Payments at Palta - insights from VP of Payments

Today we're diving into payments at Palta to know more about what's important to consider while building a payment system from scratch. We talked to Gianluca Cassaro, Palta's VP of Payments, and he shared with us some of the insights and strategic views on payments from his perspective:
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"Payment is something that has always been there when we think about it. From the very beginning of time, people needed a way to exchange value. Today, we have digital, POS transactions and other forms of exchange, but the core idea hasn't really changed. Payments come with excitement but there has always been awkwardness, concern and uncertainty around the payment process: is it a scam? Is it safe to give my money to anyone, especially on the internet? Will I get the thing I intended to buy or am I going to lose the money?

The digital revolution and the switch to the digital subscription economy have changed how we perceive payments. Today, buying something online is something that is part of our daily life, while back in the days only a small percentage of us would have bought something online and just on a few trusted websites. The pandemic has undoubtedly accelerated this habit, but in a way, the awkwardness is still there. As well as building a payment system, our main goal includes making the process less awkward as possible.

Some of the most used keywords in the payment space are 'Speed' and 'Frictionless'. "Payment systems should enable payments that are as fast as possible and frictionless". Personally, I believe the feeling of safety and security during a payment experience is crucial; for the customer, it's absolutely okay to spend some more time but feel safe during the purchase. And for us, it's much more important to be trusted and to provide this safety rather than making something fast and frictionless but not fully reliable.

Payments can be a competitive advantage and a growth enabler for a company. Matching customers to their preferred payment methods makes a substantial difference in the company's success. Payment method preferences are very different across countries and regions: digital wallets for Asian countries, PayPal for Germany and Venmo/Cash App for the young generation across the US are just a few examples. In the US and Europe customers are used to having multiple subscriptions, while in Southeast Asia and other regions, a lot of customers prefer pre-paid plans. Localisation is important and can be a key competitive factor if you know your customers well.

In today's world, we've also been seeing the shift between traditional services and digital ones. Just a few years ago, our choices were obvious: - if we had a health-related goal like becoming more fit, we had to go to the gym or have a personal trainer. Now we can google our goals, use digital applications and have video training classes with a qualified expert or even personal training plans from an AI service. For many of us, it's much easier and faster and less awkward to use an app than using a more traditional service. We are getting used to paying for digital help with almost zero waiting time. That's already changing our lives for the better and it will continue growing in the future. At Palta, we are committed to building such services using all the best practices to keep it scientifically based, safe and easy to use."

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