All You Need to Know About the Payment Gateway Integration in iOS and android Apps

4 Mar 2016

Smartphone users are increasing worldwide like a wildfire. And the dawn of Smartphones’ omnipresence is fueling the mobile app economy like never before. Today, the web isn’t the only platform to sell your goods or service online. You can also harness the strength of mobile apps to sell your business products or services to a wider audience. And, here is when the need for a mobile payment gateway comes into the picture.

Regardless if you are one of those home-based online businesses, a startup, a SMB or an enterprise who is planning to build an eCommerce mobile app (also known as m-commerce app), if you are totally unaware of the basics of integrating a payment gateway into your iOS or Android app then you’ve reached the right post.

A real-world analogy

A closest analogy of a mobile payment gateway is a POS (Point of Sale) machine that you will find in most of the retail stores out there. A POS machine sends the card details to the issuer company to verify if the buyer has the billed amount in his or her account and once authentication is finished, the machine goes ahead deducting the billed amount from a buyer’s account.

Simply put, a POS machine functions as a go-between between a customer and a financial institution. And, if you are a seller who wants to facilitate your consumers for a quick card payment at the store checkout terminal, you need to choose a reliable payment gateway. The mobile payment gateways work on the same concept, but are slightly different in nature.

In a mobile app, a user browses your app and adds some products to cart that he or she wants to buy. The virtual shopping cart (which works as a Pos machine) in your app then connects to payment gateway you have integrated and directs the card details to the authorized card issuer server. The payment, if approved, goes to your merchant account through your payment gateway and after a few days you are likely to receive it in your actual bank account. Quite an intricate process it is!

Allowing your app users to make payment in few taps

Have you ever enjoyed a ride in Uber taxi? If yes, probably you know how the Uber app allows you to make payment from your Smartphone in the easiest and quickest way. Amazon, eBay and there are a plenty of online sellers from different industry verticals who now allow their app consumers to pay using their mobile in a safe and hassle-free manner.

However, when you are accepting payments from users’ mobile devices, you, as a business or service provider, are accountable for securing the financial information of customers by adapting to PCI compliance standards. Getting a PCI compliance certificate demands a lot of efforts and time.

Now, the main question is how to develop a mobile app that can process mobile payment securely and what are the choices you have in terms of payment gateways? Read on.

A quick takeaway: By 2019, mobile payments will be twice of the number in 2014, says a Forrester Report.

  • Storing card data accurately and securely: If your app is processing consumers’ financial data, your business needs to be PCI compliant. Besides, today’s Smartphone users have quite high expectations from service providers, unlike earlier years. You need to make things easiest and fastest to the possible manner. Any technical glitch during the process will distract them using your app again.
  • Comprehensive mobile payment service provider: You will find many service providers like PayPal and Square who will take off your burden of PCI compliance and facilitate mobile payment for mere 2-3% of commission on every transaction. However, if you want a card-not-present payment environment to fulfill your intention of creating a branded payment experience for your customers, a gateway specific mobile component makes a right choice.
  • Mobile payment widget: Many payment gateway providers, including PayPal , Stripe, and Braintree/Venmo Touch provides app owners with robust mobile libraries that come with their own UI components, which makes payment integration an easy job. The only downside of this alternative is that you compromise on your control over App UX.
  • Gateway API: When you choose to integrate with one of the gateway APIs, the card data passes through your app and thus you are accountable to ensure the utmost security to all financial information; meaning you will need a PCI certificate. Moreover, you will also need to adhere to some specific security guidelines during mobile app development process.
  • Multi-Gateway: Spreedly is a perfect example of multi-gateway mobile payment support. It is currently serving 66 gateways for 73 countries. It uses two-phased tokenize API which is fully mobile compliant and also gives you complete control of your app’s UX design.

If you are selling digital goods (ebook, magazine subscription, etc.) through your app in Apple’s app store or Google Play store, the app stores take the whole payment responsibility on their own and earn commission from your in-app purchases. But, if your app is selling something non-digital, you get to choose your own payment gateway solution.

To wrap up, mobile commerce spheres are quite different than web commerce (or e-commerce) spheres. Payment solutions for the m-commerce and mobile apps developed have to be more intuitive, speedy and secure. Hope this article has given you good insight into mobile payment solutions.


Pratik Gothaliya

Pratik Gothaliya is the Founder and CTO of Quest Infosense, A web & Mobile app development company. Pratik has accomplished over 9 years of experience in the software industry. Being an integral part of the company he assures uncluttered functionality for service or products development to clients. he promptly stands with unparalleled accomplishment for his clients and people.


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