Thought Leadership

Comparing Mass Payment APIs: What to Look For

TL;DRThe best mass payment APIs make integrating easier for your dev team while also improving the end-user experience for your payees.

Ready to reduce friction and increase interaction on your two-sided marketplace? Sounds like you’re ready to integrate mass payment APIs into your platform.

But don’t slip those noise-canceling headphones on just yet; there are a few things every developer should know when it comes to working with payment APIs. From usability to control, here’s what you should look for when evaluating the various payout APIs out there:

The Developer Experience

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to deciding what integrations I want to work with, ease-of-use is always an important qualifier.

Six ways Hyperwallet's payout #APIs will make the lives of your developers easier Click To Tweet

When integrating with a mass payments API, it’s best to make sure your chosen provider has the following functionality exposed and readily available:

1. A Modern Approach

Don’t settle for legacy code. You want a modern REST API architecture that provides a consistent and easily understood approach through HTTP. Modern APIs adhere to Level 3 of the Richardson Maturity Model, the de facto grading system for REST API design. Level 3 is the highest rank; if you’re dealing with a Level 1, close the window and remove the website from your browsing history. That’s one nightmare you don’t want to deal with.

2. Flexibility & Visibility

When reviewing documentation, check for robust query, filter, and pagination support for listed resource operations. You’ll also want to work with mass payment APIs that provide maximum control and flexibility, especially when it comes to state manipulation for all the resources in your program. More optionality allows integrators total control over the user-experience, as well as the ability to automate operational concerns.

3. Ungated Documentation

Speaking of API documentation, make sure your provider offers comprehensive, open API documentation online (if they send you a PDF, you know you’re in trouble). This should be presented in a developer-approved format and include language-specific code examples. Extra points if there are interactive tutorials.

4. SDK Availability

Java, Node, PHP… a good mass payout API suite will provide you with a variety of language-specific packages to work with. Extra points if the payout provider makes this information readily accessible on GitHub and they maintain 100% test coverage to ensure quality.

5. Event Notifications

You want a mass payment provider that offers industry standard webhooks, preferably ones that send the complete state of the resource on event notification, and offer resource endpoints (this makes it easy for integrators to retrieve missed event notifications). Don’t forget: credential-based authentication allows for easier integration. Check to see if your mass payment provider enables you to self-administer credentials.

6. Testing Sandbox

The easiest way to evaluate the quality and ease-of-use of your payout provider’s APIs is to simply dig in and start making calls. Check and see if your provider has a sandbox area available for testing. Extra points if there’s an automated developer sandbox registration process where access is granted immediately.

The Payee Experience

While worry-free coding is an important part of your API evaluation process, it’s also important to consider things from the perspective of your end-user, or the payee’s experience. If your mass payments provider’s APIs don’t help reduce friction, what’s the point of moving ahead with the integration?

If your payout provider’s #APIs don’t help reduce friction, ditch 'em - @blairolynyk Click To Tweet

The best outbound payment APIs offer the following payee benefits:

1. Frictionless Payee Onboarding

A good payout API will let you, the client, initiate the user registration within your native environment. Payees shouldn’t be required to access a third-party hosted payee website or app. For all intents and purposes, the payout provider account should to be invisible to the payee.

2. Fluid Account Management

The same should go for any ongoing payee account management. Once registered, your payout provider’s API suite should include all the calls necessary for your user to manage their funds from within your native application. This way, you can own the entire payee experience. This includes the payee’s account balances and transaction history; everything should be fully accessible via the REST APIs.

3. Payout Optionality

Not everyone wants to accept their earnings directly into a bank account. When evaluating payout APIs, make sure to check and see what payout methods can be accessed through calls. The more the merrier.

A modern REST API suite can save you a ton of integration hassle. If you haven’t checked out Hyperwallet’s comprehensive developer sandbox, please feel free. Our Developer Evangelist, Blair Olynyk, is happy to answer any questions submitted through the support system.

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