments, and multisite capabilities. They offer online and offline payment processing, as well as a variety of other services such as fraud prevention and risk management.


Elavon is a global payment processing company that provides businesses with a variety of solutions for accepting payments, including credit cards, debit cards, and ACH payments. They offer services for businesses of all sizes, from small businesses to large corporations.


Payments Direct is Clarity USA's proprietary gateway, offering reliable, secure, and affordable integrated payment processing services for various payment types including credit cards, debit cards, checks, EBT services, fuel and fleet cards, and gift cards.


CenPOS is a comprehensive payment solution that allows businesses to accept payments online, through mobile devices, using EMV card readers, or via virtual terminals. It provides a secure and streamlined way to process transactions, reducing friction and costs for businesses.


Checkout.com is a leading online payment processing platform that provides payment solutions for businesses of all sizes. It was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in London, United Kingdom. Checkout.com operates in over 180 countries and territories, supporting payments in various currencies and adhering to local regulations.

PayPal Complete Payments

PayPal Complete Payments is a comprehensive payment solution designed for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). It allows businesses to accept a variety of payment methods, including PayPal, credit and debit cards, and digital wallets, all within a single integration.


Stripe is a comprehensive online payment processing platform that enables businesses of all sizes to accept, manage, and process payments from customers worldwide. Stripe integrates seamlessly with various platforms and tools, including ecommerce platforms like Shopify, marketplaces, and mobile apps, offering flexibility and customization.

What Is the Best Payment Option for Your Business?

Based on various business needs, here are some recommended payment options:

Omnichannel Businesses

  • Recommended: Nuvei
  • Why? Nuvei is a versatile payment processor capable of handling various payment methods, including bank redirects, debits, transfers, credit cards, and more. It is well-suited for omnichannel businesses looking to accept payments seamlessly across multiple channels.

Businesses Wanting to Offer Multiple Payment Types

  • Recommended Gateway: Adyen.
  • Why? Adyen offers diverse payment methods, making it an excellent choice for businesses seeking to provide customers with a wide range of payment options. This flexibility can help cater to different customer preferences.

Businesses Preferring a Built-In Banking Partner

  • Recommended Gateway: Authorize.net.
  • Why? Authorize.net is known for its strong fraud prevention measures, making it a secure choice for businesses. Additionally, its partnership with banks for fraud prevention and transaction security can be beneficial for businesses looking for a reliable built-in banking partner.

Each of these payment gateways caters to specific business needs, ensuring that businesses can choose the option that aligns best with their unique requirements.

The Best Online Payment System for Enterprise Businesses

For enterprise-level businesses with more complex needs and higher transaction volumes, the following payment gateways are good choices:


PayPal provides advanced payment solutions for large enterprises. It provides scalability, global reach, and robust security features, making it an ideal choice for businesses processing a high volume of transactions.


CyberSource, a subsidiary of Visa, specializes in providing payment management services tailored for enterprise-level businesses. It offers advanced fraud management tools, multi-currency support, and integration options for large-scale operations.


Elavon is known for its comprehensive payment processing solutions designed for enterprise businesses. With features like global payment acceptance, recurring billing support, and advanced reporting capabilities, Elavon caters to the needs of enterprise businesses.

These payment gateways are equipped to handle the demands of enterprise-level businesses, offering scalability, advanced security measures, and specialized services to support their growth and operational requirements.

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Need Assistance Implementing Online Payment Gateways?

When it comes to optimizing online payment systems, partnering with a family-owned, industry-leading firm like Americaneagle.com is a smart decision. Americaneagle.com's dedicated team helps clients enhance their digital payment strategies to drive growth and achieve success.

Our experienced team has a successful history of delivering innovative and high-performing digital payment solutions and ecommerce websites. By leveraging our expertise, clients can expect tangible results and enhanced online payment experiences that resonate with customers worldwide.

Contact us today for more information!

About Author

Shawn Griffin
Shawn has been with Americaneagle.com since 1999 in a variety of roles. Currently, Shawn is part of our digital marketing and content team. In addition to editing and producing written company pieces, he produces copy for clients and he also helps to produce our radio and TV spots. He wants to make sure everybody knows that it’s truly a collaborative effort – between many, including the people he’s worked for during the past 20+ years!

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