Integrating Tap-On-Phone into Third-Party Applications

The Tap-on-Phone technology has been gaining traction across the globe for the past few years. Essentially, it allows merchants to use a smartphone as a POS terminal and accept bank cards with it. But as this technology evolved, it brought a need to integrate Tap-on-Phone mechanics into third-party applications that offer specialized functions. In particular, such applications include courier delivery apps, apps for waiters, taxi apps, and lots of others.

And here comes an important detail. Application developers usually fail to appreciate the difficulty of entering the payments industry. In everyday life, most developers only deal with Internet acquiring that is basically an API from a bank or e-com provider. It's not a big deal to maintain such an API. But it's all different with conventional merchant acquiring. Processing bank card payments requires a good extent of special knowledge and products including an EMV core, a TMS system, pre-processing, and others. These products must undergo industrial verification to guarantee security of payment data. Of course, 99.9% of app developer teams can't—and won't be able to—afford an in-house payment toolkit. But there's an escape route.

Being one of the first companies who introduced its own SoftPOS Tap-on-Phone solution, we were well aware of how complicated integration may be. This is why we began to develop a concept for integrating payment functions into third-party applications. Please note. We were aimed at integrating functions only, since our SoftPOS is not limited to bank cards: it also supports tokenized devices and Faster Payments (including NFC-enabled Faster Payments). There are two main approaches to integration:

1. Integration with Intents. In this scenario, two applications are installed on the smartphone: the client app (into which we are integrating our payment functions) and our SoftPOS app. In the client app, a payment page is created that will call the SoftPOS payment form through intents. The process itself looks totally seamless when the payment page appears straight in the client app without a need to open SoftPOS.

2. Integration with the SDK. With this method, we don't install two applications. In this case, the payment core and all payment function call functions live in the client app. This is probably the handiest integration method today.

It's also worth noting that all payment data is accumulated in JoinPay. Our clients can enrich their internal systems with transaction flow data via JoinPAY API.