A payment gateway is a technology that facilitates the processing of online transactions by securely connecting an e-commerce website or mobile application to the payment processor or acquiring bank. It acts as a bridge between the merchant's website and the financial institutions involved in a transaction. Popular payment gateway providers include Stripe, PayPal, Square, Authorize.Net, and Braintree. The choice of a payment gateway depends on factors such as business needs, geographic coverage, supported payment methods, and integration options. Integrating a reliable and secure payment gateway is crucial for ensuring a smooth and secure online payment experience for both merchants and customers.