A payment gateway is a merchant service provided by an e-commerce application service provider that authorizes credit card or direct payments processing for e-businesses, online retailers, bricks and clicks, or traditional brick and mortar.[1] The payment gateway may be provided by a bank to its customers, but can be provided by a specialised financial service provider as a separate service, such as a payment service provider.

A payment gateway facilitates a payment transaction by the transfer of information between a payment portal (such as a website, mobile phone or interactive voice response service) and the front end processor or acquiring bank.

Payment gateways are a service that helps merchants initiate ecommerce, in-app, and point of sale payments for a broad variety of payment methods. The gateway is not directly involved in the money flow; typically it is a web server to which a merchant's website or POS system is connected. A payment gateway often connects several acquiring banks and payment methods under one system.