by Chilan Mevinda Perera, Apigate Tech Evangelist
First of all, let me recite a period of time you, me and all our fellow developers went through. I don't have to know you, I just know we've all "been there, done that".
"While the entire neighborhood is engulfed in darkness, there's one small bright window at this ungodly hour. Stare through it you find our guy, toiling away at the keyboard, on caffeine, looking for that one missing comma, one semi-colon or one simple line that makes the program tick. Even they themselves have lost the count of the hours that went into the own little spark that happened in the head. After all the blood sweat and beers... I mean tears, you finally have your brain child! What then? What will justify the toil that went into this undertaking?"
Just sit back and think for a moment the options you have to address the dilemma. Obviously, a payment gateway but which one? Why not credit cards? They've been there forever and very secure for online transactions for the past few years. But put yourself in the shoes of a person who's just about to enter the credit card details into the little text box; that small moment of indecision could even lead to a change of heart. And today, where a street merchant selling rambutan has a QR code for accepting payments, you'll look like a typewriter next to the latest Alienware squinting for the CVV code.
So what technology addresses this problem? An API based payment gateway that allows you to monetize your services with flexibility, expose your app to a vast array of interconnected merchants, localize, tap into international markets, foreign exchange procedures and even tighten security with tokenization.
If you need to know the tech industry and the status APIs have built for themselves, you should read how Amazon went from great to greater under the leadership of Jeff Bezosaround year 2000. He issued a mandate where ALL service interfaces must be designed from the ground up to be externalized. To put it in simple terms; have APIs for every interface. And how did he make sure it was implemented? The end of the mandate reads, "Anyone who doesn’t do this will be fired. Thank you; have a nice day!" You've seen for yourself the success of Amazon.
If you're still looking to justify the use of API based mobile payments, the game Clash of Clans made $1,118,457.00 in aSINGLE DAY just with IAP (In app purchases). Enough said?
APIs bring in standardization, decoupling and innovation to an organization. Richard Im has written a brilliant article regarding the value they create. Please check it out here.
Even if you have your mind set on utilizing an API gateway for payments, in this day and age, you're spoiled for choice! Each claim to be better than the other or offer some unique feature or higher security. Here I'll make an introduction to our DCB API. I wouldn't say it's better; that'll be too cheesy eh? What I'll do is tell you factually what it is, how it works and all that. I'll leave the comparison and judgement to you. If you want to save the time and the hassle, take my word, go ahead with ours, it's much, much better :D
For our coder younglings who haven't much experience with APIs, DCB (Direct Carrier Billing, the payment API) does what the name states, precisely. It charges the Carrier (the mobile service provider (Celcom, British Telecom, etc.)) directly on to the end-of-the-month mobile bill. If you integrate the DCB API service to your app, the users of your application have the option to tap a button and make micro payments on the amount you require to download; or pay for in app services (really the payment possibilities are endless) via the bill if you're a postpaid user. Hold your horses pre-paid users, because you can pay through your mobile credits as well.
What's honestly going through your head now? If I were you and I'm reading this as a 3rd party, I'll be thinking, "Yeah so you say, it's easier said than done". So how difficult is it to integrate Apigate APIs to your app? To understand that you'll need to understand our platform.
Our centralized platform, let's call it the "hub" has a global presence across four continents, thus many, many MNOs (110+ on this day and growing) are connected to this hub. On the other side of the hub, Apigate has again, many, many (200+ and growing) merchants, who have integrated their APIs to be utilized by anyone connected to the hub, again big number: 3.1 billion!
If you've integrated any simple RESTful API to your application and found it easy to use, it's the same in this massive platform. All you need is a DCB API request to be sent to the platform. You'll need to define subscriber messages (MT) and you're live!
It's not just the platform, we do on-the-ground activities so that our developer community gets hands on training on utilizing our services. If you've not heard the term RESTful APIs before, don't fret, we'll help you out. We also have a global developer/customer reach. Want to monetize through the MNOs in USA, typing away your code while in Malaysia? By all means. So, what's all this going to cost you? What would you prefer? Onetime payment or a subscription fee? No, forget all that; we provide our services to our developers at ZERO upfront costs with ZERO running/subscription costs. Our business model is B2B2C you see. We're the first B, you're the second, the C are the users of your app. When they're charged you get money, we get a smaller portion. The percentage really depends on region, hovering around 60-70% for you.
Have you seen a more financially fail-safe payment gateway?