Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Developer is the Decider

For Visa and its issuers, the path to consumer uptake is via the developer community.  So where's its developer outreach program?

Visa and the card brands have to do a far better job of reaching out to the developer community.  This isn't the Old Days of card acceptance anymore.  The corporate Treasury organization is no longer the exclusive occupant of the payments driver's seat.  The IT organization and the developers responsible for embedding payments into the overall shopping flow are making those choices.  

At the corporate level, the card brands still don't understand today's developer mindset.  Visa's got a leg up with its CyberSource and, in particular, Authorize.Net units as both of them have put together strong developer-facing organizations to speed shopping cart and payment services integration.  But at the brand level the developer still seems to be an afterthought.  And that's not good.  

One brand-provided developer site I reviewed, not Visa's, can only be described as pitiful.  They've all got to do a much better job of reaching out, of going where the developer lives, if they want to succeed.  

Next generation payment gateway providers like Braintree and Stripe get it.  They know they've got to be there when it's 11AM on a Saturday morning and the start-up's engineer who drew the short straw of payment integration is just getting started. That start-up engineer could very well be making the purchasing decision for her next three companies.  

If card brands want to reach deeper into acquiring, and toward the consumer through initiatives like, reaching out to developers first bcomes necessary.  Developers are driving payment innovation - partly because so many of them come from outside the payments industry.

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