Payment Gateways & Processors Overview

By Mark | Updated




This page will outline key terms and entities that play a pivotal role in the payments industry. By understanding the following terms, you will know the process for receiving credit card payments via your Revel iPad point of sale.


What Is a Payment Gateway?

A payment gateway is an e-commerce application service provider that authorizes and encrypts credit card payments for retail and online businesses. It is the equivalent of a physical point of sale terminal located in most retail outlets.

So, what does this mean? The gateway is the entity that provides Revel with credit card swipes and encrypts the information that is processed through them so that funds are transferred securely. Though the gateway performs an essential role in credit card processing, the gateway is not actually responsible for transferring funds from your customers' bank accounts to yours. This is the role of the payment processor.

Below is a list of payment gateways that can integrate with Revel:

  • USAePay
  • FreedomPay

However, some gateways also act as payment processors. Here is a list of integrated solutions (processors and gateways):

  • World Pay/TriPOS
  • World Pay/Mercury
  • Moneris (Canada)

Note: Card swipes purchased through Revel Systems are specifically encrypted for each gateway and cannot be reused if clients decide to change gateways.

What Is a Payment Processor?

A payment processor is what the client will be using to process credit card transactions. Commonly referred to as Merchant Service Providers (MSPs), these entities are normally associated with your bank and are responsible for transferring funds from the gateway to the merchant’s bank account. Aside from routing funds, they also process chargebacks (for which they are held liable), which is why processors will charge different fees based on how risky they judge their business to be. For this reason, Revel integrates with a diverse group of payment options, providing our merchants the flexibility to negotiate or even switch between different processors in order to take advantage of lower rates.

("Merchant Service Provider" (MSP) is an umbrella term that covers banks, third-party processors, or any other entity that provides businesses and individuals with the products and services necessary to accept credit cards, debit cards, and other forms of electronic payment. Revel can work with any MSP as long as they are reselling a processor that is compatible with Revel and the gateway being used.)

The following processors are compatible with Revel in the US through either the USAePay or Freedom Pay gateway:

  • First Data
  • Heartland
  • TSYS
  • World Pay (formerly Vantiv)
  • Global
  • Chase Paymentech
  • Elavon

The following processors are compatible with Revel internationally:

  • Adyen
  • iZettle
  • Moneris
  • Payment Express
  • Quest
  • Tyro

EMV vs. Chip-and-PIN

There are two types of EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa, a global standard for inter-operation of integrated circuit cards):

  • Chip and Signature
  • Chip-and-Pin

With a Chip and Signature card, you use your signature as verification instead of entering a PIN. With a Chip-and-PIN card, you will need to enter a PIN as you would with a debit card.

Chip-and-PIN is the more secure of the two since PINs are much more difficult to crack compared to signatures, which are easily forged.

Who Is a Reseller?

When setting up a payment processing account, merchants may encounter resellers who are able to set up both processor and gateway accounts for them. Revel acts as a reseller for various gateway services, and for this reason, we can board these accounts on the merchant’s behalf. We recommend this option, as it allows us to provide greater support when you are switching between different processors. However, you are always free to have your gateway account set up by a non-Revel reseller.

What Is a Value Added Reseller (VAR) Sheet?

A VAR sheet is used by Value Added Resellers to assist in setting up the account. This can also be referred to as a parameter sheet or tearsheet.

A VAR sheet is provided by the processor or MSP and includes credentials that link to the bank that your funds will enter. To obtain a VAR Sheet, client must contact their merchant services provider and ask them to generate one for them.

The sheet will include details on transferring funds from bank to bank. It usually contains Merchant ID, Terminal ID, and other generated information to help process your transactions.

Set Up Your Payment Gateway & Processor

Now that you know a bit about payment gateways and processors, you're ready to set yours up.

Below are the most common gateways available in the United States and Canada, with links to general information and setup instructions:

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