Credit cards are a modern, convenient payment method that has turned into an easy-to-use solution implemented in many applications and websites. In case your software development project requires this feature, it is worth getting to know more details about the payment gateway integration, which has become an indispensable part of modern software.

This article will detailly explain how to integrate a payment gateway into your app and comprise a comparison of payment gateways to choose the right one for your case. 

What is a Payment Gateway

Payment Gateway is a service that allows making in-app purchases. In other words, it’s an intermediary between the financial operation completed by the client and a payment processor (financial establishment). Its primary integration purpose is to ensure stable and potent security, which is impossible with the direct interaction of an app and a payment processor.

Enhanced safety from payment gateways is conditioned by the encryption applied for the processing of confidential user data, like CVV code, credit card details, etc.

Things to Consider for Payment Gateway Integration

Let’s now dive deeper into the payment gateway integration details:

Selecting The Type of Merchant Accounts

The main purpose of this account is an opportunity to approve online financial transactions. It basically stands for an online bank account for your business. Its main function is processing the payments from in-app sales (commonly 2-7 days) and directing them to your regular business bank account. With a payment gateway system integrated, the payment is primarily verified by the chosen vendor and, after that, delivered to your merchant account.

Payment gateway integration is a solution useful for functionality expanding, financial transactions processing optimization, and serves as great security from frauds. At the same time, prevalently, merchant accounts enable clients to benefit from essential online payment functionality and excellent protection.

Merchant accounts are registered in banks, can be integrated with payment gateways, and are operated by the bank. Or you may take advantage of payment gateway providers that ensure a universal solution and support merchant accounts (like PayPal or Stripe).

Here are the two merchant account types to select from according to your requirements:

  • Dedicated merchant account. This account is intended exceptionally for your business. It provides a high level of financial transactions management, flexibility for operations comprising account debiting, financial transactions’ errors editing, rapid payment processing, and delivery.
  • Aggregate merchant account. This option implies possessing a bank account united with the other businesses. With this type, financial withdrawal is more time-consuming and restricted operation management. Yet, the aggregate type has a relatively lower cost.

Products’ Type

Another aspect for consideration is the type of goods you sell. In case your aim is sharing paid digital content, the application must comply with App Store and Google Play policies and guidelines for in-app purchases. The product placed on those marketplaces can’t integrate third-party services, so all the operations are processed with the help of Apple ID/Gmail. 

Each operation system (OS) ensures special tools for implementing in-app purchases: a framework for iOS and an API for Android software. 

As for physical products, both platforms suggest applying a mobile payment gateway connected to your app via a special API.

Security Certificates

The processing of users’ banking details, your app should follow a PCI DSS security standard. The certification process of an app is quite complex:

  • Ensuring that the app’s data processing system follows PCI DSS guidelines
  • Getting rid of security flaws detected by pentesters
  • Audition conducted by the organization having a Qualified Security Assessor status

After the last step, your company is approved or rejected to receive the certification.

Top 5 Payment Gateway Providers

Let’s dive into the list of the top payment gateway solution to use for :

PayPal

This hosted solution is supported services clients among more than 200 countries and supports 25 currencies. Its fees are 2.9% of the total payment and $0.30 for each transaction. PayPal ensures extra services like PayPal Payments Pro for direct integration to the software and PayPal Express Checkout for setting up a button on the app page. PayPal has two stages of accounts payable process – authorization (approving the sale) and the settlement (getting money into account).

Braintree

Another excellent provider available in 40 countries with 130 currencies, PayPal’s branch with a top-notch anti-fraud system is Braintree. It provides benefits like online client support and a two-day payout. Its distinguishing peculiarity is offering personal merchant accounts for buyers. Braintree has a software development kit (SDK) useful for software development services. As for the fees, they are equal to PayPal’s.

Stripe

With Stripe, you’ll receive authorization as well as a checkout feature, analytics, and lots of other useful tools. This provider also ensures developers with an SDK allowing them to integrate the service into the app. Stripe charges the same fees as the two previous solutions.

Dwolla

This solution ensures an utter list of payment options with pricing set according to quotes. It enables sending payrolls to thousands of recipients simultaneously and invoices to 2000 users. It may be integrated into the most popular OSs via OAuth and RESTful API.

Authorize.net

A service popular in the USA and Canada will provide you with a dedicated merchant account or allow select a provider yourself by Payment Gateway Only plan. Among its other pros are embedded fraud detection, information operation, recurring billing, and PCI DSS certification with its tokenization solutions. The monthly fee is $25 and $49 for merchant account opening. The transactional fee remains 2.9%+ $0.30.

Steps of Payment Gateway Integration into Mobile Application

To describe this process, let’s take a look at Braintree integration into iOS. This provider ensures developers with essential instruments to architect streamlined purchasing solutions. When using SDK from Braintree, the app will support credit cards as well as the other payment services (Apple Pay, PayPal, etc.).

  • Planning. Developers are required to append Braintree to the project via tools like CocoaPods, Swift Package Manager, Carthage, etc.
  • Presenting drop-in UI. This implies adding lines to the script or creating UI from scratch tokenizing the credit card details directly. Its keys allow users to tokenize purchasing data directly with no need to create new ones every time.
  • Obtaining customer tokens. The next step is getting a client token generated on the app request by the server. The process should be completed every time the app is restarted. Tokens’ main aim is to comprise the whole configuration, and authorization allows SDK client initialization. 
  • Testing payment gateway performance. For this, developers should use Braintree test card data and single-use numbers. Besides, this phase involves the Braintree Sandbox account, as your credentials include Sandbox merchant ID public and private keys.
  • Processing financial operations. Apply a one-time payment method on your server to perform the transaction. The process happens as follows: the client data is obtained and transmitted to the server to complete the operation.

When it comes to Android, the integration process is almost identical. The only peculiarity of this OS is that it involves an individual Braintree library created for Android SDK setup.

Direct Credit/Debit Cards Payment Gateway Integration

There are payment gateway vendors allowing clients to perform financial transactions with debit/credit cards vis the mobile app API. Such a solution enables customers to ensure their banking information directly to the merchant checkout page. To process transactions, API or HTTPS are typically involved. 

Let’s overview the pros and cons of debit/credit card payment gateway integration:

Pros:

  • Opportunity to customize the UI
  • Compatibility with diverse gadgets
  • All operations with the one solution

Cons:

  • Security responsibility is on merchants’ shoulders
  • Security of electronic transactions is required while API integration

Integrating SDKs Into a Mobile App 

Each payment gateway integration provider ensures its SDK, which contains mobile libraries to allow the development team to integrate the solution. Besides, this way, you don’t have to deal with PCI compliance. 

The following list indicates programming languages necessary for payment gateway integration:

  • JavaScript
  • React
  • Redux
  • .NET
  • GO
  • Java
  • Node.js
  • PHP
  • Python
  • Ruby 

Supported customer SDK OSs:

  • iOS
  • Android

Transaction processing for mobile applications involves API integration as well, which is determined according to the payment gateway solution chosen by the customer. To illustrate, GraphQL API and REST API are applied for Braintree. Please remember that digital content selling requires Apple Pay for iOS and Google Pay for Android, platform-specific gateway solutions.

The payment gateway integration usually takes about 40 hours. After that, the functionality has to be tested (approximately 20 hours) and maintained (5-10 hours per month).

Wrapping Up

With payment gateway integration, you facilitate your customers with a handy solution for financial transactions’ performance. In case you would like to start the integration process and maximize your application’s quality, it is worth selecting a credible software development team with proven expertise in such a complex process as a payment gateway integration. Thus, your software will be secure, efficient, and satisfying for your audience. 

Author

My name is Katherine Orekhova and I am a technical writer at Cleveroad - mobile app development company. I'm keen on technology and innovations. My passion is to tell people about the latest tech trends in the world of IT.

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