A payment integration is a solution that can be implemented to address the payment needs of an application. By integrating with an established provider—like Dwolla, for example—it frees up a company’s time and resources to focus on building out the other core functionalities of an app or optimizing for user experience.

At Dwolla, we believe the most important consideration for any payment integration is functionality. Can the payment integration do what is specifically needed within the app?

Because if every other aspect of the payment integration is perfect—but the solution cannot solve your specific functionality requirements—then it doesn’t help.

“ACH is not a simple process,” said Chris Johnson, a Senior Developer for Kidfund. “If you told me I had to deal with FTPing fixed-width text files to a bank or the Federal Reserve, I would probably run. But Dwolla takes all of that complexity and wraps it up behind a well-documented API. So all we have to think about in transferring money is who and how much.”

Choosing a payment integration is comparable to building a car. The car is the entire application and the engine is comparable to the payments solution. If you were building a car, would it be more effective to install a pre-built engine—like the Dwolla Platform—or build an engine from scratch?

As businesses decide whether to build their own payment solution or integrate with a payment platform, we’ve proposed nine considerations for businesses to weigh as they approach this decision.

We’ve highlighted a few of the considerations below:

Find a solution with an effective payment integration

Once you are confident the payment integration fits your use case, the next step is make sure the pricing fits your business model. Pricing that takes a fee or portion of every single transaction can stifle profit growth for rapidly growing businesses.

If you’re expecting a high number and frequency of transactions, a per transaction fee on every transaction is not the most scalable pricing model. For businesses in this circumstance, a flat-rate SaaS pricing model could prove more effective.

After choosing a payment integration partner, your next step will be actually taking action and integrating that solution into your platform or application.

The payment integration process shouldn’t be painful, integrating should be straightforward with resources to guide you along the way.

For example, Dwolla offers guides and a sandbox environment to help developers in this process.

Looking for a payment integration with similar resources can prove valuable.

The differences between a payment integration and payment gateway

A payment gateway is an e-commerce application that authorizes payments for e-businesses, online retailers or traditional brick and mortar businesses.

A gateway allows the customer to go off to a third party site to fill out their payment details before they are sent back to complete the checkout process with a merchant.

Dwolla’s Off-Site Gateway is only available for API v1 users, which Dwolla no longer supports.

Today, Dwolla offers the Dwolla Platform as a payment integration solution to address the needs of an application.

Seek constant improvement and feedback

When shopping around for a payments integration provider, don’t overlook the support aspect.

The ideal payment integration partner provides integration engineers and account managers who know the API front to back. It is their job to help with any questions you might have and offer areas of improvement along the way.

Along with integration engineers, account managers, developer documentation and the sandbox, Dwolla offers perspective on information security, statement emails and terms of service. We provide support to help our customers are meeting ACH compliance requirements.

“In our search for a solution, it was clear from the developer documentation that Dwolla was a modern in-road to the ACH network,” said Brian Fritton, CTO and Co-founder of Patch of Land. “Better yet, from the dedicated support and outstanding tools Dwolla provides, we continued to find new value adds that really made the solution standout.”

Because your application will be going through constant growth and development, shouldn’t your payment integration be doing the same?

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