When you’re selling high-risk products online, there are often challenges you need to overcome before you can comfortably grow your business.
The uncertainty surrounding payment gateways and integrations can feel very restrictive and is a real frustration for many high-risk site owners looking for more custom payment applications for their site development. However, you can get the processing freedom and flexibility you’re looking for with NMI and their well thought out APIs.
At Blue Payment Agency, we’ve successfully helped countless high-risk merchants set up a new payment gateway with NMI. The reason we devote so much time to NMI, and why we became an official NMI reseller, is because NMI offers unique processing solutions. Better yet, you’ll get a unique sense of freedom and flexibility when setting up NMI’s APIs.
Before we go through the great APIs that NMI has to offer, it’s useful to quickly run through exactly what an API is. Additionally, we will also spend a little time going through SDK’s (as they’re often confused with APIs).
API is an abbreviation of the term “Application Programming Interface.” Essentially, an API is a clearly defined method of communication between different components. It allows you to build software and, crucially, for two software systems to communicate with each other. At its core, an API is a set of communication protocols, subroutine definitions, and tools. These “APIs allow a custom site or software system to “talk” to an established payment gateway.
A “Software Development Kit,” or devkit, is closer to a complete software package. It can be anything from a software framework, operating system, computer system, or other development platforms. The kit allows you to create systems and develop applications and basically provides a framework platform to perform multiple tasks.
In the simplest of terms, an SDK is a kit or package allowing developers to build systems and applications. It also includes instructions on how to achieve this. In contrast, APIs are highly specialized and created for an express purpose – to allow two or more systems or applications to communicate/interact with each other.
NMI has seven purpose-built APIs with pre-defined uses that allow you to integrate a piece of software with their payment gateway. In the case of high-risk e-commerce sites, NMI provides you with seven different ways to complete transactions.
While the Direct Post method API is the most straightforward integration method, it might be better suited for medium to large businesses. This is because, often, the brunt of PCI compliance will be on your end when using this integration method. In short, if you use this standard API, make sure you have passed a PCI vulnerability scan first.
In contrast to the Direct Post API, the Three Step Redirect API is excellent in terms of making PCI compliance more simple. It’s the preferred API for custom web-based payment processing as it achieves two things:
Add this to the fact that it’s the required method for using Verified by Visa/Mastercard SecureCode (Payer Authentication), and you have an excellent API for high-risk e-commerce.
As we mentioned, APIs are niche, purpose-built functions, and the NMI Query API very much fits the bill. It allows you to easily download and automatically import transaction data that you can use for in-house reporting, fulfillment, and analytics.
For many retail merchants, the value of NMI’s Mobile SDK cannot be understated. The devkit includes a mobile card reader library that makes applications requiring encrypted mobile card readers work smoothly. It also allows you to send keyed-in and swiped payment information without interacting with sensitive data by using its end-to-end encryption library. The Mobile SDK supports both iOS and Android.
Although arguably not a true API, the QuickClick NMI integration is a fantastic solution for smaller high-risk sites that don’t have an IT or dev team on hand. It’s a simple copy-paste of HTML that also includes a button generator. It will allow you to easily create straightforward links to services and products without needing any development knowledge or experience. QuickClick can be a workaround solution for site builders with limited high-risk integration such as Wix, and GoDaddy GoCentral.
Collect.JS is a very intelligent solution that takes full advantage of tokenization. Some of you might be familiar with “tokens” – if not, here is a quick summary of what the Collect.js does: it securely captures payment data from a popup form and generates a “token.” This is in turn used with the Direct Post API (discussed above). The great thing about this is that it replaces raw credit card or bank account data with a token. The icing on the cake is that no payment information goes through your site. The gateway technically hosts the popup form. As a result, you minimize your PCI-compliance footprint without sacrificing much in terms of customer experience or consistency.
The Gateway Emulator from NMI is another excellent application programming interface. The name gives away its function – it allows you to emulate a different gateway interface while using NMI. It’s important to note that to use the Gateway Emulator, your shopping cart needs to support the Authorize.Net AIM or SIM integration method. This is because the AIM or SIM allows you to change the transaction post URL to the Gateway Emulator URL. This will enable you to send a specific transaction through to the NMI secure servers as opposed to Authorize.Net’s while keeping pre-written software solutions in place.
At Blue Payment Agency, we help high-risk merchants with their NMI needs. As an official NMI reseller, we have the experience and expertise to help you get the very best out of the NMI payment gateway and recommend the APIs that offer the most value to you.
If you’re a high-risk merchant and want to start using NMI today, contact us here or give us a call at 844-253-9769. We look forward to helping you get the freedom and flexibility that NMI and its APIs have to offer!