The growth and variety of digital payments today have transformed how money moves. In 2022, digital payments reached 89% penetration in the US, as reported by McKinsey’s Digital Payments Consumer Survey. Despite this impressive growth, most US businesses have fallen behind in leveraging emerging technology to optimise their payment operations and meet increasing demand.
Payments can be complex, especially when layered onto fragmented legacy systems. This complexity often makes upgrading these systems too costly and time-consuming for businesses in need of rapid innovation. Moreover, maintaining these legacy systems requires significant resources and specific technical expertise to ensure optimal performance and uptime.
This is where unified payments platforms and application program interfaces (APIs) come into play.
API integrations are now the norm to facilitate digital transformation. APIs connect different systems, applications, databases and devices for optimal performance. When it comes to payments, some API benefits include:
- Integrations to payment gateways, fraud management tools and other technologies
- Automated services like payment compliance detection, which are becoming increasingly essential to maintaining business efficiency
- Requirements associated with processing digital payments in other jurisdictions (ex: SCA, etc.)
The use of APIs is on the rise in the US, but the legacy infrastructure underpinning most businesses need to use several APIs to function without errors, delays and full functionality. It’s very demanding for these legacy players to deploy an effective API strategy if it has numerous siloed core systems to connect, as reported in Finextra.
But, there is a solution: build a unified payments system packaged in a single API.
However, it would be a good idea to probe “single API” claims because solutions that are often marketed as such remain complex, with multiple platforms running behind the scenes. A truly integrated payments platform offers access to various payment methods and features through a unified integration. Through a single platform, businesses can obtain a holistic view of their payment operations and leverage actionable data for enhanced control and performance optimization.
There are several strategies single API future-proofs any business:
Transitioning to an upgraded payments system becomes an efficient endeavour through the implementation of a unified platform. By creating a consolidated API, all the necessary payments capabilities can be unlocked. Furthermore, the integration of multiple payment channels into existing systems minimises complexity and streamlines the addition of new payment options for your customers.
Maintaining a single, modern API to process payments is easier for an engineering team than maintaining a host of legacy APIs. But aside from keeping the engineering team happy, a single API provides additional efficiency benefits including simplified integration with other systems, streamlined reporting and analytics, reduced risk of errors and the ability to rapidly adapt to changing business needs.
Markets, customer preferences, and payments technology are constantly changing, underlining the importance of setting up your business for continued growth. A single API and platform will promote scalability and flexibility, accelerating time to market. Future enhancements and new products and solutions can be accommodated with minimal development, meaning your business is set up for success because you don’t have to integrate a new API or platform to benefit from changing markets and payment methods, nor deal with additional platforms and issuer developments. Seamlessly adapting to new currencies or regions necessitates minimal or no additional development effort, empowering your operations and teams to scale with agility.
4. Enhanced security
Security is always a high priority, and a single API will help your business remain secure and compliant across various jurisdictions. With only one API, there are fewer attack vectors for bad actors and businesses only need one form of authentication and security control, eliminating the need for multiple keys and authentication tools. These solutions eliminate the need for merchants to collect, transmit, or store sensitive payment data, providing a more secure payment processing environment.
5. Data visibility
Access to meaningful data is fundamental for payments optimisation. A single API provides access to more accurate real-time data and improves data intelligence. It also provides actionable insights through a single dashboard linked to your API and platform, making it easier to address challenges and capitalise on opportunities. Checkout.com’s unified platform approach combines all the elements for successful payments, such as the payment gateway, acquiring, two-factor security via 3DS, credit card vaulting, reporting, issuing, and more. In short, the entire payments value chain and history are accessible through a single interface.
Unity is the key to payments success
As ecommerce and mobile commerce evolve, digital payments must keep up with consumer expectations and tightening regulations. Any business that remains wedded to legacy systems will miss out on the growth opportunities and operational efficiencies that a modern payments platform provides.
By leveraging a unified payments API like Checkout.com, businesses can effectively future-proof their operations and seize emerging opportunities with ease. This comprehensive solution consolidates payment gateway, acquiring, processing, and issuing capabilities into a single integration, enabling streamlined and versatile payment processes.
This article/report was first published by Checkout.com and has been republished on our website with permission.
Checkout.com is a member of our Payments Service Provider Panel.
If you enjoyed reading this article and would like to be notified when future articles are posted, please sign up for our email newsletter.
Are you interested in reading articles on a particular payments topic, company, payments industry executive or author? Click the search icon, it’s that magnifying glass on the top right-hand side of the website and type in the keywords that interest you. You will then be presented with a list of any articles that match your search criteria.