Software Developers Vital to Creating, Scaling Connected Economy

Software Developers Vital in Connected Economy

A primary challenge of the connected economy is continuously building out and then enhancing the billions of connections powering popular omnichannel experiences that shoppers, merchants, payments providers and technology partners all now have a stake in.

In a PYMNTS interview, PayPal Senior Director of Developer Experiences Mudita Tiwari spoke of the increasing demands on those who literally build connected experiences — developers — whose behind-the-scenes task is creating and sustaining seamless connections.

“What we are realizing is that it’s not just the front-end experiences that need a solid investment; it’s your [back-end and] payments processing,” she said. “That is incredibly important because there’s the aspect of trust and security that our consumers want.”


Calling developers “the under-served segment,” Tiwari said that’s changing now.

“Massive digitization has put the developers front and center, whether it is the small businesses, medium or large businesses, whether that’s a platform play or marketplace play,” she told PYMNTS.

Noting that PayPal has more than 30 million merchants globally, Tiwari said, “What ties their experiences together at the end of the day is a developer. A developer is the entity or the persona who is actually thinking about how a payment experience like eCommerce, returns and back-office management is being put out on the merchant’s platform in an elegant way.”

Moreover, developers have a unique vantage on the critical elements of the connected economy — data flows and the actual connectivity between devices and platforms.

“[Developers] are telling us that the current eCommerce platforms are not necessarily meeting needs,” Tiwari said.

Saying that more investment is required, she added that “business decision makers are increasingly relying on developers and want developers to have a seat at the table when they are deciding how to expand their eCommerce offerings, maintain their eCommerce offerings, or just make sure that they’re thinking about future solutions.”

See also: PayPal Invests $135M to Help Advance Economic Equality

Data Fueling the Action

Tiwari shared results of a survey PayPal co-conducted earlier this year of 1,000 eCommerce software developers and 500 U.S. business decision-makers. Findings indicated that the workload of software developers in the payments and eCommerce space will continue to grow in line with the expansion of the connected economy and the call for new experiences.

“As workloads increase … the solutions developers create and maintain — and consumers rely on — aren’t satisfying the needs in these accelerated times,” the study stated. “A surprising 81% of developers say their current solutions do not fully meet customers’ expectations and 22% say they meet just a bare minimum.”

Part of the problem is and will continue to be data access and utility.

Calling to mind now-familiar pandemic-era experiences like online shopping, delivery, curbside pickup, remote returns and more, Tiwari said, “All of that management becomes much easier with data. When we think about data, what we need to first do is think about the value add to the consumer. Certainly, there is a deep concern that a lot of us have about what good data versus bad data practices are. What is invasive behavior that should be concerning in terms of data practices, and what is safe, good data behavior that will ultimately enable the consumer?”

She noted that consumers “might be OK sharing information as long as they know what they’re signing up for, as long as they know what the system does and what the platform is going to be responsible for, I think … that is the right practice.”

She added, however, that opt-ins and consumer choice in data must be baked into all connected economy frameworks.

“In our case, on the PayPal side, what we’re blessed with is this very strong two-sided network,” she said. “But underlying that is the principle of security transparency and making sure we are absolutely committed from the regulatory perspectives [and] from best behavior perspectives, and then further, our commitment to our merchants and consumers to make sure that your data is secure. And at the same time, we provide an experience that is less friction-filled and certainly meets the needs of the consumers at the end of the day.”

Read also: SMBs Must Meet Customers Across Connected Economy’s ‘Four Domains’

Loyalty Data ‘Critical’ to Next-Gen Connected Experiences

Loyalty is playing a starring role in the connected economy, one that Tiwari said she sees as having wider applications in the design of the omnichannel experiences consumers now crave.

“The way I think about the impact of loyalty and why it is so critical in the next gen of commerce [is that] we need to continue thinking about how to triangulate loyalty programs and what they offer,” she said, adding that it’s “not just about maximizing the revenue potential for merchants from that loyalty … but also the benefit that comes to the consumer.”

“Our shoppers are expecting modern checkout experiences,” Tiwari said. “They’re looking to be delighted and be frictionless. They just want to come in, pick something and move on. With loyalty, what comes is that extra value-add where you know you’re cared for beyond the checkout, and it certainly keeps you coming back for more.”

“With all of these principles, merchants and providers like ourselves need to think about data and the role that data plays in developing these relationships towards a value-add model rather than an invasive model,” she said.

See also: PayPal Acquires Happy Returns eCommerce Return Platform