Top 5 Steps To Set Up Your Own High-Risk Payment Gateway

Every aspiring company must build an online presence to stay relevant and keep pace with its competitors. For the entire commerce market, that implies having an online shop open 24/7. Since they are always available, they must learn to prevent theft.

There’s one security protocol that must never fail in the eCommerce world – a payment gateway.

It’s central to keeping online transactions smooth and protecting the participants.

Many companies choose third-party vendors for handling their payment gateways. Some decide to build and host their own for various reasons, ranging from high fees to trust issues.

If you’re interested in setting up your high-risk payment gateway, make sure not to skip the following five steps.

Understand the intricacies of online payments

Payment gateway stands in the middle of every online transaction, mediating between the buyer and the seller. Both sides must loop in their financial institutions to complete any payment. In modern-day terms, these are your online customers and merchants.

When the buyer clicks “buy now,” initiating payment, the gateway does this:

  1. It contacts the buyer’s bank to ensure enough money for the transaction.
  2. It encrypts the buyer’s data and sends it to a payment service provider for processing.
  3. It receives approval from a payment service provider and sends it to the seller’s bank.

The seller’s bank then moves the money from the buyer’s account and completes the transaction.

That is how online payments work, in a nutshell.

While ensuring a smooth transaction, the payment gateway must also ensure that every piece of data stays protected from potential wrongdoings, preventing online theft and fraud.

Be realistic about what you need & what you want.

Payment gateway is a software-as-a-service solution that third-party vendors provide. To avoid setting up and maintaining the system, many companies subscribe to their services for a fee.

Of course, that means sharing transaction data with third parties.

The fees and lack of trust are the two most common reasons some companies build their payment gateways. However, lower costs and complete data control aren’t the only advantages. This approach allows for better customization and a smoother customer experience.

On the other side, keeping it in-house means development and maintenance costs and a longer setup process. Before you ultimately decide, you need a list of pros and cons. Put everything on paper and see what works for you, considering your budget and workflow.

Contact suitable payment service providers (PSPs)

If you eventually decide to develop your high-risk payment gateway, you’ll need to choose the best payment processing company for your industry. That’s because you can’t do it all on your own – you still need a payment service provider to authorize and process payments.

Remember, a payment gateway is only a software solution that communicates between the buyer’s financial institution and the merchant’s acquiring bank. A payment service provider is a financial institution that acts as a distributor.

Being in a high-risk sector means trouble on this front.

Because they’d rather be safe than sorry, many PSPs choose not to integrate with high-risk companies. Having the best payment processing company on speed dial can be of great help – these industry experts can find the best solutions for your needs.

Build a framework for software & required tech

If you’ve managed to find a PSP willing to back you up, they should provide you with all the information needed to set up your system and integrate it with theirs. That will be a trial-and-error process that will take some time to perfect.

Payment Gateway

Set up payment protection & acquire security certificates

Acquiring needed security certificates is a problematic step for every company that decides to set up its payment gateway, but it’s especially so for high-risk ones. The trickiest one is the infamous PCI DSS, an abbreviation of Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.

Hopefully, a good payment processing company will be able to help you out with this one as well, but don’t expect it to be done in an instant. Keeping payment data encrypted and cardholders protected from theft and fraud is extremely important in today’s climate.


In many cases, having an in-house payment gateway makes much sense. However, this decision comes with much responsibility when it comes to high-risk companies.

And it’s not only consumers that are at risk of online security breaches; it’s also your business, which must work hard to earn and keep customers. Breaking their trust is not an option.

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