A gateway is the Internet technique that handles the electronic interchange between customers, vendors, and each of their respective financial institutions. This gateway is the actual electronic medium where packets of information regarding payments are carried, thus the term – payment gateway. In the early days of electronic banking, fraud was more difficult due to the cutting edge nature of the transmission protocols, and as a result, security was limited. It didn’t take long for various criminal elements to realize the huge potential electronic financial transfers possessed. Thus the race began where smarter crooks forced financial and software/data industries to improve security in ever evolving cycles. Currently the industry have managed to stay a step ahead and offer secured payment gateways that enable greater volumes of transactions while protecting each participant in the payment stream from consumer to financial institution. This is the principal benefit offered with an Internet merchant account so your business can freely accept credit cards online.