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Designing future payments with fast integration in mind

Money makes the world go around. Too true and yet for those who work in tech, the world of money has taken an age to catch up with the other advances made across the social and mobile spheres.

Even though the internet has been developing for a quarter of a century, mobile and online payments have only very recently started to deliver what businesses need in order to maximise the potential commerce available in the online market place.

Until just a few years ago ecommerce and online payments were approached by providers as an online version of the traditional: walk into a shop, whip out your credit card and swipe the machine at the cash register.

Online this results in a clunky, laborious experience for the consumer who had to enter card details multiple times and who were directed and then redirected on and off and back onto a merchant’s website before finally being able to pay.

And that was if – and it’s a big if – they hadn’t lost confidence in the security of the transaction for their personal data, or got so bored staring at the tiny circle of doom while page after page loaded that they gave up and abandoned their purchase.

But companies such as Braintree have turned this approach on its head. Instead of assuming payment solutions online had to mimic payments solutions offline, the company has looked at who merchants are really selling to and what those people want.

Merchant needs

Merchants want to sell to users, not just once, but repeatedly. They’re interested in payment solutions that provide sticky customer retention and create customer satisfaction.

For most customers that means fewer fields to fill in personal data, confidence in the security of the data they do fill in, and as little repetition and redirection as possible.

Also key to merchants is the scalability of payment software to enable the business to grow at the speed at which customer demand grows.

And while the end customer experience is critical for all businesses, particularly those trading online, the payment solution’s customer is actually the merchant as much as it’s the end user. Increasingly, rather than the payment solution decision-maker being the chief executive, payment solutions are being designed with the developer in mind because it’s them who ultimately manages the integration.

Payments providers now look to deliver both easy to integrate technology – essentially a few lines of code written into a merchant’s website or app – with simple, easy to understand support tools written specifically for developers who do the integration, and a slick user experience.

Braintree’s v.zero enables developers to go from zero to accepting payments with as few as 10 lines of code. Braintree has also redesigned its transaction flow so that sensitive data never touches the merchant’s server and the firm has made staying up-to-date easier than ever with just a single point of configuration.

No more hopping between merchant and payments platform – users enter their payment details once and Braintree stores their personal data in a secure and protected network – which simultaneously offers PCI compliance so merchants can get on with the business of what they do best.

“Equally important to seamless payments is secure payments”, explains Juan Benitez, GM at Braintree. “That’s why v.zero allows merchants across the more than 45 markets Braintree supports to enable tools like account updater, simplified chargebacks and advanced fraud prevention with the flip of a switch.”

Fraud prevention is a critical issue for business owners, particularly smaller tech startups who need to hit the ground running but have little experience protecting themselves against fraud. And as with the broader payments market, integrating fraud prevention systems with separate online payments systems has historically been a labyrinthine task.

“Securing developer resources can be a challenge for many merchants resulting in a six week to six month integration process for most fraud protection solutions,” says David Nunn, head of Europe at Braintree.

“This can be incredibly devastating to a start-up, as 68% of merchants don’t realise they have been or are being hit by fraud until they have suffered a significant loss. Braintree takes the worry away and gives merchants enterprise class fraud protection in a matter of minutes.”

Get ready for growth

With a flexible, fast and scalable payments solution, the opportunity both to grow ecommerce spend and create new markets via mobile payments, is huge.

In 2012, just 12.7% of all retail spending in the UK was online, according to the Centre for Retail Research, a number so low mainly because online retailers and payments systems have been so poor at delivering usable interfaces for their customers in the past.

But with the explosion of mobile technology and smartphones, the opportunity to grow that ecommerce market is vast. According to the CRR, ecommerce is already the fastest growing retail opportunity in Europe:

  • Online sales in the UK, Germany, France, Sweden, the Netherlands, Italy, Poland and Spain are expected to grow from £132.05bn in 2014 to £156.67bn in 2015, up 18.4%, and reaching £185.44bn in 2016
  • People’s online shopping habits are changing just as fast as their willingness to pay for services online. In the UK last year, 81.3% of online spending occurred on a PC, with 8% done on a tablet and 10.7% on a smartphone
  • This year the CRR is predicting mobile’s share of online spending to grow dramatically – from 18.7% up to 28.6% of the entire ecommerce space

For businesses the implications are potentially huge. Understanding how to partner with payments platform providers that specialise in delivering scalable and flexible payment handling with the developer at the heart of what they do is the key to making the most of that opportunity.

Sarah Davidson is writing sponsored content for Braintree for Tech City News. For more information on how Braintree can help mobilise your payments and globalise your business, please visit the website.