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The new payment gateway API will be available on March 1st. It is designed first and foremost to address an issue small businesses deal with on a daily basis: negotiating the switch to the EMV standard. When American Express, Mastercard, and Visa required merchants to accept EMV or "chip and PIN" payment methods only (or assume all liability should a customer make a fraud claim), the credit card companies didn't fully understand the technological burden they were creating for payment processing companies and the clients who do business with them, according to Jae Haas, President of TransNational Payments.
"They didn't understand the aftermath from an integrator perspective," said Haas. " This put businesses in a tough position to adhere to the new rules. Business owners wouldn't be protected if there was a dispute if they did not dip that card as opposed to swipe that card. It has become extremely difficult for developers to make that transition from chip to PIN. The technical labyrinth you have to navigate takes extensive coding hours and a structural renegotiation. This has been a huge point of frustration."
The JSON API
At its core, the JSON API is designed to simplify the process of how data is sent between clients and servers. By limiting the number of server requests, the products built on a JSON API can be more adaptable and easier to use.
Also, the companies that use JSON will argue that it doesn't compromise on discoverability, flexibility, or readability and that, because of its agility, it actually makes your servers more secure because you're able to more quickly apply new security standards without having to completely redesign what you've built onto your API. "There are no significant tradeoffs they have to consider," said Haas. "They won't lose functionality to pick this up."
With the new solution, TransNational Payments' clients gain access to a "Simple Quick Dip EMV Solution" in one integration. All terminal transactions, whether with or without a card present, are stored in the gateway, including full receipts with signatures. Countertop and mobile devices do not need to navigate around a firewall, which simplifies the setup process for developers and retailers, according to the company.
Getting Started and Moving Forward
But how about building it to work with a retailer's own internal systems? According to TransNational Payments, the process not only requires little work today but it makes it easier to pick up and rework the system tomorrow.
"From a developer perspective, we opted to have stateless components available in the cloud," said Bryan Olson, Executive Vice President of Operations at TransNational Payments. "These other companies are tied to hundreds of servers; it makes it a lot harder to steer the ship. We can shift with the industry and not have an issue because we're not tied to the limitations of hardware . There's no limit to what we can offer based on this API. We even offer DDoS [distributed denial of service] mitigation."
Olson said another reason they decided to work with JSON is because large- scale merchants can use this API to create their own back end, which creates a more cohesive and faster environment for transferring data and adjusting the system should the industry pivot again, as it did with EMV.
"We wanted to create something that can have everything done in one place," Olson said. "If you can do everything inside of one panel, it helps simplify things for everyone."
Today, the solution chip, Near Field Communication (NFC), key fob, and even biometric transactions work with TransNational's solution. "This will futureproof to support any future payment methods that may be in the market or will be," said Haas.
To prove their solution is ready for its looming March 2018 rollout, Haas' team conducted more than 20 million stress test transactions. When asked what put his company in the position to be if not the first vendor, then at least among the first vendors to support both EMV and cardless transactions in one system, Haas replied, "We had the foresight to understand that card-present isn't going away any time soon."