PayPal leads the way for online commerce with 435 million active accounts globally. Billions of dollars of transactions are made through PayPal powered by APIs. This real-time solution uses a microservices structure for sending and accepting payments in over 200 markets supporting 25 currencies. Its extensive network includes subsidiaries such as PayPal Braintree, Venmo, and PayPal Hyperwallet.
PayPal's commitment to democratizing financial services requires delivering a comprehensive range of products and services using APIs. Optimizing the developer experience when serving business-to-business, and business-to-developer audiences is imperative.
The focus on investments in APIs and the developer experience has been increasing yearly for PayPal. In April 2022, PayPal launched its first Public Postman Collection for developers of all kinds, which has seen great success since.
Time to first call (TTFC) reduced from hours to 1 minute
Testing time decreased to minutes from hours using Postman Collections
Postman Enterprise saves 1 hour of developer time per week
“PayPal's Public Postman Collection is in the top ten most requested APIs in terms of popularity and quality. We're committed to investing in this next generation of technology”
Dan Schulman, President and CEO, PayPal
Developers are key to unlocking the business value of internal and external APIs for merchants, customers, and partners. Consequently, creating a scalable premier developer experience was critical.
Demands on developers are ever-increasing. Internally, PayPal's engineers required a platform that would prevent duplication of work, facilitate collaboration on all API assets, and provide authentication credentials in one place. Simultaneously, PayPal's evolution to being an API-first organization led to a need for improved governance and documentation.
PayPal's vision is to enable anyone from a senior developer to a self-taught developer to invoke its APIs. Achieving this requires an easy-to-onboard process where developers can quickly explore and engage with APIs.
“An API-first approach enables us to offer developers increased flexibility, accelerated time to market, and scalability. At PayPal, we're committed to creating a simplified experience for developers.”
Mudita Tiwari, Senior Director, Developer Experiences, PayPal
PayPal's public APIs cover multiple functions including billing, invoicing, subscriptions, and more. External developers need to create APIs for all of these processes. It was a necessity that PayPal uses an API platform that can fully support external developers.
One metric that PayPal continually seeks to decrease is the Time To First Call (TTFC). This is the time it takes from signing up to making an API call, the most important API metric. It was also important to make the integration with PayPal a frictionless process for developers.
The Postman Enterprise plan made perfect sense for PayPal with thousands of its engineers already using it alongside Postman's 30 million user base.
“APIs are a core strength for PayPal moving billions of dollars globally. Thanks to Postman it's possible to explore and invoke APIs in minutes. Postman creates an extremely seamless experience.”
Swapnil Sapar, Principal Engineer, PayPal
With the Postman API Platform, PayPal engineers can define, design and test private, public, and partner APIs all-in-one place. Postman is used for end-to-end testing, integration testing, troubleshooting, monitoring, and mocking. The Postman API has automated updates to PayPal's workflows. There's now a single source of truth for all executable API assets helping API consumers and API producers.
Postman is crucial to the PayPal API production factory. Collaboration across the PayPal organization has been infinitely enhanced with Postman.
Thousands of developers use Postman on a daily basis, so much so that workspaces and collections have become a part of their everyday vocabulary. Workspaces provide a private view of API work while keeping everything organized and are extremely popular at PayPal.
Postman Collections are essential for sharing API work across different departments. API schematics and API operations contracts are now easily exchanged, allowing value to be delivered quicker than before.
Using Postman provides transparency for API accuracy and recovery which helps to answer leadership queries and has strengthened sales conversations.
“Postman is a playground—with governance—that allows developers to discover, test and execute PayPal APIs quickly. The easy-to-use UI provides backend visibility and makes cross-collaboration easy.”
Christina Monti, Senior Technical Product Manager, Developer Relations, PayPal
Comprehensive API documentation is important in helping to achieve a positive developer experience. To achieve this, mock servers are used to plug and play APIs to gain invaluable feedback on behavior which is then documented.
Postman provides security with environment variables allowing only assigned developers a view of certain information. Additionally, Postman's single sign-on (SSO) services and system for cross-domain identity management (SCIM) provisioning are powerful automations that are used to deploy, manage, and scale onboarding for new developers.
In PayPal's Public Postman Collection every API consists of high-quality code which can be quickly evoked due to a minimal TTFC. This collection is drafted with precision using Postman features including pre-request scripts, and uses capabilities such as capturing and saving samples in the collection. Postman provides many benefits including API execution visibility, customization of results, and monitoring keeps the collection healthy.
On the PayPal developer portal homepage, the Run in Postman button allows quick and easy access to PayPal APIs for experimentation. A frictionless experience has been created where developers can use the PayPal workspace in Postman to access authorization credentials and start testing in the sandbox. At the same time, Postman's change log builds trust for product managers as it keeps track of API maintenance and management events.
Postman's infrastructure and tools have helped PayPal scale collaboration across its diverse teams and the external developer community.
“Being a part of the Postman community is a huge boon to PayPal. And with Postman's extensive set of tools, there's something for every stage of our API-first journey.”
Parisa Mirzadegan, Product Manager - API Experiences, PayPal
The first step to collaboration involves the TTFC, which has been reduced to one minute. This shortened time between discovering an API collection to evoking it for a positive response means developers can realize business value faster than ever.
Productivity increased for PayPal engineers on the Enterprise plan, as they now spend one hour per week less in Postman compared to before. Postman Collections have reduced API testing time to minutes from hours.
Externally, the popularity of PayPal APIs is increasing exponentially, with over 30,000 forks, and counting, of the PayPal Public Postman Collection. The PayPal Collection has skyrocketed in popularity, placing at number seven in the top ten collections on the Postman Public API Network. PayPal can now reach the millions of developers who are using the Postman platform.
“Postman is an essential part of the developer community and API ecosystem making it critical to our API-first journey. It allows developers to accelerate integration and expedite onboarding.”
Brian Beck, Director of Engineering - Developer Ecosystem, PayPal
Being a prolific part of the Postman community means PayPal receives continual feedback. This results in PayPal's official artifacts being maintained to the highest standard. The feedback provides leadership with a deep and detailed understanding of developer habits and choices.
The relationship between PayPal and Postman goes beyond just a business partnership. Postman's Customer Success team not only provides support but also exchange ideas on the latest API trends related to specifications, standards, governance, and more with PayPal technology leaders. There's also the sharing of opinions on social media by colleagues from both organizations.
The work between the two technology leaders continues, with PayPal looking to use Postman's partner features in helping partners further collaborate on API co-development, including exploration of Postman Flows.