API integration to automate payments and streamline workflows

Hannah Conway
12.12.19
7 minute read

Managing your payments as a small business can be complicated - whether you’re managing it via your website or app. This is where an API integration can help.

In this post we’ll take a look at some of the APIs that can help you automate and manage your payments, to make your finances a little less complicated - such as the TransferWise open API.

Before we get started, here is an overview of some key terms related to APIs. Already know how API works? Check out the APIs in this post.

What is a Payment API?

An API, essentially specifies how components will interact. When computers talk to each other, humans can do less copy-paste between applications. APIs are widely used in every software developed.

A payment API is for managing payments by integrating business tools from your favourite providers, to allow you to automate and better manage your payments and finances.

What does API stand for?

API stands for Application Programming Interface (API), and it allows software applications (programs) to communicate with one another.

API Token

An API token is a unique identifier that an app or website can use to access the API of other companies, like TransferWise. You can generate an API tokens from a sandbox environment or usually from your account with a provider.

What is an API Key?

An API key is the code used by computer applications. It’s allows the program or application to call the API in order to identify its user or developer to a website.

Sandbox environment

A sandbox is a testing environment that allows you to test software and code in an isolated environment. This allows developers to test features and build integrations. With an API token, your developers will be able to create seamless payouts and account automations.

API Documentation (docs)

API documentation is a quick and useful guide containing what you need to know to integrate a provider’s API.

What is a batch payment?

A batch payment is where multiple invoices, bills or payments is made in a single transaction. For example, if you’re paying all the staff in your payroll at once, or paying all of your outstanding bills.

With payout APIs you can automate payouts and streamline your workflows - and with some providers, like TransferWise, you can do all this for no extra charge or premium subscriptions.

Automated Payment Systems

We have put together a list of APIs that can help you manage your payments, to help you start your research into what provider is best for your business.

1. TransferWise open API

TransferWise is a money transfer specialist, offering fast, reliable and low-cost international payments. The TransferWise open API enables you to automate payments, connect your business tools, and create beautiful ways to manage your finances.

You can:

  • Automate invoice payments, recurring transfers, standing orders, or payroll.
  • Generate payments from invoicing software.
  • Get real-time notifications on platforms like Slack.
  • Simplify expense reporting.
  • Add TransferWise as a disbursement option to your website.
  • Track exchange rates and automate conversions.
Join over 5 million people and businesses that are saving every day with TransferWise.
Explore our docs to start automating payments

Get a sandbox account. Not a developer? Get in touch.

How to get a TransferWise API token?

You’ll need to get a TransferWise Business account to use their open API. Get a free account.

Once you have an account:

  1. Go to your sandbox account, or head to Settings.
  2. Make sure you have 2FA enabled.
  3. Scroll down to the end of the Settings page.
  4. Create a read-only token (for security purposes) and start building.

How to implement API?

You don’t need to be a business or a bank to use the API, and there are no extra charges or premium subscriptions. And it only takes a few minutes to get started.

  1. Create a free sandbox account (or log in to your real one). If you already have a TransferWise account, you can get your personal tokens from your account page.

  2. Start playing! All new sandbox environments are pre-funded with 1,000,000 GBP of test credit. So there's no need to use your own money. If you don't want to play, go right to your account page.

  3. Create your personal token. Create your own personal API token right from your TransferWise account.

  4. Get ready to go live. Follow the going live checklist. If your business account is new, make sure you're also verified and 2-step login is set up.

  5. Start building. Now that you’re connected, you can build anything you want. Or just automate your payments or processes.¹

2. PayPal API

PayPal Payouts API allows you to send global, automated payments securely and quickly. Payments can only be received into a PayPal or Venmo account, and unfortunately at this time Venmo is only an option for US recipients at the moment.

It uses a flow process, where a payout request is validated by the Payouts API and the payments are automatically sent. You’ll need a PayPal Business account for PayPal API integration. Some key features are:

  • Suitable for use by businesses of all sizes, particularly e-commerce sellers.
  • Make batch payments to up to 15,000 recipients using one API call.
  • Industry-standard REST API to automate payments.
  • View reports from your PayPal Business account.
  • Support available via ticket or technical community support.

How to get a PayPal API key?

You’ll need a PayPal Business account. To get an access token, pass your OAuth 2.0 credentials through either:

  1. A cURL command.
  2. The Postman app.³

For more information, visit PayPal for further details.

HyperWallet Global Payouts

HyperWallet’s Global Payout Solutions gives you a platform to make localised, multi-currency payments to countries all over the world. A PayPal service, you can use it to pay salaries to staff, royalties to artists, earnings to sellers or even fares to drivers.

  • Scalable and suitable for companies of all sizes, already used by businesses such as Expedia and Freelancer.⁴
  • Mass payments tool, so you can make multiple payments in one transaction.
  • Advanced, developer-friendly API to automate workflow.
  • Multi-currency payouts to different countries.
  • Self-service portal for employers, contractors and suppliers.
  • Dedicated support centre offering phone or live chat assistance.

There are fees to use HyperWallet, but pricing isn’t publicly available⁵ – so you’ll need to get in touch for a tailored plan that suits your needs.

TechToPay Payouts

Aimed primarily at e-commerce sellers, connecting buyers and sellers all over the world - TechToPay’s Payouts platform is designed to make it easy to pay third parties all over the world, from freelancers to individual bank accounts. It utilises an extensive bank transfer network to facilitate instant payouts, with simple customer onboarding and customisable timing that works best for your business. Some of the features you’ll get are:

  • Mass payments functionality.
  • Integrate with the TechToPay API to automate payments and customise the platform.
  • Instant payouts to over 30 countries.
  • Support services provided via phone and email.

As for how much TechToPay costs to use, you’ll need to get in touch with the company as there’s no pricing information publicly available.⁶

Stripe API

Stripe Connect Payouts helps marketplaces, platforms and e-commerce businesses to make mass payments to third parties by automating payout workflows.

  • Batch payments to pay multiple recipients at once.
  • API-first platform to customise onboarding, payout timing and complex payment management.
  • Make payments to sellers in multiple currencies.
  • International support once you have a Stripe account.⁷

There are no platform-specific fees to use Stripe Connect to pay users with Standard accounts, but fees start from £2 per active account per month (plus additional fees per payout) when paying those with Express or Custom accounts.⁸

Neteller

Powered by Paysafe, Neteller offers instant global payouts to vendors, suppliers, affiliates and employees. Recipients can access their money instantly. It’s convenient for mass payments, but there doesn’t currently seem to be an option to set up automated payments at the moment.

  • Ideal for online commerce businesses, but can be used by anyone needing an instant payout solution.
  • Mass payment option, to pay multiple recipients at once.
  • Multi-currency payouts to a range of countries worldwide.
  • Support information available online, but limited contact options.⁹

The recipient does not need to have a Neteller account to receive a payment. ¹⁰

Tipalti

Tipalti is a specialist in automated global mass payments, with a commitment to cutting out unnecessary admin time spent on managing payroll, accounts payable and more.

  • Suitable for all types of business, especially larger companies operating in multiple countries.
  • Mass payment solutions for transfers of all complexities.
  • Built-in, full-featured open API for automating payment processes.
  • Pay suppliers in over 190 countries and in 120 currencies.¹¹
  • Integration with Xero and other accounting systems.
  • Self-service supplier onboarding.
  • Dedicated support team.

Tipalti’s platform fees range from around £230 to £1,230 a month depending on the plan.¹²

EasyStaff Payouts

EasyStaff provides enterprise-level automated payout services, so you can reduce your workload when it comes to making mass payments. You can pay your office rent, your staff, your suppliers and any other third party.

  • EasyStaff is a time-saver for accounts managers in companies of all sizes.
  • Send mass payments to recipients all over the world.
  • Full-featured API integration for streamlined, automated workflows.
  • Multi-currency payments.
  • Support via email and phone.¹³

With an open API from providers, like TransferWise for Business, you can automate your payments with ease.

Whether you’re an ecommerce business that wants to automate recurring orders or you want to automate recurring payroll, an open API can help you seamlessly automate payments, connect business tools, and create beautiful ways to manage your finances.

Sources used:

  1. TransferWise open API
    2. PayPal: API Payouts
  2. PayPal: API Overview
  3. HyperWallet
  4. HyperWallet: Pricing
  5. TechtoPay: API Integration
  6. Stripe: Payouts
  7. Stripe Connect Pricing
  8. Neteller Payout Solutions
  9. Neteller: Fees
  10. Tipalti: Global Payments
  11. Tipalti: Pricing
  12. EasyStaff Payouts

Sources checked on 12-December 2019.


This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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