Quite simply, the payment’s industry is awash in technology and APIs make the payments world go round. Just by using apps on a smartphone, a person can conduct almost all the financial activity they need, from checking bank account balances and making purchases with a digital wallet to sending money to friends and family. These experiences are often easy and intuitive, satisfying consumers’ desire for convenience and ease of use.
In this new era of payments, where technology reigns supreme, teams of software engineers are needed to build, maintain, and improve the apps and online services that undergird modern commercial activity. It is no exaggeration to say that software developers have become as integral to the payments industry as the bankers, credit portfolio managers, and the cadre of suit-wearing traditional professionals one envisions when thinking of the payments industry.
While the importance of software developers may come as no surprise, there is one unsung hero of the payments industry (and technological progress more generally) that many readers may not be familiar with: APIs.
No matter who you are and what online service you’re using, APIs are likely responsible for making the system function. Without them, the job of a software developer would become exponentially more complicated and many services would cease working. According to one estimate, API calls make up 83% of all web traffic. But what are APIs, and why should the payments industry care about them?
API stands for application programming interface. This technical sounding term may conjure up feelings of confusion, perhaps mixed with boredom, for many readers, but APIs are as simple to understand as they are important.
Broadly put, an API is a set of programming instructions that allow one software application to directly communicate with another. Through this communication, one application can get the other to perform a variety of tasks, from returning an answer to a specific query to initiating a complicated procedure.
In the payments industry, APIs allow people to make online payments, check when bills are due, keep track of their finances, and conduct a variety of other payment-related activity. In fact, almost all online activity relies on APIs in some capacity.
In order to utilize the services APIs enable, consumers only need to interact with whatever interface they’re using. Take Google search as an example. To successfully Google something, a person does not need to know what is going on under the hood, so to speak; they just need to know how to navigate the interface.
For developers, it’s a different matter entirely. Consider a developer who designs a new application for consumers looking to keep track of their finances. The software engineer needs to configure the app so it can successfully communicate with the user’s bank via that bank’s API. To make this work, the software developer needs to know what information the bank’s API requires, and what responses (or actions) the bank will support.
In conclusion, APIs make the payment’s world go round. Fintech companies like PaidYET are making it easier so you don’t need a developer to integrate our API. Our simple integration maximizes security for the cardholders and transaction flow making it easy for your business to get paid. Sign up today to get started.