Knowing the Basics of Payment Processing

 In Payment API Integration

What Software Providers Should Know About Payments

The act of taking payments from card holding customers can easily be taken for granted, and some software providers may not be aware of the role that payment APIs and processors play. However, when payment issues arise, either at point-of-sale or during processing and accounting, how well you understand is critical should you need to assist your merchants. There is much to know about integrated payment solutions, but these basics provide a vital foundation to build on.

The Payment Processor

A payment processor is a company that handles credit card transactions between the software provider, the merchant and the customer. Processing can entail multiple steps, including getting authorization from banks and card associations, evaluating the veracity of transactions and transferring money to the merchant for transaction settlement.

Payment API

A payment API, or payment gateway, represents the technical interface between a merchant’s business software (or point of sale software) and the payment system. This is the face of the payment solution that customers see. Integrating a payment API with the rest of your software is important for a number of reasons: better control over customer interaction, secure data management, the ability to accept many payment types and more.

PCI Compliance

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), introduced and implemented in 2004, outlines the basic protocols and requirements that merchants must adhere to in order to protect cardholder data. Failure to follow PCI compliance can open up security risks, and a resulting data breach can jeopardize a business. As meeting compliance can be complex, software providers should partner with payment processors that can provide guidance to ensure a PCI compliant practice. A secure, well-implemented payment API also plays into helping software providers achieve PCI compliance.

The payment processor and API, and the PCI standards they are built on, all represent the key components of financial interaction between your business and your clients. Working with Paragon Payment Solutions allows you to better navigate this process and streamline it to improve your customers’ experience.

Ready to see our API or open a test account?  Looking for more information on our Partner Programs?  Are you a merchant with a question?  We are here to help!

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