Ai Editorial: Tech alone isn’t enough for payment mix and acceptance

29th July, 2019

Ai Editorial: The role of new technologies in the world of payments can’t be undermined but that’s not enough. In its new analysis, WorldPay has stressed upon the significance of having the right organizational mindset.

 

Travel merchants can’t afford to slip at a time when a customer is about to pay for their order. All that matters is the way a traveller wishes to pay – their preferred payment method, preferably not letting them fill any details on the device they are using etc.

A Chinese customer is likely to opt for scanning a QR Code and deduction of the final payment from their app, whereas an Indian might opt to pay via Google Pay or Paytm mobile wallet considering the increasing popularity of such options. Facilitating such transactions today is imperative and merchants need to keep pace or even gear up for the future. But it is clear that intricacies of applications and systems within payments continue to rise, mainly owing to use of alternate payment methods such as wallets and mobile commerce. So there is a need to put in a mechanism in place that not only streamlines back office and customer support processes, but also paves way for a smooth addition for any new payment method in the future.

The role of new technologies can’t be undermined but that’s not enough.

Organizational mindset

In its new analysis, WorldPay has stressed upon the significance of having the right organizational mindset.

This is required for making the most of following technologies:

1. Microservices

2. Test-driven infrastructure (TDI) - the developer creates tests before writing code

3. Event-driven architecture (EDA) - a producer-consumer model, where an event producer broadcasts a message that one or more event consumers capture

4. Hypermedia APIs - a sophisticated style of REST API (Representational State Transfer Application Programming Interface) that can simplify client integrations and improve resilience to change.

 

WorldPay has explained the benefits of these technologies and also what is required internally to leverage them.

For instance, in case when one is focusing on the microservices model to amend and modernize particular services without affecting the rest of the system, it is vital that to have an apt team structure is in place. This model can result in an increment in complexity of day-today tasks, such as operations and security. Organizations have to do away with conventional monolithic-related ways and related control that they are used to for software development. Rather companies have to get ready for an environment that revolves around a sense of ownership and accountability from product engineering teams. The philosophy here is: to garner greater value from software to adopt the fail and learn fast attitude, quicker product cycles based on constant feedback from customers. And, this also means that certain tough questions are asked, for e. g. who owns the data in a microservices architecture—the database team or the application team? Teams must be structured and managed in a way that enables them to own what they’re responsible for, end to end.

WorldPay recommends a vigilant balance of autonomy and collaboration, with ongoing coordination and

monitoring from organizational leads. The study states: This balancing act starts with a shared understanding of some non-negotiable principles that act as a compass for ways of working. It continues with cross-team

discussions about product vision, design standards, and ways to improve, for example. It also means sharing specific decisions, solutions, and components. This requires time and investment but the return on investment is worth it. Ultimately, a smart organization will find ways to delegate as much decision-making as possible to smaller teams. But a truly successful one ensures teams work together coherently so their collective output is greater than the sum of its parts.

Another technology, Hypermedia, in its most basic sense is an extension of hypertext. Explaining the significance of the same, WorldPay points out that Hypermedia simplifies integrations between companies and provides a much more stable service than that offered by other REST APIs. Hypermedia includes images, video, audio, text, and links. In a REST API, it means API manages to operate similarly to a webpage, offering users with direction on what sort of content they can retrieve, or what they can do, as well as the apt links for the same. As MuleSoft explains, the simplest method to take advantage of hypermedia in API is to offer valuable information to direct the user or client to the next possible actions they can take based on the object (whether it be a collection, or item within the resource) or “page” they are on via links.

For mCommerce, hypermedia APIs allow merchants to conduct identity and risk checks with ease.

WorldPay highlighted that today’s mainstream API documentation and design approaches need to focus on their connectedness as a key part of the API and resource design process.

As explained by Kevin O’Shaughnessy, CityHook, during a workshop conducted by Ai in Long Beach, California late last year:

  • First rule of setting up an API is focus on it internally (organizations can run better with their own APIs. This way they can capitalize on data from their business applications and act on it for particular needs), then limited public API and eventually privileged services.
  • API means clear boundaries and ease of reuse.
  • APIs should be easy for developers to comprehend. This means designing them with clear uniform resource identifiers and non-complex data structure.

WorldPay recommends that organizations need to design hypermedia APIs with a UX mindset. The study states: We often only think of UX in terms of the consumer experience. However, hypermedia APIs make integrating with complex payment services a simple, stable, and intuitive process for merchant developers. Enhancing the UX for developers has knock-on benefits for customers, including faster access to up-to-date payment services like new APMs. Overall, if APIs are designed with developers in mind from the outset, it’s possible to create a web of functionality that results in a more powerful, more efficient, and more useful service for all.

 

Hear from senior executives about the role of tech and organizational mindset in optimizing payments at the 8th Annual ATPS Asia-Pacific to be held in Penang, Malaysia (27-29 August, 2019).

 

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