Payment Gateway Security

27 Jun, 2022 . 4 minutes

A secure payment system or SPS is a type of electronic payment processing that provides users with the necessary security to make their financial transactions online. It protects their personal information and prevents unauthorised access. These systems must be reliable and capable of handling billions of dollars in transactions every year.

What is payment security?

In addition to having the necessary security measures in place, businesses must also take steps to prevent unauthorised access and transactions. Two of the most common steps they can take to improve their payment security are to implement PCI compliance and 3-D Secure.

Due to the increasing number of transactions being processed online, it's more important than ever that credit card companies and their merchants implement effective payment security measures.

The design and implementation of payment security measures can be influenced by various factors, including compliance. Therefore, merchants and credit card companies must regularly review and update their payment security measures.

Payment gateway security

One of the most common payment security measures a merchant can implement is data encryption. This type of security measure ensures that a customer's information is only stored in a secure environment. When a payment gateway receives a customer's credit or debit card information, it uses its own code to create a secret message that only it can read.

Today, the online business world significantly contributes to economic growth. It allows users to make purchases and sell their services quickly using various payment methods. The parties in an online transaction are the client, the merchant, the financial institution, and the payment gateway.

A payment gateway enables merchants to process transactions and keep track of their customers' details. It allows them to accept and process payments securely.

Before a transaction can be performed, a payment gateway should ensure that it's always secure. It should also take the necessary steps to prevent unauthorised access and transactions. Some measures payment gateways use are encryption, data security measures, and firewalls.

Common payment gateway security risks & issues

Getting the proper payment processing and managing the various transactions of a small business can be challenging. However, it's important to remember that many factors can affect your business's success. Having the right payment processing platform can help you manage your transactions efficiently.

To help minimise the stress you might experience while processing credit cards, here is a list of five common challenges you might encounter.

Information security

Due to the rise of information theft, you must have the proper systems to prevent unauthorised transactions. Having the right payment processing platform can help you manage your trade efficiently.

When protecting your customers' information, you must have the proper payment processing services that comply with the PCI Data Security Standards. This ensures that your customers' information is protected from unauthorised access and transactions.

Lack of integration

In some cases, employees might be manually updating the records of transactions in your books. This process can be very time-consuming and expose your business to various risks. Besides this, it can also lead to the loss of valuable resources and data duplication.

A payment processing platform that includes an integrated suite of tools can help you reduce errors and improve the efficiency of your operations. This type of platform can also help you keep track of all your transactions in real time.

Huge fees

If you need to transfer a considerable portion of your profits to a payment processing company daily, it can be very time-consuming and expose you to various risks. Fortunately, many credit card companies can provide you with a low-cost payment processing solution.

Before you start working with a credit card processing company, it's vital that you thoroughly compare the costs charged by different providers. By choosing a payment processor that combines reliability and affordability, you can significantly lower your costs.

Multi-channel payments

If your payment processing company only supports certain types of transactions, it can limit the efficiency of your operations. You might end up with a different provider for online payments and on-site delivery.

Getting multiple providers for your payment processing needs can be time-consuming and costly. Fortunately, various payment processing solutions come with a single integrated platform. This platform can help you reduce the complexity and costs of your operations.

Lack of support

One of the most critical factors you should consider when choosing a payment processing company is its ability to provide 24-hour support. This can help you maintain a stable and predictable payment processing environment.

Making your payment gateway secure

Despite the many benefits of e-commerce, there are still many risks involved in protecting your customers' personal and financial information. To minimise these risks, you must implement a comprehensive payment security strategy.

Since most customers don't have the choice of a payment gateway, you must choose the one that's right for them. In recent years, significant breaches affected the financial operations of several prominent companies.

As a business owner, you must take the necessary steps to ensure that your financial operations are protected from potential threats. Unfortunately, most consumers ignore the payment process details when they shop online.

Despite the various factors that affect the payment process, it's still important that you have the proper control over the entire process. This is because, besides the banks and credit card issuers, other companies such as retailers and acquirers are also involved in the process.

Payment gateway security architecture overview

Before we dive into the details of a payment gateway security framework, it's important that you first understand its various components.

A secure server is a computer that uses the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol to allow online transactions. It also has a series of steps designed to protect the data it collects.

A financial institution is a type of company that can help businesses process credit and debit card transactions.

Card schemes are networks that handle different types of credit and debit cards.

A payment gateway processes an order that's placed on an e-commerce website. It then passes the customer's payment request to the bank. It then stores the necessary details about the transaction, such as the credit and debit card details. The payment gateway transfers the information to the acquiring bank in secret through encryption.

After receiving the encryption, the payment gateway processes the authorisation request sent by the bank. There are two possible scenarios, if the card schemes are approved, the request will be processed through the issuing bank, or if the request is denied, the card schemes will send back a message with an explanation.

The bank then informs the payment gateway about the successful or failed completion of the transaction. The payment gateway then tells the customer whether the transaction failed or succeeded.

Payment gateway security integration

There are four main types of payment gateways you can choose from. These are single-site payment gateways, multi-site payment gateways, online payment gateways, and hybrid payment gateways. The level of user experience and compliance with regulations are some factors determining which type of gateway you should choose.

Payment gateway security features


Tokenisation is a type of security that allows businesses to process transactions by replacing the information they collect with random strings of characters. It allows them to set up scheduled payments and manage their account settings.

A token is created using a private and public key. It can be used to process single or recurring payments. This type of security helps prevent unauthorised access to the card details and ensures that the data is stored securely.

Secure Electronic Transaction

This type of security is also used to prevent unauthorised access to the details of a customer's credit or debit card transactions. It does so by encrypting the data that's sent and received online.

Trust is established using digital signatures and the use of security mechanisms such as public-key certificates and verified messages. These types of security provide a high level of privacy and security for all parties involved in a transaction.

SSL protocol

One of the most important types of security used to protect the details of a customer's credit or debit card transactions is the Secure Socket Layer (SSL). When a user navigates a website, they can see if it's using this type of security by searching its address bar or clicking the lock icon. Many browsers now additionally warn when a site isn't using this type of security.

An easy and affordable way to secure a website is by acquiring an SSL certificate. Although this type of security is usually used to protect the details of a user's credit or debit card transactions, cybercriminals also acquire these types of certificates for fraudulent websites.

Card verification value

The card verification code known as CVV is a three- or four-digit code placed on the back of a credit card to ensure that the user has the necessary physical possession of the card. However, this type of security can still be very vulnerable to fraud.

3-D Secure

Another type of payment security commonly used to protect the details of a customer's credit or debit card transactions is 3-D Secure, or 3DS. This type of security is built on the data collected during and before a transaction is made.

The information collected during and before a transaction is used to analyse the risk associated with the transaction. This type of security also contains details about users, such as their IP addresses, purchase histories, and transaction histories.

Through a statistical analysis, the payment gateway, bank, and other parties involved in the transaction can then develop a risk score for each transaction.

If the transaction is deemed risky or there's not enough information to confirm the authenticity, the customer is sent through a challenging flow to provide additional identification. This type of security is commonly used to protect the details of a customer's credit or debit card transactions. Unlike earlier versions of 3DS, this new system only flags suspicious transactions. This eliminates the need for the customer to provide additional information to complete the transaction, improving conversion rates and preventing fraud.

Payment gateway security testing

A payment gateway test is conducted to ensure the system's security and performance are maintained while providing a smooth and secure payment experience for the users. This process involves implementing various payment security measures, such as encrypting the details of the user and the merchant.

Payment gateway security testing checklist

A functional test is conducted to ensure that the payment gateway's base works correctly. This process is usually performed to evaluate the various aspects of the system, such as its handling of orders and calculations.

An integration test is usually performed to maintain the payment gateway's performance. It can also identify the various metrics used to measure the system's performance.

A performance test is usually performed to analyse the number of users coming through the gateway on a specific day.

A security test is usually performed to ensure that the payment gateway' remains secure.

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