Have you wondered why so many web 2.0 companies such as OpenTable, Fab.com, and Airbnb choose Braintree to process their payments? We caught up with Braintree’s CEO Bill Ready and asked him this question.
Bill Ready has joined the company as CEO in October last year. He came from Accel Partners, where he was an executive in residence focusing on payments and financial technology.
Braintree provides an online payments platform that allows online businesses to process credit card payments. The company has recently released a set of tools for mobile app developers that enable merchants to accept payments within an app.
Payment Observer: Can you give us some background information and numbers on Braintree?
Bill Ready: Braintree helps online and mobile businesses process credit card payments by providing a merchant account, payment gateway, recurring billing and credit card storage. The company is disrupting the payments industry by providing elegant tools for developers coupled with white-glove support. Founded in 2007, Braintree works with the world’s most discerning online merchants, including LivingSocial, Airbnb, Uber, Hotel Tonight, 37signals, OpenTable and GitHub. The company is processing more than $4 billion in annual credit card volume from more than 2,000 merchants. Braintree was profitably bootstrapped for four years before accepting a $34 million investment from Accel Partners in 2011. Braintree ranked 47th in the 2011 Inc. 500.
Payment Observer: Why do so many web2.0 companies use Braintree?
Bill Ready: Our solutions are designed specifically for Web 2.0 and mobile companies to take the pain out of payment processing. Braintree’s focus has always been to make payment processing easy for developers so they can focus on their core business, not payments. Historically, developers were dissatisfied with PayPal, Authorize.net and other payment processing options. These solutions were dated and were not designed for developers. The industry had also been known for unscrupulous business practices, including hidden fees and holding merchants’ data hostage if they attempted to switch providers. With Braintree’s solutions, developers can integrate in minutes rather than months using Braintree’s client libraries in 7 different programming languages and 3 different mobile platforms. They also have confidence that the solution will scale with their business, and the peace of mind that if they are ever less than satisfied they can easily take their data to another provider.
Payment Observer: What’s your opinion on m-commerce and mobile payments?
Bill Ready: Mobile commerce growth will continue to outpace that of online as mobile usage has already exceeded online usage. Because mobile is becoming such an important channel for growth, it will be increasingly important for companies to focus on continually improving the user experience in completing a purchase on a mobile device. Companies can realize higher purchase volumes if they provide an easy checkout process that doesn’t require consumers to re-enter credit card information on a mobile device or leave the mobile site.
Braintree handles millions of dollars of mobile payments volume every month, and we recently released three new mobile client libraries that enable e-commerce merchants to easily and securely accept payments within a mobile app, rather than through a web browser. We wanted to help solve a problem for mobile app developers who want to provide a simple, elegant purchasing experience for their customers while remaining PCI compliant.
Payment Observer: How are mobile payments different from online payments?
Bill Ready: There are certainly similarities between the two, however, there are also important differences. User experience is much more important in the mobile environment since the form factor makes it more difficult to enter card information. If you can create cross-channel integration where the user’s card is already on file from their last visit to your website, you can significantly improve ease of use. The speed of the transaction also matters as bandwidth may be more limited, an issue exacerbated by some payment providers that rely on multiple trips across the mobile network to achieve a payment. Finally, security takes on new implications in the mobile environment. Encrypting card data directly on the mobile device is important in order to deal with the additional data security risks inherent with mobile devices. For these reasons, it is important to choose a payments provider that has tailored solutions specifically for the mobile environment.