Understanding host-to-host payments in banking and host-to-host payment pages for merchants

Understanding host-to-host payments in banking and host-to-host payment pages for merchants

When it comes to banking, the number of components it consists of is staggering. And while some of these components, such as bank accounts, credit cards, and wire transfers, are well known, others, like host-to-host payments, are obscure.

Today, Genome will describe how host-to-host payments work, as well as explain what host-to-host payment pages are. 

Host-to-host payments meaning in banking

In the modern financial world, the host-to-host term (H2H for short) mainly refers to host-to-host payments and host-to-host payment pages. The former can often be found when corporate financial operations are mentioned, while the latter is a type of merchant service. 

First, let’s cover the host-to-host payments. H2H payments are transfers made between two banks without any intermediaries involved. 

The most common implementation of the host-to-host payment process is used for a more efficient data exchange between banks and their business clients. You see, host-to-host payment systems allow the automation of many processes of data exchange during transfers, so no time is wasted on performing such operations manually. 

During H2H transfers via banks, businesses choose file formats, network protocols, and security standards by which they want data to transfer data, simplifying the process for companies a lot.

Commonly, H2H payments are used for bulk transfers, such as payouts to clients, contractors, employees, etc. By the way, if you need to make mass payments, Genome has such a feature. With us, you can send out thousands of transfers at once! We have a detailed tutorial regarding our mass transfers here.  

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What about host-to-host payment pages?

As mentioned before, H2H has another meaning to it, which is connected to merchant services. 

In banking, merchants are corporate clients that need special tools for selling their products and/or services. To do so, they require a merchant account – a special type of account that financial institutions issue for companies to accept payments. You can find out more about merchant accounts in this article

But, to sell online, merchants also need payment pages, where customers fill out their payment information to complete the purchase. 
There are a bunch of types of such pages, but the most common ones are hosted and host-to-host payment pages. A comparison of these two will help better understand how they function.

Points of comparisonHosted payment pageHost-to-host payment page
Location of a payment pageThe customer is redirected from the merchant’s website to a payment page provided by a third-party financial provider, where they fill out the payment information to buy merchandise.The payment page is located on the merchant’s website, and clients are not redirected to third-party websites to complete the payment.
The storage of card dataWith a hosted payment page, merchants do not handle clients’ card data, the third-party provider does.With H2H, merchants can manage and store clients’ card data, that’s why they need to be PCI DSS compliant.
PCI DSS compliance of a merchantUsually not required.Required.

To summarize, host-to-host payment pages are integrated into the merchant’s website. It means that clients will stay on their website throughout the complete payment process and won’t be redirected to any other external pages. It allows them to retain more customers and grow conversions.

Because merchants will interact with clients’ card data directly, your company must be PCI DSS compliant. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is a standard that ensures the safety of online payments. 

If you are a merchant that needs a host-to-host payment page, Genome is here for you! With us, you can easily start as many merchant accounts as your company requires to connect with clients worldwide. Let your customers pay with cards from major card brands or local payment methods in over 20 currencies. 

As for a host-to-host payment page, you get many customization tools for the page to look as seamless as possible on your website. With our host-to-host payment page, merchants can segment audiences and track progress to see their conversion grow!

Genome is PCI DSS compliant, and we help merchants to reach compliance if they haven’t already! 

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What is host-to-host in banking?

It is a term that describes two financial-related services. One of them is host-to-host payments, which are often used for corporate transfers. The second one is host-to-host payment pages, created as means for merchants to accept payments on their websites. We described both services in more detail above. 

What is the H2H payment process?

Host-to-host payment process occurs when a corporate client uses the H2H payment system to exchange data with their bank to transfer funds. 

What is the difference between H2H Integration and API?

There is no difference, they are both considered APIs.