Payment API: A Guide for Developers

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How to Choose the Right Payment API

When it comes to payment tools, you’ve probably heard the term ‘API’ quite a bit. But what does API stand for, what are they, and why are they so important? We’ve broken down in this guide everything you need to know about payment processing APIs and what to look for when choosing one.


What is an API?

API stands for Application Programming Interface, and it’s a set of programmatic instructions that allow one program to interface with another program. In other words, it simply authorizes two applications to communicate with one another. Developers use APIs all the time, whether it’s to embed Google Maps into their website, or in the case of working with CardConnect, to integrate a payment solution into their application.

Integrating payments into your software can yield many benefits to you and the users. It can provide an enhanced customer experience, streamlined operations, improved security – the list goes on. But with so many payment APIs out there, choosing the right one for your business can be overwhelming. So, we’ve put together the key features that developers should look for in a payment gateway API to ensure a seamless integration.

6 features to look for in a payment gateway API

1. Clear Documentation

Documentation is your main tool for implementing an API, and will therefore determine the quality of your integration experience. When evaluating payment APIs, start by taking a look at their documentation. Is it both clear and concise? Does it include sample code and tutorials? Is it formatted in a way that is easy to navigate? Make sure you have positive answers to all these questions before moving forward.

2. Easy to Use

No one wants to waste time and money on a long, complex integration process. The easiest API to use is one that is fast, simple and easy to implement. The structure of the API should be straightforward and consistent, and give you clear error messages when something isn’t working correctly.

3. Testing Environment

While building your API integration, you’ll want to test the full payment process from the customer perspective before going live. This will ensure that everything works smoothly, and that the web services meet your requirements upfront. Be sure your credit card processing API offers a sandbox or test environment to experiment with dummy data.

4. Robust Security

When it comes to accepting payments, security is key. Your payment processor API of choice should go the extra mile to secure sensitive cardholder data in order to protect both you and your customers from a data breach. Security features like point-to-point encryption (P2PE) and tokenization can protect transactions through their full lifecycle. CardConnect's patented security solution is PCI-validated, meaning the PCI Security Standards Council approves it as a solution that can help businesses maintain compliance and keep data safe.

5. Omnichannel Capabilities

You want to give customers as many options as possible when it comes to making purchases, and integrating with a processor that offers an omnichannel solution will allow you to do so. Choosing a payment API that offers shoppers multiple ways to pay, whether it’s via point-of-sale, mobile, online or ACH, will increase both sales and customer satisfaction.

6. Customer Support

It’s crucial for the payment API source to have adequate support in place. Knowing there is help available for how to successfully integrate a solution using a provider’s APIs, will give you peace of mind throughout the entire development process and improve the whole integration experience

When it comes down to it, a payment API should allow you to integrate with ease and offer features that will improve the overall checkout experience for everyone involved. Putting the effort into researching APIs will not only save you time and money, but will also give you the confidence that you chose the perfect solution for your business.

To learn about CardConnect’s suite of APIs visit our integrate page, or fill out the form below.

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