The initial releases from credit card provider MasterCard look to be more than a toe-dip into APIs. With its MasterCard Payments API and two others, the company could be diving straight into the deep end. Though the services are still in beta, MasterCard appears to be taking very seriously its creation of a developer ecosystem.
Of its three new APIs, payments is the most ambitious. With it, you can develop web and mobile applications capable of processing credit card transactions around the world on the MasterCard network. Yes, there are many other payment options (we list 50 payment APIs), most of which include credit card processing. But to have one directly from the source shows MasterCard is clear about where the world is moving. Payment infrastructure is something the company has always had, but now it's available to any developer through a RESTful interface.
The MasterCard Offers API takes advantage of the company's network of business owners. Developers can use the service to find their users deals and discounts, which should be the win-win-win situation that makes for a great business and developer platform. The Offers API also provides the ability to construct a more detailed search for an offer. For example, you can filter offers by category or display offers near a certain location or point on the map.
The last API in the current beta is the MasterCard ATM Locations API. Though a much simpler offering than the other two, it's good to see MasterCard sharing some of the data it already has at ready access.
"This is just the beginning," Garry Lyons wrote in last month's developer announcement. "We will be enhancing the features of the services we’re offering, plus adding many new services over the coming months and years," he wrote. With at least one big API already, it would seem MasterCard is betting at least some of its future on the developer ecosystem it is attempting to build.