A payment processor is a tool that exchanges data from your business to the customer’s bank and your bank. From that data, the processor accepts or denies the credit or debit card transaction. Payment gateways secure the payment information and facilitate the data transfer between your customer’s bank and your merchant account.
A payment gateway is specific to websites executing payments online, i.e. e-commerce websites, booking websites (like a hotel), etc. It transmits data and authorizes data the same way a payment processor does without the physical point of sale terminal.
A merchant account is an account where your funds are stored before they are deposited to your bank. However, not all payment processors require you to have a merchant account and store your money in their own accounts before ultimately transferring to your business’ bank account.
A payment service provider is a company that acts as an all-in-one solution for handling both payment processing and provides a merchant account. With a payment service provider, a business does not need to apply for or manage a separate merchant account to hold funds received from the customer before reaching your bank. Companies like Stripe and PayPal operate as payment service providers.
There are hundreds of different payment processor, gateway, and merchant account options out there. To make your life easier, we compiled a list of popular payment processors that Cloudbeds integrates with to help you choose the best option for your property. In this table, we listed each channels’ available countries, assorted fees (when we could find them), support types, merchant account requirements, fraud prevention, reporting capabilities, tokenization, and global payment capabilities.
Disclaimer: We compiled the following from publicly available information that can change at any time. Please check with the payment processor for specific information for your property.