May 14, 2014

2Checkout Payment API Q&A with Senior Product Manager Joel Zimmerman

Posted by Sean Edgar Category Icon2Checkout Category IconTechnology

This week, 2Checkout released its latest platform: the Payment API. Whereas hosted checkouts give businesses the opportunity to seamlessly integrate 2Checkout’s technology with a few simple steps, the Payment API offers unlimited customization and control, allowing merchants and designers the opportunity to directly incorporate our payment technology into their site with uncompromising fraud protection. But how exactly does the API do this and what other benefits are there? And how does it help online businesses reach new international audiences? 2Checkout Senior Product Manager Joel Zimmerman answers all of these questions and more.

To see the API in action, visit the 2Checkout Product Demo. For additional information, read our feature page description and the Payment API Documentation.

Joel, let’s start with basics. What can the Payment API provide an e-commerce merchant?

The biggest advantage that merchants have is the ability to exert full control over the checkout experience. Instead of merchants sending customers off site to our secure hosted checkout page, they’ll be able to collect payment details directly from their websites and cart systems. Merchants with a strong brand can ensure that the customer never leaves the experience they’ve built for them. This is so important in an age when merchants spend valuable time and money designing their sites, their marketing materials, their Twitter pages, and all other tools used to effectively build a brand. It’s critical that merchants can ensure their brand is present during what is arguably the most important process of their business: the point where their customers actually buy their products.

Any merchants who need to collect special data can tailor their checkout forms to collect this information right in line with the checkout process they’ve created. For example, merchants who sell gifts or flowers may want to collect a greeting card message as the customer is checked out. Other benefits for merchants include the ability to track and analyze their customers’ behaviors. While we previously offered the ability to track customers using Google Analytics over our hosted solutions, data-hungry sellers can create line-by-line analytics to tweak and improve their checkout conversions over time.

What type of merchant would benefit the most from integrating the Payment API?

Merchants with a trusted brand that customers know and love will benefit immensely from using the API. While hosted solutions are great for merchants building trust with their customer base, those who already have a well-known company and product benefit greatly from controlling their entire checkout experience on their own site. Ultimately, all merchants can benefit from this type of integration as it can reduce the number of steps in a checkout process, and allows merchants to create a creative and compelling checkout process. Merchants who have used this product during our limited beta period have experienced significant increases in checkout conversions up to 35%.

How does the Payment API allow merchants to fully customize their websites?

Our API enables merchants to create any customized checkout process desired. Merchants can either customize an existing cart or let their creativity run wild and create one from scratch. In either case, they can rest assured that the payment processing will be seamlessly integrated.

How can merchants use the API to reach international audiences?

Any user of the 2Checkout Payment API gets the instant ability to accept payments from almost any country in the world. While the 2Checkout hosted solution also offers great international localization, the API gives an immediate edge to sellers who may need to target specific international markets, designing checkout processes in specific languages directly on their website. For example, If you’re a merchant who has a large customer base located in a specific country like China, you have the freedom to customize your checkout and payment processes to target that culture and directly code the site in the Chinese language.

What security measures does the Payment API use to keep both merchants and buyers completely protected?

The 2Checkout API offers encrypted client-to-server communication over SSL, providing merchants and their buyers with optimal protection for their sensitive card data.  Merchants encrypt the customers’ cards within the browser — this encryption data is sent directly to 2Checkout’s servers where it is securely tokenized and stored on our PCI Level 1 servers. For buyers concerned with using their credit card online, we’ve developed a way for our merchants to still offer the PayPal payment method to their customers while using the API. This method, which is a second small integration from the merchants checkout process, will allow them to bypass our hosted checkout page and send the buyer directly to PayPal.