|By Suresh Sambandam||
|June 18, 2014 08:51 AM EDT||
As you are reading this, KiSSFLOW‘s payment handling mechanism has been completely moved out of Google Wallet.
KiSSFLOW, from day one has been a product that was built keeping Google Apps Users in mind and we consciously decided to use Google technologies all-out. We use Google App Engine, Google Cloud Storage, Google Big Query, Google Cloud SQL and just about every Google Cloud technology that is out there. We are extremely happy with Google’s Cloud Services and Support. But one product has been a pain for us for a while now – Google Wallet.
When Google started moving away from Google Checkout to the new Wallet a couple of years back it seemed the most obvious choice for us. Firstly it was a Google product and since all our customers were Google Apps users we thought it would reduce any friction that might arise in the paying step. Secondly wallet seemed to be brimming with promises back then, Google had gone all out to build something that was better than checkout and we thought that it will be generic and that there will be a lot of new features coming into it. We knew we were taking a gamble but the odds, we thought, were in our favour. Also wallet was the cheapest payment gateway around – super important if you are a startup.
Ouch!!! Over the last two years, our engineers, our sales team, our accounting team and our support team have come back to us over and over again with a number of issues and limitations that made us realize that Wallet was not the right choice. Wallet over the last two years seemed to be shifting from a generic payment services, that we thought it was, to being a payment gateway that is inclined mainly towards mobile app developers. Now we are not mobile developers and we don’t know how green the grass is in the other side of the fence but we sure know as SaaS ISVs we were left in the lurch.
Sales Complained: Sales’ biggest requirement was a self service system to initiate and terminate trial accounts, generate Discount Coupons, change subscriptions, and to manually update card details. When customers wanted to buy some more licences they would be expected to key in their credit card details afresh as, to wallet this was a new purchase. The entire PG offering was so limited that the onus of implementing a better system to actually handle subscriptions fell on Engineering.
Engineering Complained: Engineering knew that Wallet was just a payment gateway service and not a recurring billing solution, and hence it had to build a layer on top of Google Wallet for the kind of features required for a SaaS product. However whatever subscription based billing capabilities that Google Wallet offered just was not good enough. At the technical level, there were just two callbacks, success and cancel. No callback APIs for things such as inadequate funds on card, card expiry, transaction failure etc. We had to write most of the recurring billing code, notifications and error handling ourselves. The APIs were so shallow that we could not even perform a subscription cancellation.
Accounting complained: Firstly there was no integrated dashboard that Google Wallet offered to track the subscription status of the various customers. There was no notification to either the customer or the accounting team about expiry of cards, inadequacy of funds, or failure of the payment process. And of course, Google Wallet accumulated all our earnings and transferred it at a go, the frequency of repatriation was once a month even if accumulated value exceed $10,000.
You might now rationale that all our complains so far do not strictly fall under the inadequacies of a payment gateway service provider. Agreed. But more than anything else our single biggest problem was that of reliability. Our users kept getting “Technical error. Could not process payment at this time. Please try again later” messages, the last thing you would want.
As a SaaS company you would know that the actual point of sales had to be the most easiest and most reliable system to work with. Sales, Support, and Engineering do a hard job of getting a trial user to onboard and you really wouldn’t want everything else to go well and realize that right at the moment of purchase your customer was stumped and could not pay because of the payment gateway service.
We were in a situation. We needed better functionality, but more than that we needed reliability. And so we decided to move. We looked at various PG services and also looked at various subscription payment systems like Chargify, ChargeBee, Recurly etc.
We took the plunge and moved to ChargeBee for recurring billing and Stripe to process payments. And it has been wonderful after that. In addition to solving the problems of reliability, we got a whole goodie bag of extra features from ChargeBee, that are very SaaS focused. Engineering was happy, they could dump most of the extra payment handling code, and get back to improving our core product. The APIs provided by ChargeBee was clean precise, reliable and helped in complete automation of payment related code in the product. Sales was happy, Discount Coupons could easily be generated, card details could be requested, and trial accounts could be automatically upgraded without engineering help. Accounts was happy as subscriptions could be manually marked as paid, and offline payments could be transparently and uniformly tracked. Of course repatriation was happening once in 2 days. Above all, our customers and hence support was happy. The number of PG related problems dropped drastically, notifications were instant, automatic and kept all stakeholders informed of events, and it was a breeze.
- a payment processing solution like Stripe /Braintree provides components for recurring billing, but you still need to keep building on top of it.
- a recurring billing service that provides sophisticated layer on top of a payment gateway can save you precious hours for features required by sales, accounting & support.
- building it internally is also an option, but you need to have enough bandwidth of developer & management to improve your billing system to keep up with your startup’s growing needs.
We weighed the options of build vs buy – ditched build and we went with ChargeBee + Stripe as our SaaS recurring billing solution.
Full Disclosure: Suresh Sambandam, Our CEO, is an advisor to ChargeBee.Image source: http://iluminisme.wordpress.com/
The post Sadly, we are leaving Google Wallet appeared first on .
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
Nov. 26, 2014 11:00 PM EST Reads: 835
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
Nov. 26, 2014 10:45 PM EST Reads: 976
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
Nov. 26, 2014 09:00 PM EST Reads: 939
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
Nov. 26, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 964
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
Nov. 26, 2014 06:00 PM EST Reads: 969
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 26, 2014 05:45 PM EST Reads: 917
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
Nov. 26, 2014 04:00 PM EST Reads: 1,006
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
Nov. 26, 2014 03:45 PM EST Reads: 975
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
Nov. 26, 2014 02:00 PM EST Reads: 1,470
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
Nov. 25, 2014 09:30 PM EST Reads: 1,223
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
Nov. 25, 2014 09:30 PM EST Reads: 1,278
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Nov. 25, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,315
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
Nov. 25, 2014 04:30 PM EST Reads: 1,318
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Nov. 24, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,626
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
Nov. 24, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 1,514
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Nov. 24, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 1,652
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
Nov. 24, 2014 09:00 AM EST Reads: 1,666
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
Nov. 23, 2014 07:30 PM EST Reads: 1,836
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 23, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 1,786
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
Nov. 23, 2014 07:45 AM EST Reads: 1,815