Looking for information on how to design a good API to accept payments? Many of the considerations are the same as building any API. You must build upon sensible verbs, abstractions and data structures that are easy to understand and composable.
An application program interface (API) is a set of instructions — including tools, protocols and routines — for building a software application. The API determines how the software pieces interact. But what does your company need to know to design a good payments API? Consider these three things:
- You don’t get to define the world. When designing a payments API, many of the fundamental objects like credit cards and ACH debits as well as the operations like authorizations and refund are defined for you. Your programming team has to work with what’s provided and can’t determine for themselves whether reasoning happens at the server, application or cluster level, for example.
- There’s a lot you don’t have to do. There’s a lot of bad or poorly designed legacy code out there, but you don’t necessarily have to follow all the rules of the past. Since you’ll be in a position to think things through from the beginning, you can figure out what processes to throw away – and what’s essential.
- Users will know right away if you do a good job. Users know what they need from a payments API, and it’s hard to implement something that’s flawed without someone noticing almost immediately. After all, you’re working with money, and customers at every level will quickly tell you if fund aren’t moving correctly. You must design the API to work in expected ways while not duplicating the mistakes of the past, a tricky balance.
United Thinkers has designed the UniPay payment gateway from the ground up – throwing old assumptions and bad programming out the window to create something new that work smoothly and plays well with others. In fact, the UniPay gateway contains everything many companies need and can be customized to meet the needs of any company.
Wondering how to design a good payments API? The UniPay gateway could be all you need. At United Thinkers, we’re here to help with your payment needs.