Providing Full Featured Payments (API) at Scale

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Slide deck from a panel on Payments at the API Strategy & Practice Conference in NYC - discussing about how Payment APIs evolved at PayPal and what lessons we've learned from it. Please see the comments below for the notes for each slide (for some reason slideshare is not able to pick up the notes as the transcript - so this is the only way I could do it)

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  • Slide 2: Not many people realize that PayPal has always been an API company. We were doing APIs for a really really long time. It all began with money transfers between PDAs and email payments, but pretty quickly we started opening up APIs to enable merchants collect payments from various ecommerce applications.
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  • Slide 3: Over years we added API on top of another to enable a variety of payment functionality to address the merchant needs.
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  • Slide 4: Payments domain might sound simple – after all it’s all about moving money between two entities. But the context in which they are made, and various scenarios & use-cases that they play in is just amazing. Over years through the APIs we have built, we did enable quite a large set of payment capabilities that probably no other payment provider supports today.
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  • Slide 5: If we look back and see what kind of integration methods we have enabled – again you will see a wide range of methods. This of course could have been done in a better way establishing some consistency and using some open standards, but again as I said earlier – when we were building these, the API ecosystem did not even exist! Yeah our buttons are so web 1.0 but keep in mind no one even knew that web has versions at that point.
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  • Slide 6: So with all those APIs providing several capabilities and enabling different integration methods – you can imagine what kind of a complex env/infrastructure we have to internally deal with and of course we all know what external developers feel when they see our APIs – nothing to hide here!
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  • Not many people realize that PayPal has always been an API company. We were doing APIs for a really really long time. It all began with money transfers between PDAs and email payments, but pretty quickly we started opening up APIs to enable merchants collect payments from various ecommerce applications.
  • Over years we added API on top of another to enable a variety of payment functionality to address the merchant needs.
  • Payments domain might sound simple – after all it’s all about moving money between two entities. But the context in which they are made, and various scenarios & use-cases that they play in is just amazing. Over years through the APIs we have built, we did enable quite a large set of payment capabilities that probably no other payment provider supports today.
  • If we look back and see what kind of integration methods we have enabled – again you will see a wide range of methods. This of course could have been done in a better way establishing some consistency and using some open standards, but again as I said earlier – when we were building these, the API ecosystem did not even exist! Yeah our buttons are so web 1.0 but keep in mind no one even knew that web has versions at that point 
  • So with all those APIs providing several capabilities and enabling different integration methods – you can imagine what kind of a complex env/infrastructure we have to internally deal with and of course we all know what external developers feel when they see our APIs – nothing to hide here! 
  • You might ask, why didn’t you guys start from scratch again ? Well the reality is the business was expanding faster than what it takes to rebuild/rationalize.
  • As you guys might have seen these #s from the last holiday season – our traffic/TPV grew over 23%. A lot of focus was on scaling and operational improvements.
  • Unlike other domains like Social, Local, etc. that most of the developers deal with – Payments unfortunately are driven by a lot of regulations and federal policies.
  • Here are few lessons learned from us that might help you while going through your journey of building APIs. Integration is the new API – so don’t just focus on your API alone but also on how some one would use your API. Another important aspect that you should really think about is “when is the right time to rationalize/redesign/start from scratch again?” – that I think is a very important aspect that every API provider should think about and how to handle it when the time comes.
  • Providing Full Featured Payments (API) at Scale

    1. 1. PROVIDING FULL FEATUREDPAYMENTS (API) AT SCALE!Praveen Alavilli@ppalavilliAPI Architect
    2. 2. WHERE IT BEGUN• 1998 • Beam money• 1999 • Email payments• 2000 • Auction payments• 2002 • Acquired by eBay
    3. 3. SINCE THEN … API API API … … …• PayPal Buttons• Express Checkout• Direct Payment• Payflow Gateway• MassPay• Mobile Checkout• Adaptive Payments• Carrier Billing• BillMeLater• Invoicing
    4. 4. ENABLING CAPABILITIES• Multiple Payment Models • Simple Payments • Chained & Parallel Payments • Subscriptions • Pre-approvals • Marketplace Payments • Mass Payments • Installments• Different Settlement Activities• Refunds/Non-Referenced Credits• P2P/C2B/B2B/B2C/….• Non-Profit/For-Profit/Fund Raising• Physical/Digital Goods & Services• Connected devices
    5. 5. DIFFERENT METHODS TO INTEGRATE• HTML Buttons• API • SOAP, json-rpc, nvp-rpc • Batch APIs• Instant Payment Notifications• Native Mobile Libraries• PCI compliant solutions• Shopping carts
    6. 6. REALITY IS… Async APIsClient Apps Client APIsMobile Apps Backend Web APIs PayPal Platform Other SOAP Platforms APIsWeb Apps Batch APIs Shopping Carts Hosted Solutions
    7. 7. SCALE IT FOR• 190 Markets• 25 currencies• 123 million active users• 81 localized web sites
    8. 8. LAST HOLIDAY SEASON $5,217 TPV / sec 7.5 million payments / day2012:• $145 billion in TPV• $97 billion through merchant services• $14 billion in mobile payment volume• 0.28 % loss rate• https://www.paypal-media.com/about
    9. 9. THE NOT SO SEXY SIDE• PCI DSS • Network, Storage, Systems, Access, Policies and Monitoring• Regulatory Obligations & Card Association rules • AML • Aggregation • Country specific policies
    10. 10. A FEW TIPS…• “Integration” is the primary • an awesome API makes “integration” a breeze• “Consistency” is very important• Don’t try to “educate” your developers - let them “explore”• Use “open” web standards• API and Product
    11. 11. THANK YOU!@ppalavilli

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