A payment gateway provides a secure connection between your online store and your internet merchant account. It is an e-commerce application service provider that authorizes credit card payments for e-businesses, online retailers, bricks and clicks, or traditional brick and mortar. It is the equivalent of a physical point of sale terminal located in most retail outlets. Payment gateways protect credit card details by encrypting sensitive information, such as credit card numbers, to ensure that information is passed securely between the customer and the merchant and also between merchant and the payment processor. A payment gateway facilitates the transfer of information between a payment portal and the Front End Processor or acquiring bank.