PayPal Releases Web Services APIs for Developers

PayPal yesterday introduced PayPal Web Services, a set of application programming interfaces (APIs) that the company hopes developers will use to build code that will integrate the PayPal platform into other e-commerce systems.

PayPal Web Services, based on open standards and currently in beta, consists of four new informational and transactional APIs. This new offering adds to PayPal’s existing payment-and-reporting features, including PayPal’s popular Instant Payment Notification (IPN) service.

Four New APIs

In its initial release, the PayPal Web Services beta provides access to the following four API calls:

  • TransactionSearch. Based on specified search criteria, such as payment date or customer name, the TransactionSearch API returns a set of matching transaction IDs and basic transaction details.
  • GetTransactionDetails: For a given transaction, the GetTransactionDetails API returns all details associated with a transaction, such as customer e-mail address, time of payment and purchase details.
  • RefundTransaction: For a given transaction, calls to the RefundTransaction API reverses the transaction and issues a refund or partial refund to the purchaser.
  • MassPay: The MassPay API transfers funds to recipients by providing an automated alternative to cutting paper checks or manually initiating individual payments.
  • The company intends these new APIs to help foster more automated access to the PayPal platform.

    APIs Based on Open Standards

    The company said the new APIs are based on open standards that support the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and the Web Services Description Language (WSDL).

    “Through PayPal Web Services, we are able to expand the availability of advanced online payment capabilities to a new class of developers, third-party tool vendors and merchants,” said Dave McClure, director of PayPal’s Developer Network.

    “These new standards-based APIs will allow almost anyone to create innovative applications and services incorporating PayPal.”

    Already Incorporating PayPal APIs

    One of the first companies to incorporate PayPal’s SOAP-enabled APIs is Grand Central. A business services network, Grand Central offers integration-on-demand software to help with Web-services integration.

    “Grand Central provides businesses with a powerful, yet easy, network to publish and consume services on demand,” said Ron Palmeri, executive vice president of product and corporate development at Grand Central. “By incorporating PayPal Web Services into our Business Services Directory, we can now offer our customers … [a] cost-effective integration to PayPal’s powerful e-commerce platform, which is used by more than 45 million member accounts around the world.”

    Developer Central

    Developers and merchants can set up and access the PayPal Web Services at the newly launched PayPal Developer Central site.

    Designed as an information source for e-commerce developers, PayPal’s Developer Central offers details on how to set up developer certificates, get started with PayPal APIs and access developer forums for discussion and questions. Developers also can use the new PayPal Sandbox, a testing environment for PayPal Web Services.

    The PayPal Web Services architecture shares a common API structure with eBay’s Web services offerings. Developers can learn more about the eBay and PayPal platforms at the eBay developer conference, an event that will take place starting June 23rd in New Orleans, Louisiana, at the eBay live conference.

    PayPal, an eBay company, lets any individual or business with an e-mail address send and receive payments online. PayPal’s service builds on the existing financial infrastructure of bank accounts and credit cards and uses a proprietary fraud-prevention system. Founded in 1998, PayPal touts more than 45 million accounts and is available to users in 38 countries around the world.

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