APIs can offer a viable solution to many common online payment problems. Interested in learning how individual APIs can revolutionize your payment process? We’ve compiled a list of frequently encountered payment problems and the APIs that solve them.

1. Lack of transparency into foreign exchange rates

API solution: FX APIs offer real-time visibility into foreign exchange rate fluctuations.

One area where payment APIs have a huge impact is with regard to foreign exchanges. An API can provide insight into real-time exchange rates, offering users full transparency into the cost of a transaction before the exchange is executed — something that many traditional banking platforms don’t offer.

2. High number of failed payments

API solution: Validation APIs check the accuracy of the payment beneficiary account details.

Account validation is integral to processing digital payments. A validation API will automatically do a thorough data check to verify the account details of the payment recipients, essentially verifying that a payment can be processed through this channel before it’s initiated. Having a validation API can significantly reduce the number of failed payments by assuring that no single piece of information was mis-entered or mistyped — something that’s especially important when users are conducting transactions over mobile devices, which often have autocorrect settings.

3. Vulnerability to risky financial relationships

API Solution: Compliance APIs offer protection against fraud and risky financial relationships.

Similar to validation, compliance APIs ensure that the participating parties and funds in question are legitimate, so you don’t put the integrity of your business in jeopardy by entering into a financially dangerous relationship. Compliance APIs can check that the payment recipients are not on any restricted lists that the government or other regulatory bodies publish (providing a safeguard against fraud).

4. Noncompliant or inefficient international payments

API solution: International compliance APIs offer built-in compliance assurance with foreign currencies, laws and regulations.

Using a global compliance API, you can swiftly send a payment to over 200 countries. These APIs enable efficient payments by anticipating the required information and associated form fields for each country and currency in question. For example, China requires a purpose — an option of five different codes that Chinese regulators have listed for financial transactions (be it for goods, services, charity, etc.). The addition of a Payment validation API ensures that you pick the right code and enable other processes to guarantee your payment is compliant with all foreign regulations.

5. Lack of visibility into the payment process

API solution: Real-time payment status updates and notifications.

Once a payment has been sent, APIs allow users to track it at every stage of the process. APIs can provide real-time updates as to whether a payment was successful, if it failed or was returned for any reason, and provide confirmation when the payment has been processed. Online shopping and order processing updates have made this service an expected part of most digital transactions.

6. Difficulty managing incoming payments

API solution: Manage virtual accounts for customers.

Under your business account, you can create a hierarchy of customer accounts or sub-accounts, which are assigned their own virtual account number and can be easily managed through an API.

7. Managing internal roles and responsibilities

API solution: User permission management options.

APIs can help you manage your operations or accounts payable department by assigning different functions and roles to different team members through a singular payment platform. Using an API, you can dictate the access and functional permissions of each team member. For example, one person could be responsible for initiating a payment and another could be granted sole responsibility for authorizing payments through the API. APIs can help solidify an efficient workflow and ensure the seamless segregation of roles and responsibilities throughout your payment department.

8. Changing or canceling payments on short notice

API solution: Real-time payment cancellation and customization abilities.

APIs give your business full control over their payment options — so you don’t need to make any additional phone calls to the hosting institution in order to alter a payment or cancel it completely. This guarantees greater efficiency, control and ease of use.

Solving payments problems the smart way

If using a payment engine isn’t your preferred solution, leveraging APIs can offer you the help you need executing payments. This list is just the beginning — streamlining payments and improving cross-border transactions is as easy as researching and picking the right API(s) to solve your payment problem.

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Todd Latham

With extensive experience in marketing leadership roles across the technology and financial services industry, Todd loves to make the most of new innovations to provide a first-class customer experience. Before joining Currencycloud, he delivered international marketing, product and customer satisfaction strategies for some of the world’s best-known brands, including American Express and Microsoft. These skills, together with Todd’s interest in how technology is changing the way we interact with money, ensure Currencycloud’s clients get the best possible experience with the next generation of business payment innovations.