How businesses handle payments today is critical for supplier selection, preferred payment terms and is driven in part by a rapid growth in digital payment options. Facilitating this greater choice are intelligent APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) that enable easy integrations and fast, secure, B2B payments.

Adflex’s RESTful API is one tool powering its acquirer agnostic platform, which provides access to industry-leading rates for B2B card transactions in over 150 currencies. Adflex CEO, Pat Bermingham, looks at just three ways in which an API-driven approach benefits both buyers and merchants.

1. Real-time payments, real-time allocation

In our increasingly digital world, payments are becoming quicker, even instant. Thanks to payment APIs, buyers and merchants can now reconcile goods in real-time, even for large B2B transactions. This ability enables businesses large and small to improve relationships and mitigate cash flow issues. This is particularly important in the case of supply chain industries that have been negatively impacted by late payments, such as construction. Real-time payments are only possible thanks to APIs, which enable such technologies to be easily integrated into a user’s payments platform.

While improved cash flow is an obvious advantage for merchants, the benefits for buyers – who will essentially pay for goods sooner – may be less obvious, but are significant. Real-time payments enable accounts payable processes to be automated, reducing time and costs for buyers, as well as extending working capital in some circumstances. Not only does this improve operational efficiency, but it can also reduce the risk of human error, which is often the cause of any over-or underpayment of goods.

2. Modular-based payments tech supports additional services

The value of APIs can be summed up in one word: flexibility. Flexibility to integrate with other services, flexibility to upgrade services without going offline, and flexibility to reach new customer bases.

A modular cloud-based payments platform avoids the traditional complexities associated with integrating new payments services. This cuts development times from days and weeks to just hours, minimising the disruption businesses fear they will face when adding to their payment offer.

This gives businesses the flexibility to handpick the services most suited to their business, whether that be straight-through processing (STP) for accounts payable, or integration with a back-office system or website for accounts receivable. A business also has the flexibility to pick the right payment instructions such as “authorise now, settle latter”, one-off payments, or recurring payments to remove manual requirements. APIs can further automate processes by integrating real-time reporting for reconciliation and payment allocation with one’s accounting system.

In B2B, payments models are complex and late payments can cause serious cash flow issues, so having a tailored suite of payments solutions can bring tangible benefits to merchants and buyers alike, improving relationships and operational efficiency.

3. Interoperability and simplified processes

As APIs develop, as does the user experience. For instance, at one time, third-party hosted payment pages or redirects were standard practice for eCommerce transactions. However, not anymore, with merchants now preferring Lightbox or Inline integration, which ensures the cardholders remain on their website.

Every redirect or lag on a payment page reduces the chances of the transaction being completed; users do not have the time, confidence or desire to wait, they simply want to pay and get on with their day. Following the 'modern approach' means fewer abandoned purchases and a better customer experience, which is vital in the world of B2B payments.

Selecting the right provider to sit at the end of an API call is crucial, as the wrong decision could end with lengthy outages, which can then lead to lost sales, damaged customer satisfaction and irreparable reputational damage. Good payment APIs are dependable, secure, future-proofed and again flexible, while providing the optimal user experience and ease for developers to integrate.

Adflex card payment API

The Adflex cloud-based API offers multiple modules for buyers and merchants, supporting eCommerce payment modules, such as website payments and payment links, as well as full back-office system integration with global software giants like SAP. The API also supports security measures such as enhanced fraud checks, Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) and various billing instructions for debit, credit and commercial cards. For example, one-off, bulk and recurring, using available tools like tokenization and Card on File to secure transactions and reduce PCI scope.

Learn more about how Adflex’s cloud-based RESTful API web services allow you to implement card payment processing into your applications. Visit Adflex documentation.