Our inspiration came from booking a senior grad trip with friends on Expedia, and learning that payments cannot be split. Most of our credit card limits wouldn't allow the transaction and we had to rely on a few people to make payments and then split payments later through PayPal. Following up and remembering to charge your friends is always a hassle and a step that causes us to leave checkout. However, Rapyd API supports escrow and split payments! The only issue with this is all the users payment details need to be presented at once. We needed a way for group payments to be made and split conveniently, without the hassle of meeting up in person or sharing personal details.

What it does

Our solution involves splitting payments by sending PayPal requests, but this feature can be scaled up to use Venmo or even sending another Rapyd checkout link. The user has to simply log into PayPal, then enter the email addresses of those who he or she would like to split payments with. Then when the user completes the transaction, the PayPal requests for the entered amount are automatically sent with informative descriptions of the shopping cart and split amounts.

How we built it

We built the UI and code using HTML, CSS, and vanilla JavaScript. We used the sample checkout page and modeled the UI to fit in while giving the detailed features to the user. Our goal was to make the process simple and not take too much time, since that is a major reason why users abandon online shopping carts. In the JavaScript, we made calls for each entered user email to the PayPal API to create an invoice number, then draft an invoice, and send an invoice for the given dollar amount and shopping cart details. Our code is intentionally in vanilla JS so we can in the future make it as easy to integrate as Rapyd and actually usable through hosting our scripts on a CDN (coming soon).

Challenges we ran into

Coding in plain HTML and JavaScript was a learning experience after being used to coding with React and Node JS. We also had trouble with the PayPal API because of hard to use sandbox UI and error messages that weren't descriptive enough.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are proud of being able to debug code in detail when the PayPal requests were not going through. This took a lot of reading and slow changes on Postman and we were able to finally send requests without errors.

What we learned

We learned how to use the Rapyd and PayPal APIs, as well about some of the barriers for online users checking out. Using personal experiences, we were able to pinpoint issues in current solutions and brainstormed how to make checkout experiences better.

What's next for RapydFyre

Next we would like to implement simultaneous payments with escrow. Instead of the users providing an email, they will be getting SMS or email confirmations for checkout with Rapyd. When all the payees have approved a transaction, the user on the checkout site can submit the transaction and the Rapyd API will be able to truly split the payments using payment information that is stored on a database. This would solve the simplicity and being in person issue for splitting similar to our current solution, but it would also mitigate risks to the main user making the large transaction and having to split later. This feature can be helpful for larger transactions where credit card limit or account balance becomes an issue.

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