Payment Gateway Solutions: Implement Stripe with Ionic

September 22, 2020

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Stripe allows developers to provide flawless and secure payments in web and mobile apps. In this article, we explain how mobile payment gateways work, present Stripe’s and Ionic’s benefits, and show how to implement this combination to your app.


You will learn:

  1. What are mobile payment gateways?
  2. How do they work?
  3. Why choose Stripe?
  4. Why choose Ionic?
  5. How to implement Stripe with Ionic?


What is a Mobile Payment Gateway?

Mobile payments are present everywhere. Not only in e-commerce apps but also flight booking, hotel reservation, grocery shopping, ride-request apps. Mobile payments are also utilized in B2B apps, providing a safe paycheck to their users. To perform a payment, when you pay for pizza delivery in a restaurant’s mobile app, you use a mobile payment gateway. What is that?

A Payment Gateway is a service that allows us to provide any financial transaction by transferring data between a user’s device and a bank. It enables credit or debit card integration to a mobile app.


How Do App Payment Gateways Work?

The technology securely collects customer information on the frontend part of our app and then sends it to a bank or payment processor to perform the transaction. For example, our shopping cart in an e-commerce app is linked to a payment gateway. When a user checks out, the gateway sends a request to a chosen bank. Then, the bank needs to confirm the transaction. 

The whole process takes a few seconds:

  • a user adds products to the shopping cart,
  • the cart is linked to a payment gateway,
  • a client puts their card data into required fields, 
  • after a user finishes a purchase, the request goes to the gateway,
  • it is sent to an acquiring bank,
  • the request is validated by a bank,
  • once a transaction is approved, the bank sends an authorization code to the retailer,
  • the card is debited.

To provide that kind of checkout flow and a mobile payment gateway in our app, we need to use the payment platform like Stripe, PayPal, Braintree, or others.


Additional Payment Verification in the European Union

Last year in the European Union new requirements regarding authentication of online payments went live as a part of the Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2). Now, many online payments require additional verification. It makes payments harder especially for businesses that use subscription-based models or where customers pay without actively participating in a checkout process. We talk more about SCE in this article: Strong Customer Authentication. The easiest way to provide flawless checkout for customers from the European Union is to choose a payment provider who established necessary SCA-ready procedures.


Providing Payments in Your App

Various payment service providers allow us for different payment options: by cards, wallets like Google Pay or Apple Pay, as well as local, popular payment methods around the world. There are various ways to apply for a payment in the app, but the most important thing in any of them is that you need to provide users with a secure and flawless checkout process. 

You have to make the whole process extra secure because your app will process fragile data. It’s also crucial to remember about providing excellent user experience – no distractions, no difficulties. Otherwise, users will abandon the shopping cart. To achieve that, you need to choose a professional payment platform, which provides a secure and reliable process.


Why Stripe?

For our projects, we often choose Stripe and we highly recommend this payment platform. It provides the highest security. After you integrate it to your app, all sensitive data bypasses your servers and goes directly to Stripe. Then, the platform gives you a token related to the transaction. Stripe’s integration is really easy.

Their software is up to date, they were excellently prepared for Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) months before it went live. They also offer additional tools like Stripe Relay, that allows other businesses to sell within your app – customers can purchase without leaving the app.

A Stripe account is similar to a bank account. It needs to have a default currency, but you can collect payments in any of 130 available currencies – they are then converted to yours. Stripe allows your app’s users to pay with wallets like Google Pay or Apple Pay. You can use Stripe Checkout to set up the form in the fastest and most automated way or use Stripe’s API to create a customized one.


Stripe from Developers’ Point of View

Stripe is well prepared for developers providing fast and easy integration with a website or an app. The documentation is detailed and excellent. It gives you examples which are relevant to what you’re doing. What is more, there are many code snippets you can transfer directly to your code. SDKs provide customized UI elements you can easily adapt to your app. Stripe’s SDKs for Android and iOS support Android 4.4 and up, and are compatible with iOS 9.0 and above. Native iOS and Android libraries created by Stripe allow you to collect credit card information directly. No sensitive data needs to pass your servers.


Why Ionic?

Ionic is a front-end cross-platform framework that allows you to create one code, and easily share it between iOS, Android, and web, with little adjustments. It speeds up the process so you can put your app in front of users fairly quickly.

Ionic allows you to access native device’s features like geolocation, camera, bluetooth, using Cordova plugins. The framework easily integrates with Firebase, so you can set up a cloud infrastructure quickly. It’s convenient, especially for MVP development.

Development with Ionic is fast because the framework provides many ready-made, easy-to-use components. Documentation is rich and detailed. Since the Ionic 4 release, Ionic uses web components, so it’s framework-agnostic (you can use your favourite framework or no framework at all), and provides really great app’s performance.


Implementing Stripe with Ionic

Each payment service provider offers a software development kit (SDK) and detailed documentation for developers. You can find there all the information about a mobile app integration with the payment gateways. You will probably find Stripe’s detailed documentation very useful. And here’s a link to information about Stripe API libraries

To implement Stripe with an Ionic app, you need to use a Cordova plugin. The Stripe plugin allows you to use Stripe’s Native SDKs for Android and iOS (info about the plugin in Ionic’s documentation).

That was the Ionic native implementation, which is the easiest and works both for mobile apps and PWAs. The alternative approach is to use Stripe.js. That’s a JavaScript implementation of Stripe’s functionality. Using JavaScript, the Stripe functionality is delivered dynamically into the page.

To integrate Stripe into an Ionic app you can use Firebase because Stripe allows only for payments from the backend. You need to connect your Firebase project to an Ionic app and create a Firebase function to enable payment requests. All this process is presented step by step in this tutorial.


From Our Experience

During our Ionic development projects, we’ve learned that Stripe is fairly easy to implement with Ionic. The solution is secure because all the weight connected to fragile data storage (like credit card data) is on Stripe’s side. However, remember to not try storing fragile data in your API or database, allow for the direct communication with Stripe API. What we appreciated a lot was detailed, extended documentation and API provided for various programming languages. 

Want to learn more about useful Ionic integrations? Find out how push notifications will boost your app’s business value and what you need to implement them with your Ionic app.

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