Relationships with sales channel partners, Point of Sale (POS) providers, and payment acquirers have been integral to building Smooth Commerce into a complete mobile commerce and engagement platform for retail businesses.
“We made the decision from day one to take a partner-centric approach to growing our business and serving our customers,” explains Smooth Commerce CEO and Co-Founder Brian Deck.
One of the company’s most strategic alliances has been with the world’s leading card brand, Visa. Smooth Commerce branded merchant apps and the SmoothPay app have always accepted Visa and Visa Debit as preferred payment methods. When the Visa Developer program launched in early 2016, opening the edges of the Visa network to collaborators, Smooth Commerce quickly recognized the opportunity. As a result, Smooth Commerce leveraged the Visa Developer platform to improve the customer mCommerce experience on the Smooth Commerce mobile platform while also creating opportunity for other Visa merchants as well as developers and their mobile apps.
Purpose of the project
Visa Developer was designed to help the industry build better and more secure commerce experiences through ready access to Visa’s most innovative products and services. For Smooth Commerce, the Visa Checkout (VCO) service, which incorporates payment directly into merchant websites and apps presented an intriguing integration opportunity.
Eliminating the need to re-enter card information or be redirected to a separate payment site is beneficial on its own, and even more so when deployed as part of the registration process.
The Smooth Commerce team saw an opportunity to work with Visa Checkout to enhance the customer experience by accelerating the mobile app registration process- eliminating the need to re-enter name and payment information. From Smooth Commerce’s extensive experience with mobile apps and online programs, Smooth Commerce understood that this would have a dramatic impact on payment app registration rates.
After several joint white-boarding sessions between Smooth Commerce and Visa along with the exchange of technical information, the project direction on the innovation was confirmed. Smooth Commerce got to work building out the use case, with Visa providing valuable guidance on what would be required to make the solution available within the Visa developer program. The goals of the project, coined “Register with Visa Checkout”, were identified as follows:
- Provide customers with a more efficient signup process in mobile payment applications by leveraging their Visa Checkout profile data.
- Deliver a ‘first in Canada’ Visa Developer integration to showcase how Visa works with its partners to bring product innovations to market together.
- Showcase the Visa Checkout value proposition and exposure to consumers as a solution that can enhance their m-commerce experience by providing a fully secure registration and payment widget within mobile apps.
- Reinforce the consumer benefits of using Visa Checkout either online or in-app.
The Design Process
The project charter called for a unique application of the Visa Checkout technology – beyond the function of checking out – benefitting Smooth Commerce and their customers as they register for any Smooth Commerce mobile app.
Mobile software engineers, product specialists and business analysts from both Visa and Smooth Commerce reviewed several design proposals and quickly aligned on a model which would accommodate the SmoothPay app, as well as the retailer branded apps developed on the Smooth Commerce enterprise-class platform.
Keeping an optimized customer experience as a template, data flow and wireframes were developed and reviewed, back-end configuration was adjusted to accommodate additional calls and screen images were proofed for prominent and appropriate placement of Visa Checkout marks.
“With Visa Developer, our team had direct access to Visa APIs and tools to build out our solution, along with regular communication and support from the Visa team which facilitated a seamless integration,” reflected Rob McAdam, VP of Partnerships for Smooth Commerce.
Overview of the solution
A primary benefit of the Visa Checkout service is its ability to reuse the customer profile stored in the Visa Checkout payload data (eg. identity, shipping information, payment preferences) when shopping online rather than oblige a user to re-key this information with each purchase. Smooth Commerce has applied this same capability to mobile platforms as new users look to register for their favourite app.
After a rigorous certification process, required of all Visa innovation partners, and confirmed quality and readiness of the final product, the Register with Visa Checkout solution moved into production for the Visa Developer program and within all Smooth Commerce products.
The project’s implementation delivers wins for a number of key stakeholders. Consumers save time and enjoy the added security and comfort of a brand they trust. For merchants and developers, the reduced friction at registration increases the download-to- registration conversion ratio and provides the added credibility of the affiliation with Visa Checkout. Visa gains a new and valuable use case for the mobile app channel, a ‘first in Canada’ Visa Developer integration, and increased prominence of Visa Checkout in mobile apps to drive brand awareness and enrollment. For Smooth Commerce, Register with Visa Checkout provides a strong demonstration of the company’s technological capabilities, partner-centric approach, and focus on innovation in payments and commerce. And for both Smooth Commerce and Visa Canada, there is pride associated with collaborating on a ‘Made in Canada’ first-of-its-kind product innovation.
“Visa Developer is transforming the way we connect with fintechs, encouraging creativity, and expediting the deployment of new products and services,” said Derek Colfer, Head of Innovation and
Digital Technology, Visa Canada. “We are pleased that Smooth Commerce is driving the first commercial implementation of Visa Developer in Canada – their innovative solution has broad application and is a great made-in-Canada success story.”
“Visa has been such an important partner for Smooth Commerce,” reiterated Deck. “It’s a true honour to be working with a world class company such as Visa. Their leadership in payments and technology combined with their recently launched developer program creates a dynamic environment for leading edge innovation. In working on this project, we have identified additional potential for collaboration with Visa.”
For more information, please contact Mike Kostoff at Michael@SmoothPay.com +1 416 817 9407