January 6, 2015
The payments industry is embracing a range of disruptive payment systems that are changing the way we pay, especially as digital payments becomes mainstream. But the core of the payments systems is something that should not be ignored. A large no of developers is coding away to develop the next generation of payment experiences. All of this is supported by powerful APIs that payments companies have specially designed to enable the creation of digital and futuristic platforms for payments innovation. Here are some companies whose payments APIs are making the waves:
2014 saw the advent of a secure and convenient way to pay at stores using an iPhone 6 or 6+ with NFC and finger-print Touch ID. Apple Pay is helping users avoid the hassle of carrying a physical wallet and to conduct payments in a secure manner. Apple has provided APIs and SDKs to third party developers to allow them to integrate Apple Pay in their apps. This has seen Apple Pay integrated in a number of payment systems, especially in the case of in-app purchases. More and more banks have been able to integrate Apple Pay thanks to the APIs. This powerful Apple Pay feature will further boost its upcoming international expansion.
Braintree’s Partners APIs provides users with an integrated way to start accepting payments using the Braintree payments gateway. The API allows users to sign up seamlessly from within applications and get instant approvals so merchants can easily receive the credentials on a user’s behalf, basically everything required to process a transaction. It becomes easier for merchants if their customers are already Braintree users, in which case users only need to sign in to initiate payments. For existing Braintree merchants, the Partners API enables developers to build valuable features in their apps like data visualizations and reporting.
The Dwolla API provides an interface to integrate the Dwolla payments platform into a software application. Dwolla is a payments processor that provides a web based platform which allows users to send, receive, and request funds from any other user. Dwolla can be used to share money with friends through Facebook and Twitter. Users can also purchase goods and services through the web and mobile devices. The API provides developers with the functionality to send, request, and retrieve account history and send money between Dwolla accounts.
The company offers the quickbooks Online API which allows developers to leverage the huge amount of financial data that businesses create inside of Quickbooks. Intuit also offers the Customer Account Data API which, along with QuickBooks Online API, provides developers with programmatic access to data from more than 19,000 financial institutions. Using these APIs, developers can create third-party applications for QuickBooks which can be offered to consumers through the Intuit Apps.com app marketplace.
The iZettle API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of iZettle with other applications and to create new applications. Some example API methods include managing account information, processing payments, and retrieving payment information. iZettle itself is a mobile, tablet, and web-based payment application. Users can accept payments via mobiles, tablets, and the web with iZettle. iZettle also offers dedicated APIs for integrating support for chip-based card payments. iZettle already offers a mini chip-card reader. Developers can use the chip-card APIs to enable apps to access the card reader and turn the phone into a terminal.
The REST APIs by PayPal allow the integration of the popular payment processing system into a web oriented checkout system. PayPal also offers mobile SDKs for iOS and Android that make use of the REST APIs. The REST APIs allow payments either using PayPal credentials or using traditional payment cards as well. PayPal Here is an app that works as a cash register to accept payments on phones.
The Adaptive Payments API by PayPal enables merchants and developers to select the payment scenario most suitable to their needs. Merchants and developers can create applications that manage payments, payment pre-approvals, and refunds. Merchants and developers also can send money peer-to-peer, and can split payments in both the parallel and the chained models. Merchants and developers can accept guest payments and can schedule disbursements.
In 2014, Square publicly opened its Connect API to allow merchants and third-party developers to create apps and tools around Square’s platform. Merchants can use Connect API to retrieve activity reports for processed payments, refunds and deposits. Square itself received a massive $150 Mn in funds in 2014 and has offered a number of new services like Square Cash and Square Order. Moreover, the company has also come up with upgraded versions of mPOS hardware solutions. We could certainly expect Square to come up with more solutions in 2015, from an API perspective.
APIs by Stripe lets developers integrate payments within their website or apps. Stripe already went global in early 2014 supporting more than 130 currencies. With Stripe, a customer in South Africa can make purchases from a Stripe-using merchant in UK. For merchants, Stripe APIs bring a one stop solution to multi-currency acceptance rather than having to work with multiple financial partners.
Stripe recently updated its APIs to support Bitcoin based payments as well. Launched in March 2014, Stripe has earned itself a reputation for offering hassle-free online payment APIs to address businesses of all sizes.
Visa first launched the V.me digital wallet solution in collaboration with Nationwide in UK. V.me allows the user to store card information for multiple credit and debit cards from Visa, Mastercard, american express and Discover cards along with the ‘Bill to’ and ‘Ship to’ addresses for each of the cards. V.me allows making purchases with a single sign-on which is secure across all channels and devices. All of this is possible through the V.me APIs which makes the integration seamless across platforms.
Yodlee Interactive, a division of Yodlee, builds APIs to help customers bring innovative FinApps to market more quickly using the richest consumer transactional data in the world. It primarily offers the following two APIs:
Instant Account Verification API - This API is used to enable developers to reduce fraud and risk and also reduce friction. This enables them to get paid quickly because they actually verify the account and the developer can then charge the account making it more seamless and less fragile.
Aggregation API - Enables developers to get access to randomized and securitized bank data through the ability to aggregate accounts, whether it’s an investment account, a bank account, a credit card account, a rewards account, insurance account, or some other account.
Besides the above two, the company has launched an Enterprise API, custom-built and co-branded for individual financial institutions. Yodlee’s API also allows geo-location information to be added to financial data.