First Data Enlists Apigee to Handle Electronic Payments

The Apple Pay platform for payments that went live this week has boosted interest in payment systems of all types. But while Apple is clearly poised to become a leader in the category, the impact of a potentially widely used payment system is just beginning to be felt. This week, First Data unveiled a Payeezy e-commerce platform, powered by the API management platform from Apigee, that has the potential to alter the mobile e-commerce landscape.

Apigee vice president of product strategy Ed Anuff says that while vendors such as First Data have dominated credit card payment processing for years, in recent years a plethora of digital payment systems have emerged as credible rivals. By launching a Payeezy payment system that among other services connects with Apply Pay, First Data is putting many of those competitors on notice.

Developers can download a software development kit (SDK) and supporting documentation on Payeezy.com. That SDK also provides the tools they need to be able to accept Apple Pay in their iOS applications. First Data has also announced that both Bank of America Merchant Services (BAMS) and Wells Fargo are two of its financial services partners that have signed up to support Apple Pay.

The unfurling of a Payeezy e-commerce platform heralds a major battle for mindshare among developers of mobile e-commerce applications. For all intents and purpose, those applications are digital credit cards. If most of those transactions wind up being processed by someone other than First Data, it’s only a matter of time before those mobile applications begin to eclipse plastic credit cards. Looking to forestall any possible decline in its share of those transactions, traditional credit card processing companies have become very much aware of the critical role APIs play in attracting developers to various payment platforms.

In fact, Anuff says one of the reasons that First Data turned to Apigee is that it found Apigee to be a lot faster to invoke an existing API management platform than trying to build its own platform from the ground up.

Given the dominance of Apple in the mobile computing sector, it’s only a matter of time before more developers start looking for ways to easily connect to payment systems such as Apple Pay, especially when those payment systems are already connected to wide range of financial services firms.

Obviously, the rollout of Apple Pay this week could have been a lot smoother. But the one thing that is certain is that going forward, developers should find it a lot easier to monetize their applications.

Michael Vizard

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