Payments - FAQs
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What is the Payments API?

The Payments API processes card transactions for all major brands, not just MasterCard. It's designed to be integrated into applications so merchants can accept payment in exchange for goods and services using a common set of transaction types.

What transaction types do you support?

We support the following transaction types:

  • Authorization – the first step of a two-step transaction. This transaction is used to check funds availability and place a hold on funds until the second (capture) transaction is performed. It can be used when an order needs to be fulfilled before a purchase is completed. It is also used when a transaction needs to be validated using one or more fraud tools before being finalized.
  • Capture – the second step of a two-step transaction. This transaction is used to complete the purchase/settlement for a previously-authorized transaction.
  • Purchase – a composite service that combines authorization and capture into a single step.
  • Void – cancels a purchase or auth/capture transaction that has not yet been sent to the acquiring bank for settlement.
  • Refund – issues a refund to the cardholder's account as a result of a returned item or service.

We plan to add a recurring and/or subscription transaction, depending upon demand.

How do I use these transaction services?

These services are available in the sandbox – see our Developer Zone (https://developer.mastercard.com). However, if you want to implement live transactions, then you are going to need to arrange for whoever buys or uses your application to have a merchant bank account with an acquiring bank.

Will it work with my programming language?

Yes.  Like all MasterCard APIs, payments is technology agnostic.  It is a REST web service that communicates XML.  So, regardless of your programming language, you can integrate payments.

Does it process credit cards other than MasterCard?

Yes.  The payments API processes all major payment card brands. Credit cards, debit cards, and prepaid cards can be used for ecommerce, mcommerce and other card not present transactions.

Is there a test environment?

Yes.  We provide a sandbox that mirrors the production environment.

Does it have 24/7 support?

If you can't find the answers you're looking for in our developer communities, just post your questions on one of our forums and we'll get back to you quickly (usually within 24 hours).  If you need more information, send us an email using the Contact Us form, and a support representative will answer your question(s) or direct you to one of our many experts.

What are your plans for developing the Payments API?

Clearly an important goal is to integrate with as many payment gateways and acquiring banks as possible. We also plan to add more capabilities to our Payments API as we receive feedback from developers and other parties in the payments process.

There are so many Payments APIs – why should I use you?

Our Payments API will provide a consistent interface into payment processing platforms. The vision is that all you would need to do is change to a different Merchant ID (as issued by an acquiring bank) and that would direct your payment transactions to a different platform. In combination with the other services we are standing up, we will offer tremendous flexibility in your choice of payment processor platforms.

What about the need for PCI compliance?

Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance is a critical component in protecting customer's payment card information. Data breeches can cost millions of dollars. Adopted by all major payment card brands, PCI compliance is required for all merchants that store, transmit or process payment card information. Therefore you will need PCI certification when using our Payments API, but we are working on a solution to help you – watch this space!

What about merchant services?

The Payments API is intended to provide access to payment transactions. The OpenAPI team is not providing a comprehensive merchant solution. Instead we are providing some of the tools needed for developer teams to build their own solutions at whatever level of sophistication is desired (take a look at some of our other services that could support mashups in this space). And if you have a burning need for a particular acquirer or some other payment transaction type – let us know!

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