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How payment gateways are disrupting traditional business

August 16, 2016 1:10 pm by Bronwyn Watt

Over the years, we’ve come across several disruptive innovations. Technologies and inventions that have forced industries to reinvent themselves. Some didn’t last long, some stuck around for good, while others evolved into other technologies. They’ve all had one basic thing in common, however; the industries that they affect are never the same again. A perfect example of this is the influence that payment gateways have had on the institution of business. Here, we look at how, why and when this innovation changed the face of the payments sector for good.

What are payment gateways?

Payment gateways are part of a group of payments collectively known as frictionless payments and fall under the umbrella of e-commerce. A payment gateway is essentially what makes it possible for merchants to authorise cards and other kinds of electronic payments. It’s basically a portal of communication between the issuing bank and the acquiring bank. For example, every time you shop online a payment gateway is used to process your card information at checkout. But that’s not all payment gateways can do.

The Uberification of payments

The online cab app, Uber, has given everyone around the globe access to their very own chauffeur. While taxis have been around for ages, the genius of giving travellers the ability to combine the ordering and mobile payments for a lift via an app, has set the bar in transport services. Uber offers the convenience of not having to carry cash, and being able to order a cab and pay for it, anywhere you are in the world. And add to that a trusted network of drivers – despite some negative press and incidents – and globetrotters can explore with confidence knowing that they have a ride right there on their mobile. No more struggling to find a cab in Mumbai at 1am, or risking it on a bus that has clearly missed its last 20 sevices.

Online bookings made easy

The modern consumer relies on one very important element when it comes to making decisions – other consumer’s opinions. Taking this concept to the accommodation booking sphere, has made AirBnB the go-to source for thrifty to fabulous online accommodation options. Both property owners and guests get reviewed, giving both parties an overview of what to expect. The smart messaging portal allows hosts and guests to communicate before any booking is confirmed – providing an additional level of surance and streamlining the entire process through automation. AirBnB also acts as a payment gateway, seamlessly facilitating the transfer of money from guests to the hosts.

The saving grace for last-minute bookers

Ever wanted to book a surprise weekend away at the last minute just to discover that there are no accommodation options left? Well, that’s exactly what gave birth to the South African-developed app, NightsBridge. Created by a couple who knew just how devastating it can be to lose out on the perfect getaway when left too late, the app connects small hotels, B&Bs, apartments and guesthouses with eager (last-minute) holiday goers. By allowing establishments the opportunity to connect with agencies and booking websites, they are able to attract guests – at the last minute – and maintain their cash flow.

We can safely say that payment gateways have made it possible to innovate vigorously in various industries, and elevate various functionalities to improve the ease of use to customers.





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