A common question often asked here at PixelForce is how you can integrate a secure, responsive and efficient payment gateway into your mobile app. Whether you’re in the market for a travel app or a retail fashion application you need to be able to accept electronic payments for good and services your customers want to purchase. As we already know, e-commerce is a rising star - however sales from shopping online and mobile are set to continue growing even greater in the future. Want to capitalise on this growth? It’s critical you have a payment processing gateway that runs smoothly and seamlessly within your mobile app. Keep reading to discover the hottest mobile payment gateways for buying physical goods and how best to implement them.
Firstly, let’s distinguish between the purchase of ‘physical’ goods and services and in-app purchases of digital goods. In-app purchases are performed solely by Apple’s AppStore and GooglePlay platforms. But did you know that Google and Apple are entitled to a 30 % share from every purchase made in your app?! By selling something ‘physical’ (like a book, or a pair of jeans) you are free to choose whichever payment system you like, thus avoiding sharing your profits with the internet's biggest contenders.
Mobile Payment Integration with a Gateway API
A commonality in processing payments online lies within using a gateway to process a mobile credit card payment by storing credit card transaction data in website or app APIs. Although a common solution, integrating a gateway’s APIs will place the security of sensitive credit card data on your shoulders, as the data now passes through your mobile app for payment processing. Another thing to consider when using a payment gateway is if it supports an authenticated tokenization process - a requirement when accepting payments from a mobile app. The token is a reference (i.e. an identifier) that substitutes the sensitive data element with a non-sensitive equivalent that holds no exploitable value, but that maps back to the payment data through the tokenization system. Ideally, when a mobile payment system is activated through your app, the API should swap a token from your server’s secure authenticated environment that allows the token to be used to execute the actual transactions. Basically, the tokenization system ensures the sensitive data is protected. If this functionality is not provided by your select gateway API, you will have to handle the process yourself…
But don’t fear! Powerful mobile payment gateways such as Stripe and PayPal’s Braintree are prime examples of payment gateways which use the tokenization system and are Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) compliant. Both these payment gateways are widely available for use in both Android and iOS devices, thanks to their large native mobile libraries. They are often the ‘go to’ for mobile payments as they enable customers to process their payments via using an encrypted token for credit card data. Furthermore, if you’re using their gateways, sensitive credit card data actually bypasses your services, thus you can easily integrate mobile payment capabilities without the headache of PCI-DSS compliance and security matters.
Stripe launched in 2011 and was designed as a developer-friendly payment system, giving developers the power to play around with the company’s APIs to create the product that best suits their needs with enhanced UI interchangeability. As Stripe supports a multitude of programming languages on the backend and is easy to deploy, it is often referred as the cleanest and most responsive PCI-DSS payment gateway available. Its APIs make it easy for clients to store cards, enable subscriptions and direct payouts to a bank account via the full-stack payment platform.
- Stripe is a favourite of mobile app developers as they can use Stripe’s functionality to retain full control over the UI.
- Stripe has open channels for email support, as well as an Instant Relay Chat (IRC) where developers are able to chat and receive live help from Stripe’s engineers.
- Contrary to PayPal, Stripe allows you to migrate your credit card data to your new payment gateway of choice.
- Currently, Stripe accepts credit card, debit card, Apply Pay as well as bitcoin payments from more than 138 currencies.
- Stripe charges a 2.9% + $0.30 fee, as well as a $15 chargeback fee.
PayPal’s Subsidiary Braintree
We’re all familiar with PayPal, and with the gateway processing over 8 million payments daily, it is arguably the most widely used and popular online payment system in the world. But have you heard of their most recent development - Braintree? Specialists in mobile payments, and backed by PayPal, Braintree is an up-and-coming popular full-stack payment gateway solution. It provides simple packages and is built for mobile payments, making it a robust and feature-rich service with apprehensive back-end support that is available in over 40+ countries.
- Braintree provides an easy-to-use and simple to implement SDK (software development kit) to start you off. The easier the SDK is to work with, the less time and money you will need to spend with your developer working on it.
- Support is provided for Google Android, Apple iOS and Windows Phone.
- Braintree makes use of specific tools to facilitate recurring or subscription-based payments and billing. You can also choose to implement extras such as push notifications, create discounts and promotions.
- Backed by PayPal, one of the most secure payment gateways in the world, Braintree offers enhanced security, with every single account Braintree provides high calibre fraud protection services - without any additional charges!
- Similar to Stripe, Braintree charges a 2.9 % + $0.30 transaction fee, a well as a $15 chargeback fee.
As we’ve discussed, although there are many ways to accept payments in your mobile app - it is infinitely safer and simpler to look towards an already PCI-DSS approved payment gateway provider. However, that being said, look around and do your research about what the best solution is for your particular app. Still have any questions about implementing a secure, compliant payment gateway for your mobile app? Don't hesitate to get in touch with us at PixelForce!