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InstantPay Integration Process

Generate Payment Request URL

InstantPay creation is protected by a client token. You'll need to follow the steps described in the client token guide to obtain a client token with the client_paymentrequest scope. To create a payment initiation request, you'll need to ensure that the feature is enabled on your client.

To create the request, a GraphQL mutation is used to specify the requested amount, the references that will appear on the user and beneficiary's accounts, and the beneficiary details themselves.

An example of a GraphQL request to create a payment initiation request is shown below:

Character Limits

When creating a payment initiation request, please note that:

  • The payerReference field is restricted to a maximum of 12 characters.
  • The beneficiaryReference field is restricted to a maximum of 20 characters.
  • The beneficiaryName field is restricted to a maximum of 20 characters.
  • The externalReference field is restricted to a maximum of 4096 characters.

The two pieces of information you need from the response at this stage are the payment request id, and the url. The payment request id is used to correlate responses and to look up the status of the request in the API, and so should be retained for later usage. The url is used to enable the user to authorize the payment request, and you'll need to redirect the user to this URL. We'll cover this in the next section.

Why can you specify more than one bank account?

If you're eagle-eyed, you may have noticed that you can specify either a single bankAccount or a list of bankAccounts when creating a payment request.

The bank account list was added because many companies open accounts at a number of different banks, and instruct users to pay into the same institution that they bank with. Companies often opt for this approach as intra-bank transfers typically clear near instantaneously.

Payment requests automate this account selection process by selecting the optimal account from the list for a given user.

The first bank account in the list acts as the preferred account and will be selected if a more optimal route is not found.

Surface URL and Handle Callback

The URL returned by the API requires that a whitelisted redirect_uri is appended to it as a query string argument. If you direct a user to this URL, they will be guided through the process of completing the payment. For test clients, we do have the following URLs whitelisted by default:

  • https://localhost:8080
  • https://localhost:8080/return
  • https://localhost:3000
  • https://localhost:3000/return
  • https://localhost:9000
  • https://localhost:9000/return

For example, if your whitelist URL configuration included the URL for payment requests, you'd append the following query string to the url returned from the API: ? The full URL you expose to the user should look like this
Whitelisting Redirect URLs

To add or remove a URL from the whitelist, please reach out to a Stitch Engineer via the usual support channels: on Slack or our Support Form

Please note that production clients will not be allowed to use unsecure redirect_uri params such as http. For example

Once the user completes or cancels the payment request, they'll be redirected back to the redirect_uri. The below query string parameters will be passed back to the redirect_uri.

Request FieldDescriptionType
idThe unique id of this payment requestID
statusStatus will have the value complete if successful, closed if the user clicked close in the UI, or failed if something went wrong when attempting the paymentString
externalReferenceThe value that was provided to the externalReference field when the payment initiation request was created. It can be used to correlate transaction IDs within your system with the payment request initiated by StitchString

The id can be used to retrieve the final payment request status and other details from the Stitch API, as well as relate to incoming webhooks.


The status field should not be used for any database operations since an external party can tweak it. To secure yourself from attackers who can send a fake payload to your redirect or webhook endpoint, we recommend:

  1. using the webhooks as the source of truth as they are secure and will always be sent from Stitch.
  2. making use of signed webhooks since you'll be able to verify the signature of each incoming webhook's request payload.

Using the webhooks also ensures you'll still be able to know the final status of a payment request if for example the request times out due to a network issue.

Using Multiple Internal Redirect URIs

For a situation where different callbacks lead to different internal URLs, you SHOULD have a single whitelisted redirect URL which can then have the logic handling the Stitch callback and redirect to the internal URLs. An overview of how to do this in NodeJS is as shown below:

const status = params.status;

switch (status) {
case "completed":
case "closed":
case "failed":

Expiring Pending Payment Initiation Requests

An optional expireAt Date (ISO 8061) can be supplied in the creation of the payment initiation request which marks the payment expired after the expireAt date sets the payment request status to PaymentInitiationRequestExpired.

Cancelling Pending Payment Initiation Requests

If the user clicks the X on the dialog box, the payment initiation request will remain in the PaymentInitiationRequestPending status. To cancel the payment request, you should call the clientPaymentInitiationRequestCancel mutation, which also triggers the cancel webhook event.

Payment Initiation Request Statuses

The table below describes the different statuses an InstantPay request can have, with the initial status always being PaymentInitiationRequestPending:

PaymentInitiationRequestCompletedThis is a final payment state.
PaymentInitiationRequestPendingThe user hasn't yet completed the payment initiation request, or they exited the Stitch dialog box before completing the bank selection process.
PaymentInitiationRequestCancelledThe payment initiation request was manually cancelled by the client. More information on this can be found here.
PaymentInitiationRequestExpiredThe payment initiation request has expired while awaiting user interaction. More information on this can be found here.

Subscribe to Webhooks

To receive a webhook upon payment completion or expiry you will need to create a subscription for your client. Please see the example below to set up a basic unsigned webhook for InstantPay requests.

If the subscription is successfully created, the body returned by the request will look like the sample in the Example Response tab in widget above.

For more information on receiving webhook events, listing active webhook subscriptions, unsubscribing from webhooks and validating signed webhook subscriptions, please visit the Webhooks page.

Retrieving Payment Request Status

When receiving a callback from the payment request, you will likely want to check the status of the payment. Using the query below you can retrieve the status of a given payment by ID, in addition to information about the payer and beneficiary involved.

If a user closed the payment request interface, and expireAt was supplied in the payment initiation creation request, the payment will remain in the PaymentInitiationRequestPending state until the expireAt date has passed. The request will only be in the PaymentInitiationRequestCancelled state when the clientPaymentInitiationRequestCancel mutation is called.

When a user has successfully initiated the payment, the state will be PaymentInitiationRequestCompleted and contain details of the payment, including the account selected and the specific beneficiary that the payment was made to.

To retrieve the status of a payment request, as described above, you'll need a client token with the client_paymentrequest scope.

Payment Event Types

The events field can provide insight in to the events that occurred during the payment process. To retrieve the events of a payment request, you'll need a client with the paymentevents alpha flag. Payment event __typename and descriptions are outlined in the table below.

IncorrectLoginCredentialsThe user entered incorrect login credentials when attempting to login.
LoginMultifactorFailedLogin multifactor authentication was failed or was rejected.
LoginMultifactorTimeoutLogin multifactor authentication timed out while awaiting approval.
PaymentMultifactorFailedPayment multifactor authentication failed or was rejected.
PaymentMultifactorTimeoutPayment multifactor authentication timed out while awaiting approval.
BeneficiaryMultifactorFailedBeneficiary multifactor authentication failed or was rejected.
BeneficiaryMultifactorTimeoutBeneficiary multifactor authentication timed out while awaiting approval.
InsufficientFundsForPaymentThe bank rejected the payment due to the account having insufficient funds.
DuplicatePaymentThe bank does not allow duplicate payments.
InvalidSourceAccountThe source account was not valid.
InvalidDestinationAccountThe destination account was not valid.
PaymentLimitsExceededThe bank declined the payment because the payment exceeded the current limits.
PaymentMinimumNotMetThe bank declined the payment due to payment minimum not met.
BankTimeoutThe bank timed out while processing a request.
BankUnavailableThe bank was partially or fully unavailable while processing a request.
BankErrorAn error occurred at the bank while processing a request.
AccountBlockedByBankRequest was rejected by the bank due to the account being blocked.
PaymentDeclinedByBankThe bank declined the payment.
Testing InstantPay Events

Not all events are easily reproducible. Some of the events which can be simulated for test clients are as follows:

StatusHow to Test
InvalidDestinationAccountUse a beneficiary account that starts with 999
PaymentLimitsExceededUse a payment amount above one million ZAR
PaymentMinimumNotMetUse a payment amount less than ZAR 1.00
DuplicatePaymentSet beneficiaryRef as KombuchaFizz and amount ZAR 10.00
InsufficientFundsForPaymentUse a payment amount greater than the respective account balance
PaymentMultifactorFailedUse an account number that starts with 888
PaymentMultifactorTimeoutUse an account number that ends with 888

Testing InstantPay Initiation

To test this process on your browser and run all the GraphQL examples in this guide prior to integrating with Stitch, you can use our sandbox. Learn more about the sandbox here.

Postman Collection

You can also test InstantPay with the Postman collection available for download here. Please import and review the collection's code, supplying the variables where required, then you can try out the requests in this guide.