Welcome!

Release Management Authors: Liz McMillan, Jnan Dash, Lori MacVittie, Gilad Parann-Nissany, Carmen Gonzalez

Blog Feed Post

Sadly, we are leaving Google Wallet

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.

The biggest learning for us is that: 

  • 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 .

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Suresh Sambandam

After an initial entrepreneurial stint for three years at the age of 19, Suresh Sambandam went on to work at Hewlett-Packard. Later, Suresh joined Selectica and rose to senior position, as Director of e-Insurance product division in a short-span. The e-Insurance division and its products were later acquired by Accenture. Suresh is a technocrat specializing in product engineering with expertise in software architecture for complex enterprise applications, inference engines, configuration engines, rule-based computing and enterprise middleware. He has applied for multiple patents. Suresh is passionate about entrepreneurship, technology startups and spends a significant amount of personal time in the start-up ecosystem in Chennai. Suresh is a member of the National Council for Emerging Companies Forum and also a core committee member of Product Forum at NASSCOM. He also does mentoring for budding entrepreneurs at IIT Bombay, E-Cell. Suresh is a regular speaker at various industry forums & academic institutions.

Suresh is the Founder & CEO of OrangeScape. OrangeScape is a platform (PaaS - Platform as a Service) to develop process oriented business applications that can be deployed "On Cloud" and "On Premise". OrangeScape supports platforms like Google App Engine and Microsoft Azure as cloud deployment option and Microsoft .Net and J2EE as on-premise deployment options. OrangeScape has 50+ customers including global brands like Unilever, Citibank, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Fullterton, etc. OrangeScape in the only Indian company has been featured in the PaaS research reports of Forrester and Gartner. OrangeScape has been featured as 'India's Rising Tech Stars' by Forbes(US) magazine. OrangeScape was showcased as one of the 3 emerging product companies in India by Nasscom and was also awarded 'Top IT Innovations' for 2 consecutive years.

@ThingsExpo Stories
With so much going on in this space you could be forgiven for thinking you were always working with yesterday’s technologies. So much change, so quickly. What do you do if you have to build a solution from the ground up that is expected to live in the field for at least 5-10 years? This is the challenge we faced when we looked to refresh our existing 10-year-old custom hardware stack to measure the fullness of trash cans and compactors.
The emerging Internet of Everything creates tremendous new opportunities for customer engagement and business model innovation. However, enterprises must overcome a number of critical challenges to bring these new solutions to market. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Martin, CTO/CIO at nfrastructure, outlined these key challenges and recommended approaches for overcoming them to achieve speed and agility in the design, development and implementation of Internet of Everything solutions wi...
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, will deep dive into best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
Pulzze Systems was happy to participate in such a premier event and thankful to be receiving the winning investment and global network support from G-Startup Worldwide. It is an exciting time for Pulzze to showcase the effectiveness of innovative technologies and enable them to make the world smarter and better. The reputable contest is held to identify promising startups around the globe that are assured to change the world through their innovative products and disruptive technologies. There w...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
There is growing need for data-driven applications and the need for digital platforms to build these apps. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Muddu Sudhakar, VP and GM of Security & IoT at Splunk, will cover different PaaS solutions and Big Data platforms that are available to build applications. In addition, AI and machine learning are creating new requirements that developers need in the building of next-gen apps. The next-generation digital platforms have some of the past platform needs a...
SYS-CON Events announced today Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
Identity is in everything and customers are looking to their providers to ensure the security of their identities, transactions and data. With the increased reliance on cloud-based services, service providers must build security and trust into their offerings, adding value to customers and improving the user experience. Making identity, security and privacy easy for customers provides a unique advantage over the competition.
I wanted to gather all of my Internet of Things (IOT) blogs into a single blog (that I could later use with my University of San Francisco (USF) Big Data “MBA” course). However as I started to pull these blogs together, I realized that my IOT discussion lacked a vision; it lacked an end point towards which an organization could drive their IOT envisioning, proof of value, app dev, data engineering and data science efforts. And I think that the IOT end point is really quite simple…
Personalization has long been the holy grail of marketing. Simply stated, communicate the most relevant offer to the right person and you will increase sales. To achieve this, you must understand the individual. Consequently, digital marketers developed many ways to gather and leverage customer information to deliver targeted experiences. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lou Casal, Founder and Principal Consultant at Practicala, discussed how the Internet of Things (IoT) has accelerated our abil...
Is the ongoing quest for agility in the data center forcing you to evaluate how to be a part of infrastructure automation efforts? As organizations evolve toward bimodal IT operations, they are embracing new service delivery models and leveraging virtualization to increase infrastructure agility. Therefore, the network must evolve in parallel to become equally agile. Read this essential piece of Gartner research for recommendations on achieving greater agility.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.