API's March 11, 2018

How one API can change everything

APIs have forever changed our expectations for digital interactions. They form the infrastructure by which digital payments are executed and make even the most complex digital interactions feel seamless to users. We’ve laid out four examples of payment APIs that increase operational capabilities and satisfy modern customer needs.

Validation APIs

Although most customers take payment verification for granted, validation APIs are the mechanism by which banking information is checked for accuracy prior to initiating a payment. For businesses that leverage online payments, validation APIs greatly reduce the likelihood of failed payments and thereby cut associated costs or fees that customers would incur as a result of a rejected payment.

Conversion APIs

Conversion APIs provide users with live exchange rates for currency conversions, so they know exactly what conversion rate to expect before executing an exchange or cross-border payment. Real-time insight into exchange rates help ensure that international payments don’t arrive short of the sender’s intended sum. It also gives businesses that make frequent cross-border payments the option of converting currency when exchange rates are optimal and maintaining both currencies in a digital wallet. By specifically using a conversion API (rather than using an API that handles multiple steps in one call), businesses have the option of converting large sums at once, essentially locking their exchange rate and reducing the currency risk inherent to FX payments. Currencycloud’s e-wallet account, for example, allows users to hold balances in forty-five different currencies, all accessible through a single API balance call.

For businesses in the financial services industry, conversion APIs can be used to trade, compare or even just live stream rates to your website.

Beneficiary APIs

This is one of the most basic APIs, used to validate the background of the beneficiary and the validity of the funds in question. Beneficiary APIs reduce the number of failed payments and provide businesses with an added layer of protection by ensuring that:

  1. funds are able to be transferred to the intended beneficiary through the listed account and
  2. the beneficiary is not flagged on any government sanctions list.

Bulk payment APIs

For businesses that need to conduct hundreds of payments at one time, bulk upload APIs allow you to make multiple payments in a single transaction. This saves a considerable amount of time and reduces the likelihood of input errors born from manually rekeying payment information.

Integrating specific APIs into your existing payment infrastructure If you’re interested in leveraging a single API offered by a third-party payment provider without taking advantage of their entire tech infrastructure, it’s often possible to see how an API will function by using an online demo environment. At Currencycloud, we offer the ability to connect to our demo environment using an API key, so developers can play in the sandbox, code and conduct any desired coding and integration tests without requiring the assistance of our team. That includes simulating payments and exchanges with real-time conversion rates.

While many third-party payment providers use demo environments to showcase a product or single API, you can gauge how adept a company is at ongoing tech support by how current and consistent their demo environment is with their live infrastructure. The most competitive third-party payment providers understand the value of keeping their demo environment consistent with their live capabilities, so as not to disrupt integration efforts or delay the rollout of new technology.

Whether you’re looking to cherry-pick a single API or take advantage of the full range of a provider’s payment capabilities, it’s important to consider how the APIs they offer will affect your operational efficiency and user experience.

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