Frictionless Payments

I believe the key for any payments service is easy integration with merchants. At my time with Paddle, a payments startup, I found that our idea and technology was superior to anything on the market, but our integration was complex. We had a hard time attracting merchants, and so there was no reason for users to adopt the technology.

Since then I have pondered that problem and two weeks ago I had the chance to take another stab at a solution. I was invited to the Capital Markets IT, Hackathon, at Nordea in Copenhagen. Together with two colleagues of mine I prototype my idea for a seamless merchant integration.

We build the prototype around the “Swipp” mobile payments app which is run as a joint venture between a number of Danish banks, Nordea being one of them.

What just happened?

A merchant goes through and installs the “Swipp” payment solution by piggy backing on the current checkout process. A user then sees the immediate effect and is met with the “Swipp” payments overlay, which was just installed. After confirming the purchase a mobile app off screen, the user is let to the next stage of the original checkout flow.

All that was required for this to happen is a script reference in the html. Just like when you install Google Analytics or any other javascript module.

The Tech

In the setup stage, we let the merchant identify a button to take over, any clickable element on the webpage is highlighted in red as the merchants moves the cursor across the page. As soon as the right link or button is clicked on, the script remembers the location and saves it on a server.

The next time a user loads up the webshop, the location of the button is remembered, and the click on the button is captured. The “Swipp” payment flow is injected, or the user can chose to follow the original flow.

Challenges

The idea is simple. The main challenge for this to be successfull in the wild is the ability to correctly identify and inject the right element. For our live demonstration we found that 50% of the pages we tried, worked correctly. That is a significant proportion given that we only spend 8 hours prototyping and generalizing.

The next challenge is a business challenge, how do you integrate correctly with a Payments Service Provider that the webshop will already be using?

The question of Payment Service Providers has many facets as some shops are simple and thus have none or few technical challenges, others are complex and will require a deeper integration, but this is all something that this technology can provide behind the scenes. We can also leverage generalised API’s like ActiveMerchant.

The key to success

The key here is that the merchant, the human behind the computer, has a frictionless experience while installing the payments technology that you are providing, all the technical challenges should be handled behind the scenes.

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Written by Vincens Riber Mink on 04 February 2016