Enriched Transactions implementation guide


web iOS API

Google Maps Platform is available for web (JS, TS), Android, and iOS, and also offers web services APIs for getting information about places, directions, and distances. The samples in this guide are written for one platform, but documentation links are provided for implementation on other platforms.

Transaction statements are often hard for users to understand, using abbreviations like “ACMEHCORP” instead of merchant names like “Acme Houseware”, which can lead to increased customer support calls and expensive disputes. Enriched Transactions simplifies these transactions and makes them intuitive by providing a merchant’s full name and business category, a photo of the storefront, its address and location on a map, full contact info, and more. This helps increase user satisfaction and transparency, and can also decrease customer support calls, increase NPS and drive more time spent in-app.

Enriched Transactions—the implementation guide and customization tips we provide in this topic—is what we recommend as the optimal combination of Google Maps Platform APIs to build great transaction history user experiences. This implementation guide will show you how to match a location with a specific merchant and show their detailed information.

Enriched transactions sample screens
Enriched transactions sample screens (click to enlarge)

Enabling APIs

To implement Enriched Transactions, you must enable the following APIs in the Google Cloud Console. The following hyperlinks send you to the Google Cloud Console to enable each API for your selected project:

For more information about setup, see Getting started with Google Maps Platform.

Implementation guide sections

Following are the implementations and customizations we'll cover in this topic.

  • The check mark icon is a core implementation step.
  • The star icon is an optional but recommended customization to enhance the solution.
Matching merchants with Google Maps Platform Associating a merchant in transaction history with a place in Google Maps Platform.
Displaying merchant details Show data-rich transactions that show helpful information about the merchant, so users can quickly recognize the transaction.
Adding a map of the merchant location Add a map of the merchant location.

Matching merchants with Google Maps Platform

This example uses: Places API

The following diagram shows how your application matches merchant transactions to return a result using Place Details from an existing database of merchants or through a Place Search request:

Merchant matching flow matrix
Merchant matching flow matrix (click to enlarge)

Getting Google Maps Platform place IDs

You may have a database of merchants with basic information like the business name and its address. To get information that Google Maps Platform has about that place, including contact information and user-contributed information, you will need the Google Maps Platform place ID that corresponds to each of the merchants in your database.

To get the place ID for a business, make a request to the /findplacefromtext endpoint in the Places API and request only the place_id field to bill the request as a no-charge Find Place - ID only call. If the merchant has multiple locations, use the merchant name in conjunction with the city or street name. The quality of the data returned by the call will vary, so you need to validate whether the results returned actually match the desired merchant.

Here is an example of requesting the place ID for the Google Taipei office using the merchant name and city:


Be sure to URL encode the input parameter in the API request.

Storing place IDs

To store information from Google Maps Platform about the merchant for future requests, you can store this place ID indefinitely in your database as an attribute of the merchant's record. You should only need to do the Find Place request one time per merchant. You can also search for the place ID every time a user requests transaction details.

To ensure you always have the most accurate information, refresh Place IDs every 12 months using a Place Details request with the place_id parameter.

In case the Place Details you display don't match the merchant where they conducted the transaction, we recommend you allow users to provide feedback about the quality of the merchant match.

Displaying merchant details

This example uses: Places API Also available: Places SDK for Android | Places SDK for iOS | Places Library, Maps JavaScript API

You can share the Place Details users need to know after they visit one of your locations. With rich Place Details like contact information, hours of operation, user ratings, and user photos, your app can remind users of their completed transaction. After making a call to the Places API to get Place Details, you can filter and render the response in an information window, a web sidebar, or in any other way you like.

Sample merchant details screen
Sample merchant details screen (click to enlarge)

To request Place Details, you will need the place ID of each of your locations. See Getting place IDs to retrieve the place ID of your location.

The following Place Details request returns the address, coordinates, website, phone number, rating, and hours in a json output for the Google Taipei 101 place ID:


Adding a map of the merchant location

This example uses: Geocoding API | Maps Static API Also available: Android | iOS

Determining the merchant's location

The Maps Static API accepts an address or coordinates to place a marker. If your merchant record already has an address, you can skip ahead to the next section, but we recommend using coordinates over addresses for map precision.

If your merchant database has street addresses but not geographic coordinates and you are not already requesting Place Details, you can use the Geocoding API to convert street addresses to latitude/longitude coordinates on the server side, store coordinates in your database, and refresh coordinates once at least every 30 days.

Here is an example of using the Geocoding API to get the latitude and longitude of the Google Taipei office place ID:


Adding a marker for the merchant location to a map

Since your users will see the map to confirm transactions rather than browse or navigate, you want to create a map that has limited interactivity.

For desktop and mobile web, create a Maps Static API URL with a single marker at the merchant's latitude/longitude or address. You can use the Maps Static API using a web service call, which will create an image version of a map given the parameters you specify. For mobile, skip to the next Adding a map on your mobile application section.

The following call shows a roadmap, with a size of 640x480px, centered on a marker at the Google Taipei office at the default zoom level. It also specifies a red delivery location marker and a Cloud-based map style:


This breaks down into the following sections:

API URL https://maps.googleapis.com/maps/api/staticmap?
Image size size=640x480
Merchant location markers (Using URL encoding) markers=color:red%7C25.033976%2C121.5645389
Cloud-based map style map_id=b224095f76859890
Digital signature (Learn how to digitally sign your request) signature=BASE64_SIGNATURE
Solution channel parameter (See the parameter documentation) solution_channel=GMP_guides_enrichedtransactions_v1_a

This becomes the image as shown below:

Static map image of Google Taipei Office

You can also use an address as the marker location:


For additional parameter options, see the Maps Static API documentation.

Adding a map on your mobile application

If you're using the Maps SDK for Android or Maps SDK for iOS, you can place a marker using coordinates from the information in Place Details.

Since your users will see the map to confirm transactions rather than browse or navigate, choose a map with limited interactivity: