Pay Built-In Functions

The pay BIF is available on a persistent object instance representing the payment sender, and takes three parameters:

  1. payment recipient
  2. currency code
  3. payment amount

Both the payer and payee needs to have an identifier. Depending on the Helium configuration for payments in the app this can either be a so called "MSISDN" or a mobile number attribute on both the payer and payee objects.

pay BIF example
farmerPurchase.paymentId =, "KES", farmerPurchase.finalCost);

The pay function returns a uuid that represents the internal Helium id for the payment. This, along with the @OnPaymentStatusUpdate annotation, can be used to track the payment status in the app.

The payWithRef BIF is useful for adding a reference to the Helium core app's payments view. It has two additional parameters:

4. payment reference
5. message string (omit message by providing an empty string)

payWithRef BIF example
farmerPurchase.paymentId = farmer.payWithRef(
    shop, "KES", farmerPurchase.finalCost, farmerPurchase._id,
    Strings:concat(, " - ", shop.shopCode)

@OnPaymentUpdate Annotation for Payment Callback Functions 

Helium processes payments asynchronously. This means that a result of a call to the pay function will not be immediately available.

Helium provides a mechanism whereby an app function can be declared as a callback that will be invoked once Helium has an update on the payment status. This is implemented by means of the @OnPaymentUpdate annotation. Such a callback for payments made without an additional reference is included in the app in the PaymentCallback unit under the services folder:

void paymentUpdate(uuid id, PAYMENT_STATUS status, string message){
    // Find the associated purchase based on the internal Helium payment ID
    // Ids should be unique so we are only expecting one purchase in the resulting collection
    FarmerPurchase[] farmerPurchases = FarmerPurchase:equals(paymentId, id);
    if(farmerPurchases.length() >= 0) {
        FarmerPurchase farmerPurchase = farmerPurchases.first();
        // Update the payment status maintained on the farmer purchase
        farmerPurchase.paymentStatus = status;
        // Record the time stamp of the update
        farmerPurchase.paymentStatusUpdatedOn = Mez:now();

or payments that were made with an additional reference we can change the function signature as follows:

void paymentUpdateWithRef(uuid id, string reference, PAYMENT_STATUS status, string message){

A summary of the possible PAYMENT_STATUS statuses and their meanings follow below.


An initial state indicating that the call to a pay function from the DSL application has been submitted and correctly interpreted by the back-end.

RegisteredThe payment has been received by the Helium payment framework and is being processed.
Failed_ValidationProcessing of a payment contains a step where the provided information used in routing of the payment is validated. In some cases payments can use one of multiple accounts. If, during this step, the configuration for the application is read and applied and no matching account is found, the "Failed_Validation" status is returned.
Promise_To_PayThe payment is confirmed to be valid and routable and, bar any network or other technical failures, will be paid.
InstructedCommunication has been completed between Helium and the payment gateway.
Result_ReceivedA result has been received from the payment gateway for processing the status.
ConfirmedConfirmed from the payment gateway result that the payment was a success.
ManualConfirmed from the payment gateway result that payment was a failure.

Mez:requestPaymentStatus for Manual Payment Status Requests 

Some payment aggregators are not able to reliably send payment status callbacks to Helium. In such cases payments wil at most progress to the Instructed state. This means that Helium has successfully sent the payment request to the aggregator, but no further update has been received from the aggregator.

In order to work around this issue, the Helium DSL provides a built-in function that can trigger a payment status request to the aggregator:


This will trigger a payment status request that is handled asynchronously in the Helium platform. Once a response is received from the aggregator Helium will post that payment status back to the DSL app using the existing mechanism that makes use of the __payment_status_record__ and __payment_with_ref_status_record__ (depending on which built-in function that was used to trigger the payment itself) tables and the @OnPaymentStatusUpdate annotation.

In the code snippet above, the paymentId value that is sent as argument is the value that is returned by the built-in payment functions. This id represents the value for the _id_ column in the __payment_status_record__ and __payment_with_ref_status_record__ tables that are automatically included in all app schemas.

Note that a payment status request can only be triggered if the following is true:

  • If commId in the __payment_status_record__ or __payment_with_ref_status_record__ tables has been populated. The commId column represents a unique communication id between Helium and the aggregator and this value will only be available if the initial payment request to the aggregator was successful.
  • The payment was made using a payment driver that also has support for triggering payment status requests. At the time of writing this functionality is only available for the MTN MoMo payment driver. More support will be added in future.