First Data’s Rapid Connect Keys In On uCommerce Concept
With the emergence of mobile and electronic commerce, shifting regulations, and new technologies, payments is as dynamic an industry as we have today. Companies need flexibility to meet consumer demands that are constantly in flux, and the capacity to cater to a wide variety of paymentsmethods.
Enter First Data’s new Rapid Connect platform: a product designed to allow merchants to constantly adapt to the payments world through a system focused on flexibility, testability and integration. PYMNTS.com spoke with Bruce Dragt, senior vice president, payment acceptance product division for First Data, to discuss Rapid Connect’s development, the inspiration behind its design and the concept of “uCommerce.”
According to Dragt, First Data began working on Rapid Connect a little over a year ago, and was spawned from the realization thatadaption and speed are key in today’s payments world.
“We realized and recognized that with the changes that are happening in the overall payments marketplace -- those changes being represented by what we call ‘universal commerce’ – the need for innovation was coming at such a pace that we had to provide a better mechanism by which people could connect to First Data and consume our product and services,” Dragt said.
According to Dragt, First Data worked with its partners to create Rapid Connect in order to ensure it addressed the specific needs itscompanies found more important. Rapid Connect’s “sandbox” feature is one example, as it allows developers to use an “iterative development cycle”: an attractive feature given the unfamiliarity many developers have with payments-specific products.
Dragt also said that the need for innovation is so constant because of how new technologies and strategies have led to consumer empowerment.
“In the past, payments were largely things that we provided to our consumers to use in ways that the industry had determined,” Dragt said. “With the nature of mobile technology, consumers have gotten to the place where they look and say, ‘hey, I want to be in control, I want to do this, I want to have a personalized experience that matches with how I want to make this happen.’ … so we’re seeing that shift whereby consumers want to utilize technology to accomplish the goals they have for themselves.
As the traditional payments streams, as they blur together across new initiatives, it’s important to have a flexible, open framework such that we can configure those things in a way that can drive the innovation to market quickly.”
To hear more of Dragt on Rapid Connect, uCommerce and the future of payments integration, listen to the full podcast below.
To read a transcript of the audio conversation, click here.
SVP, Payment Acceptance, First Data
Bruce Dragt leads the Payment Acceptance product division at First Data. This division represents the global solutions for acquiring, terminals, check and ACH acceptance, leasing, financing, eCommerce and security solutions.
Since joining First Data in 2003, Bruce has focused both on new innovation and the extension of current product offerings. Bruce was part of the TeleCheck organization as ECA (Electronic Check Acceptance) became mainstream with National Retailers, with the terminal organization as the First Data proprietary devices became common with small merchants, and starting new initiatives like eCommerce and TransArmor.
Prior to First Data, Bruce held roles at Wells Fargo, i2 Corporation, Financial Settlement Matrix & WestGroup Research.
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