Understanding Payment Gateway with Blockchain for Mobile Apps
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With smartphones becoming more sophisticated and pervasive, further development of mobile apps and their functions, such as mobile application payment gateway, is inevitable. This particularly concerns e-commerce and m-commerce apps, which are increasingly used to purchase services and products. Statista presented evidence showing that more than 43% of smartphone users in the United States use mobile payment transactions, explaining the high demand for financial software development. The Business Insider reports that more and more consumers are willing to shop without leaving the app, so one-click payment options are an inseparable function of any successful app.
Suppose you are selling products and services via mobile apps. In this case, you probably want to learn how to integrate payment gateways in the mobile application to increase your sales and keep up with the FinTech innovation trend. This article explains what a payment gateway is in the first place and how to integrate it smoothly to boost your business performance and revenues. We’ll also list some of the best payment gateways for the mobile application to make it easier to choose a reliable solution.
What Is Payment Gateway?
A mobile application payment gateway is software encrypting customers’ personal and bank details and sending them to the payment processor. In other words, it’s a software application that connects a website with the bank, allowing customers to pay on the spot without leaving the marketplace. Customers interact with this software after choosing the products they want, entering their payment information, and clicking “buy.”
So, how exactly does it work in mobile apps? Users choose the products they want to purchase and add them to their cart. These carts are connected to the payment gateway service and request users to enter their personal data, such as credit card information. When users press “buy,” the integrated gateway sends a request to their bank. After the bank checks the operation, the merchant account receives the money for the products.
Understanding all nuts and bolts of the process is challenging, so let’s focus on the basics and discuss the main types of payment gateway in the market. These include self-hosted payment gateways and hosted payment gateways. The former mean that customers do not leave the app while purchasing. Companies concerned about the security and privacy and want to avoid third-party providers usually select this type. However, it may be expensive and affordable for large businesses only.
Hosted payment gateways, in turn, lead the customers to an external checkout page where they enter their card details and personal data and complete the transaction. The mobile application payment gateway integration option is the most suitable for small and medium-sized companies because it is less expensive.
Types of Merchant Accounts
A merchant account is where all the money customers pay goes before it can be transferred to the business owner’s bank account. This extra layer is essential because it makes it easier for companies to make refunds quickly and easily. There are two types of merchant accounts that you can consider:
- Dedicated merchant account. This type of account allows for faster transfers and greater control over financial operations. For instance, it allows correcting errors in transactions.
- Aggregate merchant account. This type of account is cheaper because it holds funds for many merchants. Companies that need an account fast and don’t want to spend much money and time preparing the documentation usually choose this affordable and convenient option.
Top Mobile App Payment Gateways
Now that you have some basic knowledge about the payment gateways and their functioning, you probably wonder, “what is the best payment gateway for mobile application?” We listed some of the most popular ones to make it easier for you to choose a suitable option.
- PayPal. This payment gateway is the largest payment gateway on mobile application. It is also one of the most prevalent and reliable ones worldwide, so integrating it into your mobile app is a safe option. The use of PayPal may increase customers’ desire to purchase your products because they know about this system and perceive it as trustworthy. However, customers need a PayPal account to be able to use this payment option. One of the most significant drawbacks of this service for companies is that it can freeze a seller’s account in a dispute. Managing this issue quickly may be a challenge, considering the notorious PayPal customer support.
- Stripe. Thus cutting-edge fintech startup is a recent invention, which has already won the hearts of many businesses. Its advantages include customization, efficient customer support, a wide selection of functions and features, no setup or monthly fees, etc. It also allows accepting payments through AliPay, which is helpful for companies that want to enter the Chinese market. One of the disadvantages worth considering is that Stripe ended its Bitcoin support in 2018.
- Braintree. This innovative payment gateway for mobile applications supports various web wallets like Venmo and allows for instant checkout of multiple items from different sellers. It provides easy integration with the existing setup for businesses because it has a relatively simple software development kit (SDK). The fact that such large companies as Airbnb and Uber use this payment gateway option proves that it is worth considering.
- Square. This option is the best for those looking for flexibility and customization. Although this company cannot compete with PayPal or Stripe, at least for now, it can provide numerous payment options for SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) entering the mobile market. So, unless you are a big company with large transactions, this option may be suitable for you.
- WePay. This service is known for being a step ahead of PayPal. In fact, it was developed with PayPal vulnerabilities in mind and now seeks to provide services of higher quality compared to its competitor. The ease of integration and security are the most significant advantages of this payment gateway option for mobile apps. However, similar to Square, it is not well-suited for large businesses.
- Other options you may want to explore include Zooz, Dwolla, EziDebit, JudoPay, Shopify, Google Checkout, Authorize.Net, and others. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, so carefully study their functions and technical characteristics to determine whether they fit your business needs.
What If I Want to Use Blockchain and Cryptocurrency?
Today, many businesses do not want to limit themselves to traditional banks and choose to enter the crypto bank sphere. If you also want to incorporate FinTech solutions into your business and use blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, you may need a different type of gateway. First of all, you will probably need blockchain consulting services to understand the ins and outs of incorporating this advanced technology into your business. Second, you will need to choose a crypto payment gateway for your mobile app. These may include but are not limited to the following:
- Shopify Gateway
- Alfacoins, etc.
By selecting a blockchain payment gateway, you will achieve greater transparency of transactions, greater customer privacy, multiple custom-tailored solutions, and efficient and fast service. This option is particularly suitable for companies entering the trade finance market or those considering asset tokenization.
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How to Integrate a Mobile Application Payment Gateway in Your Top Mobile App
So, after you weigh all advantages and disadvantages of each option, you can proceed with mobile application payment gateway integration. The following steps will guide you through this process.
Steps of Payment Gateway Integration into Mobile Application
- Create a merchant account.
- Select a payment gateway that will work in the biggest number of countries. Choose the options that work with different currencies, both traditional and cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, Cardano, Dogecoin, Bitcoin, etc.
- Decide whether you want to save customers’ payment details. On the one hand, it will make it easier for customers to use your services later, as they won’t have to type all the information again. On the other hand, it means that you will need to invest in security because you don’t want your customers’ data to be compromised.
- Protect your business against fraud. The best solution to this problem would be to consider blockchain development. However, if your business has nothing to do with blockchain and decentralized finance, you can still seek professional advice on protecting your business from phishing attacks, chargeback fraud, loyalty card fraud, etc.
- Make sure that all financial transactions in your app are carried out in line with the PCI DSS standards. You need to comply with encryption requirements and constantly check the security of your system to ensure that your customers’ card details are well-protected.
From a technical perspective, payment gateway integration in mobile application may be facilitated through the use of SDKs. PayPal, Stripe, Braintree, and other large companies provide their SDKs, making it easy for companies to integrate them using the ready development tools, utilities, and docs. Each large service provider offers guides to mobile SDK integration on their official websites. So, you only need to use their kit to create a page where users will type their data. For example, if you want to use Stripe, you can follow the next steps:
- Use Stripe pre-built UI components to set up Stripe elements.
- Create a standardized payment form.
- Create a token to secure transmitted information.
- Submit the token and the form to the server.
Of course, following these steps may be complicated for those unfamiliar with programming. If you feel that you need guidance, feel free to ask for professional help. In such cases, investing in a competent programmer’s work will help you make your service 100% secure.
How much does it cost to integrate a payment gateway?
The answer to this question depends on many factors. Companies providing payment gateway integration services typically take at least $3,000 for this work. However, you need to consider the functions your business needs. If basic functions are enough, the integration will be cheaper, but you will likely be asked to pay more if you need extra features, 24/7 customer support, and other options. The cost will also depend on the qualification of the developer(s) you will hire to do the job. If you choose to outsource the team of developers, you may save some money. However, if your business is big, hiring an experienced developer who will also provide ongoing technical support to your growing company makes sense.
How to receive PCI DSS certification?
You will have to prove that your system is secure in terms of the firewall, data storage, encrypted data transfer, coding, logs tracking, etc. If you don’t have time or money to comply with the most demanding certification requirements, you can use a third-party provider for payments. In this case, you’ll only need to fill out the Self-Assessment Questionnaire that can be found on the PCI DSS website.
Can I integrate both a gateway and a third-party payment processor?
Sure. For example, you can offer both Google Checkout and PayPal options, in addition to your merchant gateway. By providing your customers with as many payment options as possible, you will build a loyal customer base that values convenience and security.
This article covered the essential aspects of integrating payment gateway for mobile apps. E-commerce and m-commerce are becoming increasingly popular today, so making it easier for customers to purchase products online using their smartphones is crucial for businesses. There are many great payment gateway options to choose from, and this process is easier than it seems if one uses SDKs and developers’ support. Although integration cost is high, and there are many nuances you need to bear in mind, such as PCI DSS certification, payment gateway integration is worth the effort and resources, making businesses more competitive.