Getting paid for your API - how to monetize your API

Nov 17, 2017 9:38:00 AM / by Matt Ledger

  Matt Ledger

Now that you’ve set a price and begun measuring usage, it’s time for the last step in API monetization: getting paid. Providing customers with an easy payment method saves headaches for them and for you, increasing the likelihood they’ll keep using your API.

If you’re using the Bundled Access model, customers will likely pay for API access the same way they pay for your other products. But if you’re using the Pay Per Call or Pay Per Month models, you must provide an easy, online payment method that also integrates with your API management service. That way, customers can easily track their usage and pay their bill from one place.

As an example, Azure API Management provides a detailed walkthrough of how to integrate their platform with a third-party payment service provider, like Stripe. Most worthwhile API management platforms provide this sort of easy integration, so it should be a breeze to connect your management platform with a payment service provider, if that’s the route you choose.

If you’ve chosen to not use an API management platform, you can still use an online payment service provider to bill your customers. However, depending on how open your usage measurements are, you might lose out on the ability for customers to directly compare their API usage to their bill. This transparency goes a long way toward building confidence in your API and your company, so integrating payment with an API management platform might be worth the extra investment.


The right monetization strategy makes entering the API economy easy. If you select the right pricing model, adjust your strategy to account for your customers’ usage, and make it simple for customers to pay you, you’ll soon see API calls turn into real revenue. According to Forbes, 2017 is quickly becoming the year of the API economy. Hopefully, we’ve given you the tools you need to make that statement true for your company.

(Missed the previous parts in the How to Monetize Your API series? Circle back to the Introduction

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Topics: API development, Thriftly

Matt Ledger

Written by Matt Ledger

Matt is a former journalist and current blogger who loves technology and learning new things. He’s been writing in the software industry for nearly five years, having recently landed at Mertech.