Five principles of modern payments for enterprise development teams
November 1st, 2021 in Blog
Innovative new technologies, consumer demand, and international competition drive payment system modernization initiatives in Canada and abroad. Payments Canada reports that 30 million financial transactions representing CAD $210 Billion take place in our country every day. And while cheques and cash are still popular, consumers and businesses use an increasingly diverse range of payment solutions involving inter-bank transactions, like debit cards, pre-authorized debits, direct deposits, bill payments, and wire payments.
In our digital era, every organization that transacts needs an innovative payment solution to compete. Consumers, and technology users in general, have become more sophisticated and expect a “limitless and frictionless” experience. Meaning, they expect to transact conveniently, securely, and quickly—preferably with a swipe, click, or tap on demand—often on their phone.
Sophisticated user expectations translate into new opportunities for forward-thinking institutions, corporations and organizations with the means to enter the marketplace with their own intellectual property. A great concept brought to life in the form of strategically designed payment technology can capture a significant share of the market.
Whether you want to build in-house payment expertise or want to hire a development partner to help you with payments, go with an agnostic approach. Opportunities abound with new payment options and platforms appearing every day. Avoid getting locked into an agreement with a less than ideal fulfillment vendor(s) because of existing relationships. Rarely does a one-size-fits-all strategy work, so flexibility in payment options are crucial in creating a frictionless experience for the user.
If you intend to hire a development partner, choose one with a solid reputation for leveraging the latest innovations and recommends the very best end-to-end solution to benefit you and your customers. As part of their strategic process, ask them to provide you with multiple technical paths to achieve your payment vision and recommend the best fit for you.
Security experience and expertise are also musts. In the face of historic levels of cybercrime, you must keep your security and privacy top of mind throughout your innovation journey. One seismic security breach after another reminds us of the catastrophic reputational and business cost of cyberattacks—a risk that many firms will happily avoid at all costs. Where payment happens, attempted scams inevitably follow. Applying a security and privacy-first approach helps mitigate risk in the application code itself as well as overall development processes.
Intelliware’s post on improving app security offers some facts about the cybersecurity landscape and tips for development teams. Those vetting potential development partners need to ensure they ask about their security practices and how they mitigate risk and ensure compliance. Do they have a security lead? What processes do they follow? And do they do ongoing training to keep their security skills and knowledge current?
Speed matters. Your developers need to have the capacity to hit the ground running instantly and start producing demonstrable results quickly. “Release early, release often” remains the best practice for development teams because it opens the door to the most collaboration between developers, business owners, and end users. This practice enables the ability to pivot based on market or other opportunities.
Conversely, no or sporadic releases usually indicate some sort of bottleneck at work. Bottlenecks often occur because of changes to the requirements and objectives, which in turn change the priorities of the development team, causing further delays. Without the right practices in place, development teams can struggle to keep up with pivots.
While innovation often leads to acquisition, businesses who want to improve their payment technology need to maintain a laser-focus on their current customers/clients. While “keeping your customers happy” seems obvious, enterprises often fail to ask for feedback or direction from external experts. Without a feedback mechanism, your innovation efforts can easily miss the mark.
Planning tactics—like users stories, user personas, and user journeys—may help your developers better understand the user, but ultimately, there’s no substitute for interviewing users and asking them about their needs and wants. Make sure your developers do this discovery and immerse themselves in your user experience. Talking to users about their workflows, challenges, and frustrations to understand what they wish the system could do for them and why—all help development teams humanize and contextualize the user experience and inspire more thoughtful innovation.
When practiced in totality, Agile practices integrate the first four principles we just discussed and deliver the best results. That’s why all of the world’s premier, blue-chip research companies and professional services companies recommend Agile adoption. While many development teams claim to practice Agile, few do so in totality, and instead pick and choose the part of Agile that “works for them.”
A piecemeal development approach delivers piecemeal results. By design, Agile practices empower technical teams to produce results, quickly and frequently. Everyone benefits from enhanced collaboration, especially the user. Applying an iterative approach enables you to constantly refine your solution based on what users value the most. And when pivoting inevitably occurs, a true Agile team adapts fastest because they are best equipped to put forward the most practical and effective payment solution for you.