How to get your app certified on the Xero App Store
Listing your app on the Xero marketplace can be tricky. We break down everything you need to know, from passing Xero’s checkpoints to securing five-star ratings.
Xero is one of the largest accounting packages for small businesses looking to transform their operations. With a focus on digitally-native businesses and an emphasis on connectivity, Xero has cultivated a strong influence in the SMB market.
As such, the Xero App Store is an excellent way for fintech providers serving SMBs to court a large market segment. However, the process of listing to the Xero marketplace comes with a range of administrative and technical steps.
We’ve created the following guide to help walk you through the process.
The benefits of featuring on the Xero App Store 🏆
For fintech providers looking to increase brand awareness, boost customer acquisition rates, and drive sales, listing on the Xero App Store can be a strategic investment. This is especially true for newly formed start-ups that may not yet have a significant presence in the SMB market.
Since its inception, Xero has put a lot of work into developing its marketplace, which went through a rebrand in 2021. The App Store is essentially a storefront to more than 3 million subscribers worldwide, boasting tens of thousands of visitors each month, ranging from small businesses to accountants and bookkeepers, all looking to discover the best digital tools to help them manage their workflows and fuel their growth.
However, to be listed on Xero’s App Store, you must first be a Xero App Partner. So let’s examine what that entails.
How to become a Xero App Partner 🤝
Becoming a Xero App Partner unlocks the ability to list on the App Store and lifts the cap on how many SMB customers you can connect through your Xero integration.
While a basic user account allows up to 25 connections, Xero App Partners can connect an unlimited number of companies—an important factor for organizations looking to scale.
Just getting started with your Xero integration? Check out our top insights to help you understand Xero’s API, avoid common pitfalls, and optimize your build here.
Becoming a partner also requires passing through a series of specific checkpoints. And while most of these checkpoints are universal, partnership requirements can vary depending on the use case and even region. Here’s an overview of the different types of partnership options and the regions in which they are supported.
Reviewing the partnership options 🔎
Lending partnerships are supported in the U.K., Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and Singapore. You’ll need additional permissions and approval from Xero including additional commercial terms to use the API for this purpose.
Accounts payable/accounts receivable partnerships are supported in the U.K., U.S., Australia, and New Zealand. You’ll need additional permissions and approval from Xero including additional commercial terms to use the API for this purpose.
Bank feed partnerships are supported globally. While they do not require a commercial contract, the Xero App Partner must sign a short addendum to the usual terms and conditions.
App Store partnership – for everyone else
For non-financial services partners, App Store partnerships are supported globally but are subject to approval on a case-by-case basis.
How to get your app certified ✅
Once you’ve chosen the partnership option that best suits your business needs, you can begin the certification process, which consists of the following steps:
1. Passing certification checkpoints
Passing Xero’s certification checkpoints is required for all organizations looking to integrate with Xero. While there are quite a few checkpoints, we’ve outlined a few that we feel are especially important:
Sign up with Xero
Implementing the “Sign up with Xero” flow allows you to use Xero as an identity provider. This helps funnel potential customers directly to your app while offering them a seamless onboarding experience. There are two options for building a sign-up flow depending on your requirements.
Making it easy for users to manage their connections and adjust the settings related to your integration is a necessary part of the user experience and critical to the success of your app in the Xero marketplace. Consider implementing these best practices.
For lenders only, setting up write-back requirements is the process of structuring a loan within Xero to ensure that payment and reconciliation flows are as smooth as possible.
While not required, there are a few optional checkpoints that should be considered. Actions like deep linking to Xero and creating invoice statutes and logs of which user apps are currently synced with Xero can help improve the overall user experience—an important factor in achieving positive reviews.
2. Agree to Xero’s terms of service
Becoming a Xero App Partner means agreeing to Xero’s terms of service. While this is standard practice for most partnership agreements, with the recent App Store rebrand, Xero has introduced a new revenue-sharing structure for App Store partnerships *. For all net new sales made through its platform, Xero collects a 15% referral revenue fee. This fee can either be paid by the partner, or Xero can bill the customer directly and pay out the remaining 85% of the revenue from the sale.
Listing on the Xero App Store 🎖️
1. Set up the Billing API
For new Xero App Store partners that don’t have their billing mechanisms set up yet, Xero offers a Billing API as a way to fast-track the process and allow Xero to bill customers directly. However, if your organization already has an established billing process, this step may be unnecessary and overly complex.
2. Speak with a Xero Developer Evangelist
Once you’ve completed your app setup and clicked “submit,” a Xero Developer Evangelist will be in touch to notify you if your app has been approved. Keep in mind that you may be required to make changes to your integration to successfully list on the Xero App Store.
3. Create support documentation
Before your app can be published, you’ll need to provide support documentation. This will help reduce inquiries and increase customer satisfaction in the event users experience any difficulties.
4. Submit your app listing details
To submit your app listing details, go to “My Apps,” select your application, and navigate to the “App Listing” tab. Once your details have been submitted, your Developer Evangelist will push it live and send you a notification.
Boosting visibility & conversion through the App Store 🚀
Elevate your landing page
To rank highly on the Xero App Store, you’ll need a strong landing page. Xero has made the process of getting started easy by providing a handy template. But, how can you ensure your landing page stands out from the crowd? Consider creating assets like short explainer videos and exciting visuals to sell Xero users on the benefits of your app.
Optimize your listing
If you’re listing on the Xero App Store, users will expect your app to seamlessly integrate with their Xero account. It helps to be specific about how your integration functions, what markets it serves, and what data your integration pushes to and pulls from Xero. You should also make sure that basics like your industry and location are included, as this information is prioritized by Xero’s search function.
Ensure a high-quality and reliable Xero integration
Think of your landing page as your shop window. A shiny listing will draw users in initially, but the underlying functionality has to stand up to scrutiny. This is particularly true when it comes to accounting integrations, as there’s no room for error in the bookkeeping process. If users feel your integration isn’t up to scratch, they’ll have no qualms about voicing their dissatisfaction. Unfortunately, negative reviews impact your ranking on the App Store and this can be incredibly difficult to recover from.
Build your Xero integration right the first time with Codat. Learn more here.
Reviews are crucial for increasing your ranking on the App Store as well as getting access to better perks and marketing opportunities. But how do you cultivate enough positive reviews to garner a coveted spot on the first page of the App Store? Bulk payments solution Comma is a great example to follow.
Comma occupies a niche position on the Xero App Store, being the only bulk payments solution in the marketplace. But even if your integration isn’t the only one catering to a specific use case, you can still take a page out of Comma’s book and position your app’s features and value-adds as uniquely as possible to set yourself apart from your competition.
“We did a lot of research, and we spoke to a lot of SMBs and accountants to figure out what they needed and wanted.”
Gianluca Pengo, Chief Technical Officer
Here are a few tips the Comma team shared on how to achieve top ratings and testimonials on the Xero App Store:
Prioritize the Xero market
Because the majority of its customers are Xero customers, Comma chose to focus the bulk of its efforts on that market. This paid off, as they are one of the finalists for Xero’s emerging app partner of the year award.
Quality and quantity
While quality reviews will get you closer to the five-star rating, quantity is also important. Balance the two, and increase your ranking and acquisitions by cultivating positive customer relationships before reaching out for reviews.
Treat your Xero App Store listing exactly like your other marketing channels. This means using concise and eye-catching copy and leveraging visuals like videos and screenshots to grab customers’ attention.
How Codat can help fast-track your Xero listing ⏩
Codat can help you navigate the Xero App Store certification requirements in the following ways:
API connection requirements
- Sign up with Xero: Codat’s API allows you to more easily meet the sign up with Xero requirement and we provide a detailed guide of the steps you need to take.
- Scope management: Create a fluid and easily understandable link experience by using our white-labeled template to get more customers connected to your app in no time.
- Authorization experience: We help you with all aspects of connection management, from connecting a tenant to displaying connection statuses to managing disconnects.
API traffic management requirements
- Handling errors: We provide detailed error messaging.
- Rate limit handling: We automatically handle rate limits for client volumes and use cases.
Push use case requirements
- Account mapping: We provide off-the-shelf merchant configuration and APIs for clients to their own UI mapping experiences.
- Currency: We support multiple currencies.
- Taxes: Not only do we support pulling individual tax rates, but the Codat platform also handles any calculations for transactions where a tax rate must be defined.
- Payment account mapping: Our push options endpoint exclusively lists valid accounts.
Put your app on the path to ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ratings on the Xero App Store. Learn how Codat can help.
* This does not apply to financial services partnerships.