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Open API Architecture is Now a Prerequisite for Merchants

Open API for eCommerce

Next generation merchants, including global players such as Uber and Airbnb, have built their success on openly accessible APIs and technologies that are constantly evolving to meet market needs. Because they have built their products and services on openness, they also expect an open technical setup from their payment providers. This puts pressure on payment providers to deliver state-of-the-art payment technology.

Open RESTful API architecture has now become a prerequisite, while other formats are effectively showstoppers, because they show that API vendors are not able to keep their API up to date. The open environment that is delivered by intuitive, RESTful API architecture is favored by developers who are looking for superior flexibility when creating innovative products. The advantages that are delivered by such an open technical setup mean that REST has become central to modern web solutions.

Software developers – regardless of whether they are on the merchant side or developing payment solutions for payment providers – have high expectations when evaluating a potential service. They expect the initial positive feedback in the first five minutes, the first success within 20 minutes, and a complete sketch for a solution within 45 minutes. If it does not deliver, the option will simply be discarded. Not being able to deliver the essential technical setup that is now expected can present a major obstacle to growth, and stop the pitch process for a payment technology provider before it has even begun.

The UP eCommerce Payments API reflects the shifts in market expectations that have occurred in recent years. A single, unified API ensures simple integration and streamlined processes, as well as automated merchant onboarding. We acknowledged, in the course of developing the API, that the technical platform alone is not enough. When an API evaluation is expected to yield results within minutes, it must be accompanied by intuitive and interactive tutorials.

Developers now expect interactive documentation that gives instant access to the payment system, and is capable of providing real-time feedback and showcasing the capabilities of the API. A 100-page PDF just does not cut it. Just as websites wish to maximize the conversion rate of online shoppers, interactive documentation needs to guide developers through the evaluation process and convince them that the API will deliver the tools they need. This is what we call “developer conversion," and this is a concept that we had in mind in developing our own developer documentation.