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Vantiv: Simplifying Payments Innovation with APIs

A payment layer to help developers build powerful user experiences
Apr 19, 2016

Vantiv's Shawn McCarthy has a simple mission: simplify payments innovation. 

The company’s director of IT, portals, and APIs explained in a recent interview how Vantiv is trying to achieve this goal by leveraging its unique position as an "integrated payments layer” that exists between the worlds of merchants and payments systems.

Vantiv built this position from a legacy in payments processing. It was founded in 1971 by Cincinnati’s Fifth Third Bank as Midwest Payment Systems to supply electronic funds transfer services to financial institutions.

For a long time, Vantiv (the name the company took a year before its 2012 IPO) focused on investing in ESB technologies—“We were more concerned with publishing from our systems of record,” as McCarthy put it. 

But as Vantiv wanted to leverage its technology to create new and powerful digital experiences, it realized the need to take more of an "outside-in" view.

“We had never thought of this from a consumption perspective, which is really the developer side of it and how they leverage the APIs,” McCarthy said.

And payments processing requires far more than just enabling a payment, he added. It requires the support of refunds, returns, chargebacks, and settlement, McCarthy said. 

"The developer or partner who is creating the experiences needs to exercise all those APIs," he argued.  “We want to be that integrated payment layer that they use whenever they want to facilitate the payment part of that experience."

Using Apigee enables Vantiv to more easily speed developers on this path to innovation, he said.

"I want to focus on business of simplfying payments innovation, while I still care a lot about security, compatibility, measurability, and monetization," McCarthy said. "But it's nice to have a platorm that is best of breed to handle those things for me so I can put more energy into simplifying payments innovation."

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