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The importance of flexibility in a payment gateway API.

In addition to demanding superior products at an affordable price and excellent customer service, consumers want a checkout experience that is seamless and secure. This is the case whether someone is buying items at a brick-and-mortar store’s physical cash register or completing their purchase online. In the latter case, effortless and frictionless checkout is now being accomplished thanks to something known as a payment gateway API.

What is a payment gateway API?

When online payments first came on the scene, customers became accustomed to being redirected away from the seller’s page when the time arrived to shell out their dollars. Being redirected to a payment processor’s website was, to say the least, a jarring experience that disconcerted many buyers, and dissuaded many from consummating their purchases.

With the dawn of payment gateway APIs, the necessity to be redirected away from the familiar branded page and onto the payment processor’s website is no longer required. Instead, today’s gateways enable the entire payment process to be completed free of that disturbing disconnect.

Benefits of a flexible payment gateway API.

There are other compelling gifts that a flexible payment gateway API can impart to your business. Consider the following advantages:

Actionable data. Your payment gateway is not just a conduit for customer dollars, it is also a data-gathering pro. Thanks to the information it gleans from your buyers, a flexible payment gateway API will have the built-in capability to generate reports. Imagine sitting on your couch and receiving real-time intelligence from this handy piece of software as to your daily sales numbers. With this data literally at your fingertips, you can be at the cutting edge of ordering inventory and initiating promotions that match what your prospective buyers want right now.

Security and resilience. In the ancient days of hosted pages, merchants were willing to put up with having customers redirected to another page during payment in exchange for the heightened security that this additional step afforded. With this type of setup, the hosting company took responsibility for protecting the security and integrity of the buyer’s sensitive credit card data, saving the seller from added liability. Today’s gateway APIs provide everyone with the best of both worlds: a one-stop payment experience that still keeps card details safe and out of the hands of the merchant. Security is ensured because all payment details are encrypted and secured by the API provider, who assumes responsibility for compliance with payment card industry data security standards (PCI DSS).

What to look for in a payment gateway API.

Not all payment gateways are created equal. Therefore, it is important that you invest time and thought into finding the one that will best serve your business and your customers alike. As you review the wide array of competitors in this market, keep the following must-haves in mind:

A sleek and effective design. The most common is Representational State Transfer, also known as RESTful APIs. This type of design allows for flexibility and customization, a huge plus if you are having a developer build a customized gateway to fit your unique business needs.

Security. As much as possible, you want a solution that shifts the bulk of the PCI compliance burden to your payment processing provider. That company should also be transparent in divulging its own security procedures. Furthermore, be sure that the solution you choose has built-in fraud protection that is easy to use.

A Full range of functionality. In other words, the gateway you choose should accomplish all of the payments- and business-related tasks you require.

Ease of use. A gateway is only as good as it is useful. In other words, you need to be able to operate it without difficulty. That means dealing with a company that offers robust tech support as well as customer service representatives who are available when you need them. Many APIs also features a rich user knowledge base from which you can gather information when you have a problem. Whatever happens, you don’t want to be left out in the cold, unable to accept money from your valued customers in a timely fashion.

Payment gateway APIs offer a win-win for you and your customers. Buyers are given a checkout experience that is fluid, transparent, and secure — uncluttered by the confusion of redirection and designed for a wide range of payment options. As a merchant, you are given a solution that is easy to use, secure, and rich with auxiliary benefits that can streamline your business and enhance your customer relations at the same time. Considering that ecommerce continues to gain more adherents with each passing year, this flexible payment solution is sure to be a sound investment for the foreseeable future.

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