API (Application Programming Interface)
In common terms, API can be described as a set of distinctly ascertained communication methods among various components. API is made of communication protocols, tools, and subroutine definitions, required for a building of the software.
In the payments industry, API is an integration type, that describes how the buyer’s and seller’s computers handle communication with a banking service in order to make a payment, look up details of a transaction, refund a sale, set up a billing plan, etc.
The most widespread API type for the web-based service is a REST API. The major of public APIs are the REST ones. They provide more flexibility and also work straight from the https URL.
How does the REST API work?
- API-enabled application (should be web-based)
- Remote server
- Data request
- Returned data or function
REST API is a standardized wrapper and it helps applications to communicate successfully with online servers.
For merchants, API integration means enhanced control over the payment process. As the merchant is responsible for the development and implementation, he is free to pick any features he needs. Also, API allows for deep customization, which is good for design and branding.
Not only API fits for a high-volume turnover, but it also provides advanced analytics. And advanced analytics means better business planning and management.
Nevertheless, merchants need to remember if they want an API integration they should also obtain a PCI DSS. As the payment page is not hosted on the payment processors side, the merchant will be responsible for the card and personal data integrity.