Information on how iCG integrates with 3rd party software
Table of Contents:
Can iCheckGateway.com integrate with ABC Software?
iCheckGateway.com can usually integrate with any software using one of two possible strategies to share data. These options include API Integration or Data File Import/Export.
What is an API?
- Application Programming Interface
How does an API work?
- An API is a real-time way for computers to talk with each other.
- Computer Conversation Example 1:
Computer 1 could send a request to Computer 2 and ask "Do you have a customer for account number ABC123?" Computer 2 would then respond with "Yes, I do! They currently owe $125.00." or "Nope! NO customer here with that account number."
- Computer Conversation Example 2:
Computer 1 could send a request to Computer 2 and say "Hey! Customer with account number ABC123 just made a payment for $125.00!" Computer 2 would then respond with "Great! Thank you! I will make note of that on their account."
What type of information is usually shared through an API?
- Any information can be communicated between computers using an API, but 99% of all payment portals only need to Get Customer Data or Post A Payment!
Data File Import/Export
What is a data file?
- A data file is usually just a text file that contains information. These files can either be delimited files or fixed width files in most cases.
What is a delimited data file?
- With a delimited data file, the information in the file is separated by a "delimiter." The most common delimiters are commas or tabs. These data file types would be referred to as Comma Delimited files or Tab Delimited files.
What does a delimited data file look like?
- It could look like this:
What is a fixed width data file?
- Instead of separated data in the file with a delimiter, specifications are set to determine the width of the information in the file. For example, in each line of the data file, characters 1 through 17 could be the customer account number and characters 18 through 28 could be the amount paid.
What does a fixed width data file look like?
- It could look like this:
How are data files transmitted between computers?
- In most cases, SFTP is used to securely upload or download data files. This can be managed manually by a user through an SFTP client or automatically through a scheduled process.
What is a SFTP?
- SFTP stands for Secure File Transfer Protocol. It allows for files to be uploaded or downloaded over an encrypted connection.
What is an SFTP Client?
- An SFTP Client is a software that allows a user to connect with SFTP and upload or download files. Many SFTP Clients are free to use such as FileZilla or WinSCP. The user would just need to download their preferred SFTP Client and enter the settings/credentials provided to upload or download files. This is what an SFTP Client connection can look like:
How do I know which Integration Method to use?
Simple! The reseller, merchant, or software vendor will need to tell us what options are available with ABC Software.
What if ABC Software has an API?
- Great! They will need to send us their API documentation and test credentials for our tech team to review.
What if ABC Software can import/export data files?
- Great! They will need to send us a sample of each file type and any available documentation about the file format used. In most cases they will want to Export a customer data file and Import a payment data file.
That was easy! Now we can integrate with ABC Software!
What do we do with our newfound seamless data integration?
In most cases, the merchant will be able to use a payment portal or IVR phone system that accesses the customer data. The payment portal or IVR system can present the user/caller with any available data in the customer information. This can be used to validate that a customer account number exists and is correct or detail specifics about when a last payment was made and how much is currently due! After payments are made on a customer account, ABC Software will be updated automatically to know who has paid, when, and how much!
Now customers of iCheckGateway.com and users of ABC Software will have reduced manual data entry and improved data accuracy, leading to rest-filled nights, lower stress levels, and joyous outbreaks in their account receivables department!