Of all the markets being impacted by the booming API economy, perhaps none has seen as much activity and innovation as the payments space. The past several years have seen the launch of a number of disruptive and successful API-centric upstarts, including Stripe and Balanced. Meanwhile, entrenched players like PayPal and Verifone have responded with new offerings of their own.
There's no sign that the activity and innovation will slow any time soon. Case in point: Payfirma, a Vancouver, British Columbia-based payment provider launched in 2011, which this month took the wraps off its new API and developer portal.
To support merchants that may not want to build their own integrations from scratch using Payfirma's API, the company offers a number of turnkey integration options. For example, Payfirma has created plugins for merchants using WooCommerce and WP e-Commerce, two popular WordPress-based shopping cart solutions. As part of a private beta, Payfirma is also offering pre-made templates for merchants with their own websites.
Finally, for merchants wanting to take payments on iOS and Android, Payfirma provides a means of integrating with its own mobile apps through a "handoff" method.
A multichannel focus
According to Payfirma founder and CEO Michael Gokturk, "The majority of our customers want a multichannel solution for taking payments because they know the benefits of selling across multiple channels." With the company's API, "any business can have access to our payment processing solutions on their own custom designed products to further increase their sales and delight their customers."
Gokturk's company offers merchants a platform on which they can accept payments for multiple online and offline channels through their own merchant account. This is a key differentiator, and the Payfirma API is designed to support the company's multichannel edge.
"Building with our API isn’t just about the power to accept payments online or on a mobile device, but gaining access to a larger system that includes our existing mobile and tablet POS applications, Web terminal, and traditional terminals and additional features like recurring billing and real-time reporting—all under one account," says Gokturk.
"Every new feature Payfirma offers will be made accessible through our API, as well," he adds. "Building with our API [is] an investment in the future growth of your business."
The developer portal: A career-builder?
Payfirma sees its developer portal as a valuable asset and is excited about how it will support the growth of the company's API. In the coming months, Payfirma plans to bulk up its developer portal by publishing integration guides designed for less experienced users and adding more downloadable templates for merchants.
Interestingly, Payfirma sees its developer portal as being more than a knowledge base for developers. While supporting developers is of course a priority, Gokturk says he wants Payfirma's resources to appeal "to those individuals looking to ignite new careers based on the opportunities they can create using our APIs."
With more and more companies building businesses that are based on—or rely heavily on—third-party APIs, thinking of the developer portal as a career-builder when launching a new API might be a perspective worth adopting.