APIs, a key tool for mobile payments
APIs are an essential tool to boost the mobile payment market. Companies are able to easily implement complex financial solutions from other businesses, which were outside their reach until recently. Here is a list of entities with interesting API catalogs for mobile payments.
With more and better options, consumers will shop more using their smartphones, and the market will grow. In fact, it is estimated that by 2019 the total value of the mobile payments made worldwide will exceed one trillion dollars.
One of the first major investors in this type of business was PayPal: in 2013, it acquired Braintree through its parent company at the time, eBay, for 800 million dollars. Braintree specializes in mobile and online payments.
At the moment, Square, one of the leading names in mobile payments in the USA, has one of the most consistent API offerings for mobile payments. Its founder and CEO, Jack Dorsey, is better known in the rest of the world for being the co-founder of the social network Twitter. Square has a set of fairly comprehensive APIs to articulate a competitive offer for retailers and users.
It has features such as the retailer's deposit history, management of online orders or inventory, online payment processing, management of customer information, recovery of the transaction history, and processing of returns by the retailer.
Square's APIs have several libraries in different programming languages: PHP, Ruby, Python and .NET. Among the most important of these is an API to manage payments related to e-commerce (e-commerce API) and another that facilitates communication with both iOS and Android devices so payments can be made in person (Register API).
Stripe is one of Square's main competitors. Its APIs include several libraries in different programming languages; plugins for content management systems like Joomla, Drupal and WordPress; and e-commerce platforms like PrestaShop, Magento and OpenCart.
Stripe is one of the most highly regarded companies because of its possibilities in mobile user experience. With the set of APIs known as Relay, it seeks to equal the penetration of smartphones and the volume of purchases in these devices. Relay allows developers to create in-app user interfaces so products can be purchased directly rather than being redirected to third-party websites.
Alipay is the most well-known application launched by the Asian giant Alibaba, which was created as an e-commerce solution, the group's main economic activity.
Alipay arrived in Spain via tourism with integration through BBVA's APIs. In 2017 it was already able to bring Spanish trade to more than 500k Chinese tourists. Leading retailers, e.g. El Corte Inglés in 2018, have already adopted this method of payment.
As for Payments, it makes it possible for any third-party application or website to make payments without leaving its look and feel, contingent on the customer's acceptance. This results in transaction continuity and added value for the company.
With its API offering, BBVA becomes a European pioneering and leading business in the context of the arrival of PSD2 in 2018, the new payments directive that is even now requiring banks to offer a payment initiation service.
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