Gateway

Gateway and Gateway Accounts

A common question we get from people new to e-commerce is, “what is a gateway?”.

The quick answer is that a payment gateway is the technology layer that links a customer’s credit card issuing financial institution to your merchant account processing financial institution.

To Dive Deeper

When a customer pays with anything other than cash or cheque, their payment is sent through a gateway. The gateway technology connects their bank or card brand to your bank so the funds can transfer from their account to your merchant account.

Within milliseconds the gateway will store and verify their account information, making sure the customer has enough funds in their account. Once everything checks out, the funds are then sent through the gateway from their account to your merchant account.

Since a gateway has all the information necessary to access your customer’s bank information it needs to be iron-clad secure. Beanstream is PCI-Level 1 compliant (the highest level) and uses a range of security tools to ensure no one can access the transmitting data.

What Then Is A Bank Neutral Gateway?

To process payments, you need both a gateway and a merchant account. Some merchants will sign up for a merchant account through Beanstream while others will have an existing merchant account from another provider or financial institution.

Merchants who already have a merchant account through another provider need to ensure the gateway they choose can connect to their merchant account. Not all gateways will be able to. Beanstream’s gateway is bank neutral. It was designed to integrate with any bank and can plug into virtually every acquiring bank in North America.

A bank neutral gateway is key when integrating payments into software. Since integration efforts can be costly in time and money, it important to know that if your customer’s merchant account provider changes for whatever reason, your integration still stands. Since Beanstream’s gateway is bank neutral, your customers can easily update their account settings without you having to re-integrate to another gateway to support them.

With bank neutrality, your sub-merchants will also be happy since they won’t have to switch merchant account providers to work with your solution. This reduces onboarding friction for your customers and increases the size of your addressable market with just one integration effort to Beanstream’s gateway.


Beanstream’s gateway has the most connections in North America, and we work with more acquirers than any other gateway. We are Your Partner In Payments, and we keep you connected.
Nicole Stright

Nicole Stright

Nicole is our coffee dependent content specialist. With a quick-witted way with words, she could make you enjoy reading an instruction manual. She was born American, raised Canadian and has lived briefly in Poland. A quintessential west coastian she can be found running the seawall, practicing savasana in yoga or enjoying an over-hopped I.P.A. Nicole is responsible for all of the bean puns as well as creating compelling copy driven by analytics that converts. She strives to simplify the complicated and wants readers to easily understand the often convoluted industry of payments.
Nicole Stright