Payment callback mechanism (aka. IPN)
Whenever a given payment's state changes, it is expected that the caller system and the Barion database are synchronized. This is accomplished by implementing the callback mechanism (referred to as "Instant Payment Notification" or "IPN" in some terminology) between the two systems.
The callback process
The event flow of the implemented callback mechanism is simple:
- The payment gets completed, cancelled, expired or refunded
- The Barion system sends an HTTP POST request to the merchant's system with the payment's unique identifier, indicating that something has just happened, so the merchant's system should check the payment now
- The merchant's system sends a request to the /v2/Payment/GetPaymentState API endpoint with its POSKey and the received payment identifier
- Based on the response received, the merchant's system can determine what processing tasks should take place
Structure and processing of the callback request
The callback request contains one parameter, the payment identifier. This is sent in the
PaymentId field of the POST request body. The merchant's system must send an
HTTP 200 OK response (with any content) in order for the callback to be considered successful. The timeout period for answering a callback request is 15 seconds.
If the Barion system does not get an HTTP 200 response, it retries sending the callback for a maximum of 5 times, with exponential back-off timing delay between tries:
- 2 seconds
- 6 seconds
- 18 seconds
- 54 seconds
- 2 minutes 42 seconds
So the total time window allocated for successful callback is roughly 4 minutes. If the Barion system fails to get an HTTP 200 response after that, the callback is not sent and the merchant's system automatically gets an e-mail notification about the error.
Every time, when your system receives a callback request from the Barion you have to call the /v2/Payment/GetPaymentState API endpoint to find out the change. First, your system should check the payment's status and after the list of the payment's transactions. For example, if you requested a payment refund or when the reserved payment's time limit has expired the list of payment’s transactions will contain new e-money transactions. It's your system's responsibility to handle changes.
Never rely on the callback function alone. When the callback URL is requested, your application must call the /v2/Payment/GetPaymentState Barion API to get the proper payment state.
Please refer to the Security Measures page for more information and a list of IP addresses.
Why you should use it
When a Barion Smart Gateway payment process takes place between the two systems, neither of them can rely purely on explicit user interaction to process things. In such situations, the Barion system must inform the merchant's system that the payment has changed in some way, without involving the user.
Here are some examples:
- the payment is completed, but the user closed their browser or lose network connection, preventing them from returning to the webshop or application that redirected them to the Barion Smart Gateway
- the user explicitly cancels the payment, but closes their browser instead of navigating back to the merchant
- the payment is never completed and expires because of the time window limit
- the payment is refunded
Implementing callback handling will save you time and pain tracking such "lost" payments. It also eases the troubleshooting with your customers, since you will always have valid data on your side.
What NOT to do
Never long-poll the /v2/Payment/GetPaymentState API endpoint and wait for the payment status to suddenly change! If you use a high interval between requests, user experience will deteriorate significantly. If you use a small interval, your requests will get throttled.
If you are having difficulties implementing the proper callback flow, consult our developer support!