The difference between a payment gateway vs. payment processor

To start, let’s keep it simple. Think of the gateway as a helpful tool that you, your customers, or your employees can use to approve or decline a transaction, which triggers your payment processor to process the transaction behind the scenes.

To start, it might help you to know the parties involved when making a payment. We will look at an example of payment by credit card: There are four parties involved with every credit card transaction:

  1. The business that accepts the card payment (in this case, you)
  2. The consumer, which is the person who uses the card to make the payment


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