Welcome!

Release Management Authors: Jnan Dash, Liz McMillan, 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 an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn’t require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbuilding of data centers ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies adopt disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevO...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
The Quantified Economy represents the total global addressable market (TAM) for IoT that, according to a recent IDC report, will grow to an unprecedented $1.3 trillion by 2019. With this the third wave of the Internet-global proliferation of connected devices, appliances and sensors is poised to take off in 2016. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David McLauchlan, CEO and co-founder of Buddy Platform, will discuss how the ability to access and analyze the massive volume of streaming data from mil...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
WebSocket is effectively a persistent and fat pipe that is compatible with a standard web infrastructure; a "TCP for the Web." If you think of WebSocket in this light, there are other more hugely interesting applications of WebSocket than just simply sending data to a browser. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Frank Greco, Director of Technology for Kaazing Corporation, will compare other modern web connectivity methods such as HTTP/2, HTTP Streaming, Server-Sent Events and new W3C event APIs ...
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that iDevices®, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. iDevices, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, has a growing line of HomeKit-enabled products available at the largest retailers worldwide. Through the “Designed with iDevices” co-development program and its custom-built IoT Cloud Infrastruc...
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
There will be new vendors providing applications, middleware, and connected devices to support the thriving IoT ecosystem. This essentially means that electronic device manufacturers will also be in the software business. Many will be new to building embedded software or robust software. This creates an increased importance on software quality, particularly within the Industrial Internet of Things where business-critical applications are becoming dependent on products controlled by software. Qua...
Join us at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2016 – June 7-9 at the Javits Center in New York City and November 1-3 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – and deliver your unique message in a way that is striking and unforgettable by taking advantage of SYS-CON's unmatched high-impact, result-driven event / media packages.
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
Silver Spring Networks, Inc. (NYSE: SSNI) extended its Internet of Things technology platform with performance enhancements to Gen5 – its fifth generation critical infrastructure networking platform. Already delivering nearly 23 million devices on five continents as one of the leading networking providers in the market, Silver Spring announced it is doubling the maximum speed of its Gen5 network to up to 2.4 Mbps, increasing computational performance by 10x, supporting simultaneous mesh communic...
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
One of the bewildering things about DevOps is integrating the massive toolchain including the dozens of new tools that seem to crop up every year. Part of DevOps is Continuous Delivery and having a complex toolchain can add additional integration and setup to your developer environment. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Miko Matsumura, Chief Marketing Officer of Gradle Inc., will discuss which tools to use in a developer stack, how to provision the toolchain to minimize onboa...
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...