We envisioned a simple method for employees to donate to a variety of nonprofits. So we embarked on the development of a new service that used mobile payments to facilitate donations.

Part four of a series.

Over the course of the summer, our Shared Services, Marketing, and Digital Technology teams worked together to create: the Centric Connect Charitable Giving Platform.

Not only does the platform provide us an opportunity to strengthen our existing relationships with several non-profits, but it allows us to experiment with newer technologies.

It was obvious where our mobile donations platform would exist: as an added feature to Centric’s internal contacts and news app, Centric Connect.

Using Apple Pay and Stripe to Facilitate Mobile Payments

However, because the product would ultimately facilitate money flow, we also needed an approach that distanced Centric from any confidential payment data, but gave us enough information to gain insights on the donations being made.

Ultimately, we decided to use Apple Pay within the app to facilitate donations to charities. Apple Pay offered a number of features that aligned well with our requirements.

Apple Pay:

  • Simplifies the process by providing access to user credit card information but removing the need for us to interact directly with confidential data.
  • Further distances us from the actual transaction by requiring integration with a payment processor.
  • Allows us to test out a relatively new technology in a low-risk scenario.
  • And, it offers a clean, well-known user interface.

Apple Pay affords us the confidence in knowing we aren’t handling credit card information by giving us a “key” that represents payment data, without divulging any details. This security, combined with a familiar, baked-in UI made Apple Pay an ideal approach to gathering payment information.

But, before moving forward we needed to select a third-party payment processor because Apple Pay requires its transactions to be processed by a third party.

Although it initially seemed like an obstacle, partnering with a third party processor actually served our needs quite well. It meant our platform would be completely removed from the money flow.

We decided to use Stripe. Stripe’s smooth API, simple nonprofit on-boarding process, clear documentation and wide gambit of integrations made it a clear choice.

Here’s How Mobile Payments are Processed

Apple Pay

Here’s an outline of the payment process once a user chooses to make a donation.

As seen in the graphic, the only time Centric is exposed to information is when we are forwarded concealed payment data from our API to Stripe’s API. This provides us an opportunity to download data on the contribution.

With that data we can match donations and analyze details, including which business units are giving more, when giving is more popular and who common recipients or donors are.

Looking Ahead

Now that the Centric Connect Charitable Giving Platform has been rolled out, we’re looking at our next steps. We’d like to embrace more nonprofits. And, because our API is dynamic, we can change available organizations as we see a need.

Thanks to our insight on how combining Apple Pay and Stripe creates a hands-off solution to facilitating donations, we are ready to explore and contribute to the development of new mobile payment solutions.

Read the Series