Making a payment is a crucial touchpoint in any customer journey. While payments may seem simple from the outside, several complex components work behind the scenes to complete a transaction. If you are unfamiliar with payment processing, the terminology and components can be overwhelming. Today we’re shining a light on how payment gateways work and what you’ll need to consider if you’re looking to make your checkout experience better.

What is a Payment Gateway?

If you’ve ever made a payment online or via your mobile device, you’ve used a payment gateway. Payment gateways (, for example) play an integral role in facilitating and protecting transactions. They are the bridge between your business and your customers. Similar to a cash register, only an online version, a payment gateway captures a customer’s payment information (for instance, their credit card information) and transmits that data to the payment processor.

While transferring that data, the payment gateway works behind the scenes to encrypt the cardholder data.

What is a Payment Processor?

A payment processor executes the transaction by passing the card information to the card association (Visa or MasterCard, for example) and then onto the issuing bank. The bank verifies whether or not there are sufficient funds to authorize the payment, sending a response code if the transaction fails. The payment processor then forwards the response to the payment gateway, which sends it back to the website or interface where the payment was captured. Examples of payment processors include PayPal, ApplePay, Google Pay. Square (and PayPal with the addition of PayFlow) act as both the payment processor and payment gateway.

How Payments Get Processed

Starting with the customer, here’s the flow of how a payment gets processed. Blackthorn Payments captures the transactional data in Salesforce.

How are Payments Kept Secure?

Along with help facilitate payments, many payment gateways offer fraud protection and enhanced security features. When researching potential payment gateway providers, it is important to look for one that is PCI compliant and offers built-in security capabilities (such as tokenization). Some additional tools payment gateways employ to prevent fraud are:

  • Address Verification Service – Verifies billing address.
  • IP Filters – Checks IP addresses.
  • Card Verification Codes – Requires the customer to enter the CVV code on the back of their card to prove they are the actual cardholder.
  • 3D Secure 2 – This is the primary authentication method of SCA requirements in Europe. It uses contextual data to analyze risk and requires an additional layer of authentication (for example, fingerprint recognition) by the customer if the transaction is considered high risk.

Integrating Payments with Salesforce

In addition to processing transactions, a payment gateway can be used to integrate payment data with your accounting or CRM software. As the hub for managing customer relationships, there are many benefits to viewing and managing transactional data from your CRM software.

Blackthorn Payments lets businesses capture payment data and process transactions entirely in Salesforce. This means that instead of having to use separate apps (like billing or subscriptions platforms) or migrate data (and potentially lose data in the process), businesses can utilize Blackthorn Payments to accept secure payments, set up recurring and subscription payments, and view customer’s full transaction history in Salesforce from their account or contact record.

Additionally, Blackthorn Payment supports over 120 payment gateways and processors– the most of any Salesforce app – offering businesses flexibility choosing their preferred payment method and gateways.

The Benefits of Accepting Payments in Salesforce

  • Faster Deposits: A streamlined QTC (quote to cash) process fosters quicker, easier closes, eliminates silos, and better customer experiences.
  • 360deg Customer View: Having one source of truth gives businesses better visibility into marketing and sales efforts, product demand, and their customers’ journey, which opens up opportunities for upselling and contract renewals.
  • Real-time Reporting: Leveraging real-time metrics tied to opportunities allows for more accurate sales forecasting and fine-tuned planning.

Ready to unlock the power of managing payments in Salesforce? Learn more about Blackthorn Payments and how we’ve helped teams like Tony Robbins Research International and Evolve Vacation Rentals streamline their processes to reach their goals faster.