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Are you working on development of a mobile app that accepts payments? Well, whether it is an ecommerce app or a service provider app, it is highly likely that you are going to accept payment for your goods or services that you wish to sell. Payment gateways are here for your rescue and we discuss how to integrate the same in your mobile app and reap the rewards of the same.
First, some figures providing a clear idea about the rising popularity of mobile ecommerce. As per Forrester Research project, mobile ecommerce will touch $144 billion in the US alone, with $38 billion coming from smartphones and tablets contributing $76 billion. These are huge numbers and you ought not to ignore the same in case you are mulling on selling anything on the internet, particularly when there is tough competition to beat and your competitors are already breathing down your neck!
A payment gateway is such a software solution that makes it possible for ecommerce applications to accept payment and route the same to the retailer’s bank account. Apart from them, there is no possible way in which payments can exchange hands on the Internet. An important point to note here is that the payment gateways have support from major financial institutions such as American Express and Master Card etc. that play a major role in verification of credentials of customers.
Here are certain terms that you need to be familiar with before you start implementing a payment gateway in your mobile app:
There are two types of seller accounts that you can choose from – dedicated or aggregated. Dedicated accounts have a large number of attractive features, are faster to process, carry a high price tag, and require a deep scrutiny of your bank accounts. At the same time, integration of a dedicated seller account is inherently complex as well as time consuming. Have deep and fat pockets? If yes, then such an account would definitely fit into your budget.
In case you have a limited budget and are okay with somewhat longer payment processing times (4-5 working days) an aggregated account will work best for you. The integration of such an account involves lesser complexities and may require some manual processing on your part. At the same time, the fees are comparatively lesser; hence it makes perfect sense for a small business owner with a limited budget to go with the same.
Whether you are selling a digital or a physical product has a great bearing on the type of payment gateway that you can use. For instance, Apple App Store and Google Play Store require that you sell digital products via their platforms. These platforms deduct a sizable fee for carrying out such transactions. However, if you have a physical product to sell, you can do away with such a requirement and set up your mobile ecommerce application by setting up a payment gateway!
Since your customers are going to trust you with their bank credentials, you better present them with good reasons to do that. Installing a PCI DSS compliance certificate is one such way to do that. There is a complex two step procedure to get this certificate, even if you are opting for a trusted payment gateway such as Paypal. Step one is to get an information system for processing customer credit card data. This will be reviewed by individual pentesters who would find potential vulnerabilities in the same and suggest improvements. Then a certified PCI Security Standards Council company will perform an audit of your website and if satisfied, issue clearance for your website. Once you are through with these two steps you will be on your way to get a security certificate.
Here are the top four payment gateways, from which you can choose the one which meets your requirements and fits into your budget perfectly:
Paypal is the most popular payment gateway in use today, catering to users across 202 countries around the world and supporting millions of dollars worth transactions. Some of the spectacular features of this world renowned payment gateway are as follows:
Paypal charges 2.9 percent of the transfer amount and a flat fee of $0.30 on every transaction. You can opt for a monthly subscription and pay significantly lesser charges.
Stripe is another extremely popular payment gateway that has some excellent features worth mentioning. Such cutting edge features include easy integration in mobile applications, advanced security measures to ensure secure payment, detailed administrative panel, and being extremely user friendly. It charges 2.9 percent plus a small fee on every transaction. However, a fat discount is up for grabs if the user reaches $80,000 monthly turnover. While the email based tech support is pretty quick, the lack of telephone support is somewhat discouraging.
Braintree, a subsidiary of Paypal, is another extremely usable payment gateway. Some excellent features of Braintree include the following:
The requirement of regular manual processing of data is essentially a big turn-off.
While Authorize.net boasts of impressive user count, it is limited to the US and Canada. At the same time, it has excellent service that is pretty easy to use. Integrating it with mobile applications is somewhat less complicated than other available gateways. Besides that, the security measures put in place to ward-off hackers and scammers are worth mentioning as well. What can be termed as a big disadvantage is the high cost of adaption, with a $49 registration fee, $25 monthly tariff and 2.9% charge on every transaction.
After you are done with choosing a payment gateway option, now is the time for some real action – integrating the same in your code. You will get a software development kit from the website of the service provider (including those specified here) which you need to adapt in the code of your mobile app. The service provider would provide you with certain code libraries that need to be integrated into the code.
If you are an expert developer you can do that on your own or you can hire a mobile application developers to take the task to completion. Some serious charges may be involved here and you need to be ready to shell out a premium for the same.
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