If you’re a tech leader at a company looking for a settlement API, you may be having difficulties managing your increasing payment volumes as your company scales. These challenges can be:
Trouble reconciling payments manually, especially in a high-volume setting.
Spending lots of time and resources verifying the data in your ERP or accounting tools.
Waiting for a batch file to come in before you can update your books and the balances of your customers.
These obstacles can quickly go from a nuisance to a hindrance as your finance teams struggle to track and record settlement details. At the same time, delayed payment confirmations hurt your customer's journey, slowing them down and testing their loyalty as they wait to complete or confirm transactions with you.
A settlement API can solve many of these problems as it transforms manual processes into automated and real-time ones. In this article, we’ll explore how we can provide you with settlement information through our APIs, including:
Can’t wait to get real-time settlement confirmations over one API? Contact us now to see how we can transform the way you settle and reconcile payments.
How Zai’s APIs work for settlement
As payment orchestration experts operating for 10+ years in Australia, we've developed a settlement capabilities that connects to our full suite of payment tools that you can access via our RESTful APIs. These tools can cover several aspects of the payment journey – from collection and orchestration to reporting and reconciliation. As a result, you can simplify your payment infrastructure while also transforming the way you handle, report and reconcile your customers’ transactions.
Our APIs act as a real-time ledger by sending you notifications for each transaction
Instead of settling transactions in bulk as other payment service providers (PSPs) do, our settlement API services provide line-item transactions. Our real-time ledger system notifies you via API calls whenever a transaction type is made and when it settles into your account within our payment ecosystem.
We use webhooks that are actively listening to payment events in your account with us. Our webhooks are flexible, so you can set them up to notify you based on what you think is best for your platform – whether in periodic messages or in real-time as payment activity occurs.
Payment notifications can happen in a wide range of payment scenarios, including:
Collections or payins made from an external account to your platform.
A transaction takes place between your payers or payees within your platform via wallet accounts (more on that below).
Payouts that leave your account to an external account.
Under this setup, you’ll be able to instantly know when the transaction arrives on or leaves your platform. Now, your ledger will be up-to-date each time there’s a payment event in your system. Balancing the books, in turn, becomes a straightforward and manageable experience. These webhooks will inform you of payment, regardless of the payment method used by your customers. Whether you accept payments by card, bank transfer, BPAY, direct debit, PayTo or a combination of methods, you can receive an alert when a payment event happens.
Our webhooks also work for other functions outside of accounting and reconciliation. If you need to notify your customers of their payment activities, you can connect our APIs to your customer interface. That way, they can get instant notification whenever payments and disbursements occur on their behalf.
You can also use our APIs and webhooks to customise your payment flow designs to best match your business model and resolve your most pressing payment issues.
Connect to accounting and ERP systems that allow it
One of the great benefits of using our RESTful APIs to manage your settlement is that you can plug them into many enterprise resource planners (ERPs) or accounting tools that accept APIs. Once connected, your software bookkeeping tools will automatically stay current on the transactions you or your customers make.
Another benefit is that you'll receive the total amount of your transactions, without provider fees getting in the way. Since we bill monthly, we don't remove our credit card processing fees or payment service costs from your transactions. With the full amounts, you'll be able to track and match transaction IDs easier.
Your finance teams in charge of reconciliation will feel the impact immediately. For them, their role will go from continuously playing catch-up, to monitoring and controlling and staying informed of your payment activity so you can plan for the future.
Stay on top of your customers’ transactions with wallet accounts
With Zai, you can create individual wallets for each one of your end customers. This feature enables you to offer everyone on your platform a secure place to receive funds and make payments. For your customers, that means they can:
Top up their account with you directly, so they can start buying or transacting with you and your other customers.
Receive and make instant payments between themselves. Since the wallet sits within our payment environment, settlement takes place in our ledger-style ecosystem.
Payout to an external source, so that they can place their proceeds wherever they see fit.
Our webhooks will notify you and your system whenever one of these transactions takes place, giving your books and end customers up-to-the-minute information.
Reconcile more easily with virtual accounts
You can also apply a virtual account on top of each wallet for automatic reconciliation, matching, and tracking of bank payments. Our virtual account service is a unique account and BSB number for each wallet. With these, your customers can send and transfer money to and from their wallet just like a regular bank account (as opposed to relying on cards).
In addition to improved customer experience, the real power of virtual accounts comes from how it simplifies reconciliation. Since the account and BSB numbers are unique, whenever a transaction to them enters or leaves your platform, you can match and track it instantly. That way, you can reconcile your books automatically, instead of having to manually credit or debit a customer’s wallet versus the reference in their transfer.
You can further enhance and simplify your customer experience by giving your end-customers a payment identifier via PayID. When end-customers use an easy-to-remember email address for NPP payins, your reconciliation process becomes easier because you’ll be able to track and match payments instantly.
Why use our payment APIs to streamline your settlement process
Our payment APIs' benefits go far beyond settlement confirmation and reconciliation. Here are some of the most popular features leading growth companies in Australia use to reinvent the way they handle payments:
Get real-time notifications of payment activity
We know growing firms with high payment volumes prefer to be up to date as payments happen. That’s why we emphasise always-on notices instead of you having to rely on batch files sent well after the transaction took place.
Our RESTful APIs deliver notifications via webhooks, which can notify you whenever a payment event occurs on your account. You can also schedule our API webhooks whenever you choose so you can get the information you need to stay on top of your payments. In the rare case that a notification from our webhook fails to reach you, our system will continue to try it for over 24 hours until you receive it successfully.
Your product team will also appreciate the power of our payment notification webhooks. They know how important customer experience is to keeping clients active, engaged and coming back. With our settlement API functions, your product and developer teams can update your platform’s customer interface whenever a payment state occurs.
Our payment APIs can also trigger a milestone event in your system. For example, say that you run an online marketplace connecting peer-to-peer vinyl collectors. Whenever a buyer transfers funds, an API can send a message to the seller and their shipping provider to move on to the next step. With our help, you can split the payment as soon as it settles.
From there, you’ll deliver the funds to the seller, the shipping company, and yourself for commission. Our webhooks will notify you whenever these events happen, keeping your ERP or accounting tool current in the process.
Connect Zai to ERP and accounting tools that accept APIs
Your finance departments aren’t the only ones depending on the ERP. Planning, procurement, and upper management rely on this tool to give them the intelligence they need to make decisions. Customer success and support teams also need accurate information to ensure your customers remain satisfied.
With our API, you can connect Zai’s payment and settlement tools directly to an ERP, accounting tool, or dashboard that accepts third-party APIs. When that happens, the transformation is immediate and far reaching, with teams across the company now able to focus on what matters most: building and offering a great product to your customers – without overloading your staff.
Zai’s APIs act as a digital ledger supporting multiple payment methods
We built our RESTful APIs as a singular endpoint for the payment process. Part of that meant creating a real-time ledger, which accelerates the information you receive from the payment rails that process your various payment methods. For example, a payment can enter into your payment provider’s bank account in your favour or leave to the benefit of a counterparty, but you might not know about it for minutes, hours, or even days later.
Since we work with API technology, we provide this feedback to you as soon as we’re notified ourselves, not when the funds transfer to your bank account or go out to another beneficiary. Our APIs help to digitise legacy banking infrastructure. Through our tools, you can connect to the established financial system with modern tools made for today’s growing, digital-native companies.
Have your developers check out our guides and API reference docs. Here they can take a look under the hood to understand our API endpoints and environments, authentication, and API specifications via JSON or Swagger formats.
Accept a variety of payment methods with notifications as they occur
As part of our comprehensive payment API suite, you can take payments from many popular payment methods in Australia. These include:
However you choose to accept payments, you can set up our webhooks to inform you once they settle into our ecosystem, letting you track the change right away.
We’re also one of the first providers in Australia to offer PayTo and NPP real-time payments. With our API you can connect to this new way to make real-time payments.
If you’re using wallet accounts, you can even create a unique PayID for each of your customers to make bank and PayTo payment validations easier and facilitate reconciliation.
We recently wrote a blog post on how to prepare and implement PayTo. We highly recommend checking it out to learn more about this exciting new payment method in Australia.
Improve CX through instant notification of transaction movements
Outside of the ERP and the finance department, there are many gains to be made around customer experience and payments. Thanks to our settlement APIs and webhooks, you can update your end-customers’ interface as soon as a payment gets made in their favour, transferred to another end customer, or left the payment ecosystem for an external account.
This instant feedback has two impacts. First, it improves customer experience as it removes uncertainty over the transfer of money. Second, it reduces queries to your customer service teams. That frees them up to work on other pressing issues for your customers.
Get access to our full suite of payment tools and experts
We’re a company of experts who build bespoke solutions for companies with complex payment needs. During our decade-plus of experience, we’ve helped some of the fastest-growing companies in Australia reimagine how they handle payments.
Our RESTful API is at the core of these solutions. With it, you can connect to a full suite of APIs and tools to:
Collect payments from a variety of payment mediums.
Create payment orchestration to split and automate payments based on predefined rules and milestones.
Get insights through data and reporting.
You can access these services through our RESTful API, which keeps your stack lean and reduces the workload your developers need to implement your ideal payment state.
That said, we know that no two companies have identical payment needs. For that, we have a team of payment orchestration experts to guide you. These specialists will sit down with you from our first interaction, getting to know exactly what you need – real-time settlement, payment orchestration, or more. From there, they’ll craft a proposal for you and your tech leads to examine. If it works for you, we’ll support you as you implement the payment solution your company deserves.
Ready to see how we can help you make your payments work for you? Contact us today to get the conversation started.
How a growing Australian marketplace used Zai’s payment APIs to speed up settlement
A fast-growing B2B order management platform came to us with a problem. As their volumes grew, keeping up with transaction confirmations was overwhelming their finance department while also hindering the customer journey.
The finance team had a hard time manually settling transactions as they occurred. Those delayed confirmations rippled through to the customers as buyers and sellers needed to know exactly when payment between them occurred. As a platform helping the hospitality industry trade more efficiently, their business centred on connecting sellers of produce with restaurants, hotels, and cafes. If payments didn’t settle as soon as they happened, fresh food would spoil, and the buyers wouldn’t have the ingredients to make their products.
The platform reached out to Zai to help optimise their payment flows and speed up settlement confirmations. After sitting down with Zai’s payment design experts, the company’s product team connected both their ERP and front end to Zai’s webhook infrastructure. This connectivity enabled them to get real-time notifications whenever a customer made a payin or payout to and from their system. The tech teams ensured that these notifications went immediately into the ERP while also changing the status on the customer’s dashboard.
Combined with our wallet accounts and instant settlement between them, users on the platform could immediately see whenever payments were made in their favour; regardless if it was from an internal customer or outside the platform. The reconciliation team had their work transformed overnight. Now, instead of waiting for batch files and matching transactions, they could focus on monitoring real-time activity while also putting their skills to more value-driven activities.
Zai’s API suite: The instant settlement tool to help you grow
With Zai’s APIs, Australian companies no longer need to worry about delayed or batch settlement confirmations derailing their growth plans. Instead, your finance departments and end customers can get payment confirmations as soon as they occur, keeping the ERP current and accurate.
As your business volumes grow, you can rest assured you'll stay in control of transactions with Zai. Your product departments will deliver better payment experiences through real-time notifications of the transactions customers make on your platform. You'll keep your customers happy, coming back, and transacting. It's time to stop payment settlement from standing in the way of your growth strategy.
Zai is a leading provider of complex payment solutions over API, including real-time settlement notifications. We’re here to make the way you handle payments a seamless experience. Start the conversation with one of our experts now.
This information is correct as of May 2023. This information is not to be relied on in making a decision concerning an investment. We strongly recommend that you obtain independent financial advice before making any form of investment. This article is purely for general information purposes.