API Case Study: AwardWallet.com Integration of Rewards API

Case Study at a Glance:

  • API: Rewards API
  • Industry: Internet (Travel Management, Loyalty Programs)
  • Company: AwardWallet, LLC
  • Company Size: 11–50 employees
  • Current User Base: 420,000+ customers
  • Site: https://AwardWallet.com
  • Timeline: 4 Days

Background

AwardWallet is a leader in loyalty account and travel plan tracking. Users of AwardWallet value the rewards they earn through loyalty programs including retail, finance, and travel. Users look to AwardWallet for a simple, secure way to track a myriad of rewards accounts. Over 420,000 people trust AwardWallet to keep track of their balances, from the student that tracks their rewards through game purchases, to the family watching their retail loyalty and financial loyalty programs, and to the road warrior with 20+ travel rewards account. This equates to tracking over 88.7 billion points/miles worth $1.77 billion.

AwardWallet recently integrated the DevExchange Rewards API into their site to pull in a user’s Capital One rewards balance information. The API allows users to give AwardWallet access to their rewards information, without also providing access to their entire online banking profile.

API Selection

AwardWallet chose to use the Rewards API after examining it for a few key criteria: (1) the API would provide a secure mechanism without the need to store consumer credentials, (2) AwardWallet would receive a standard, structured response from Capital One whenever performing a query, (3) when updates are made to consumer-facing interfaces it would have no impact on their ability to retrieve data as long as the API was consistent.

Implementation

AwardWallet gained access to the Rewards API through the DevExchange, where they registered an account, provided basic application info (logo, redirect URL, description, etc.), and received a Client ID and API key in return. Using that information, the AwardWallet development team quickly implemented the API on a test server and then rolled it out to production. The implementation was completed in four days, and AwardWallet reported that it could have been three had one of those days not been a holiday.

We asked AwardWallet for their feedback on the experience, and here’s what they had to say:
“We did hit one little snag during registration: the confirmation email didn’t come through. But it was very quickly fixed by the DevExchange team. After that, the experience was very smooth. We were able to register two different profiles, one for testing and one for production. We had a team of three developers who became familiar with the API. The actual API implementation was quick, the part that took most of the time were UI changes on AwardWallet.com to accommodate OAuth2 authentication while registering an account.”

API in Action — User Flow

AwardWallet Experience: User Sign In
When the user initiates the connection, they are asked to authenticate their account.

AwardWallet Experience: User Consent
The user is asked to approve AwardWallet’s request for access to their rewards account information.

AwardWallet Experience: Update Success
After authenticating their account, the user receives confirmation that their rewards account information has been successfully pulled in.

AwardWallet Experience: Account Details
Once the quick setup is completed, the user can now track their Capital One rewards through AwardWallet.

Support

In order to fully test out the experience of using an API from the DevExchange platform, AwardWallet worked closely with the Rewards API product team throughout the implementation process. As a company that embraces a “Design Thinking” approach, this implementation was brought to life by a partnership between Roger Hahn, Product Manager for the Rewards API, and Alexi Vereschaga, Founder of AwardWallet. Considering a prospective early adopter, Hahn connected with Vereschaga to understand the challenges his team faces when integrating with rewards systems as well as the data needed to drive the AwardWallet user experience. The Rewards API product team incorporated the insights and suggestions from AwardWallet and other would-be consumers into the API’s design. The result is an API that exposes the most relevant user information, while being easy to understand and use.

Vereschaga’s feedback on the support:
“Ultimately, the overall documentation was excellent. In the beginning, the documentation had a few errors that we outlined to the Rewards API team, which they quickly resolved. The documentation provided for the Rewards API was better than versions we received for other APIs. With other partners we ran into delays getting access to their APIs and there was no documentation. As far as support and responsiveness of the Rewards API technical team, they get an A+. We couldn’t have asked for better support.”

Results

AwardWallet was able to report on numerous benefits of the API implementation on their site, and they listed three key benefits that ranked the Rewards API above other APIs they’ve worked with before: it (1) is more secure, (2) works faster, and (3) was more reliable.

AwardWallet also reported early user feedback: “We have received positive feedback from our users, and in particular, they like the way Capital One accounts are now tracked.”


DISCLOSURE: The opinions in this blog are the opinions of the authors/interviewees and not necessarily the opinions of Capital One. Unless noted otherwise in this post, Capital One is not affiliated with, nor is it endorsed by, any of the companies mentioned. All trademarks and other intellectual property used or displayed are the ownership of their respective owners. This blog post is © 2016 Capital One.

Originally published at developer.capitalone.com.

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