Merchant Innovation

Braintree Launches Auth

What if a payments platform with global scale could put the power of that scale to work on behalf of other commerce platforms who’d like to scale, too?

With the invite-only beta release of its Braintree Auth, Braintree is putting that theory into practice – leveraging the work already underway with a variety of innovative commerce platforms including BigCommerceWooCommerce, and 3DCart.

Put simply, Braintree Auth makes it easy for Braintree merchants to integrate with Braintree partners by making it possible for Braintree to enable the authorization of services on their behalf, explained Braintree GM and CTO Juan Benitez.

The goal, Benitez emphasized, is to eliminate the friction facing SMBs and businesses in the mid-market, who just want to grow their businesses but don’t want to get bogged down with the payments technicalities required to support that growth.

Benitez says that Auth solves that problem in a number of ways.

Auth makes it straightforward for its partners to easily create new Braintree merchant accounts and instantly accept payments, including PayPal and PayPal One Touch and alternative payments like Apple Pay, Venmo, Android Pay and others as they come into the market. 

Auth’s Shared Vault feature allows a Braintree merchant partner to increase conversions by creating a master vault record for all customers connected to that merchant. That means that a tokenized card credential stored with one merchant can be used in a single-click checkout on behalf of that same customer with another merchant connected to that master record. This eliminates the need for customers to reenter their credentials at each of those connected merchants – and hopefully increases conversions.

“Credentials are vaulted by two entities within the Braintree platform and those entities have the ability to authorize access for each other to see those payment methods,” explained Benitez.

Benitez sees the Shared Vault feature as an enabler – protecting merchants because they will not have the burden of storing and protecting the data themselves while also providing the ability for critical capabilities like repeat purchase flows.

“The ownership of data and trust in data is one of the most important things happening online,” Benitez said. “We are not making it so that this data goes everywhere, we are facilitating the option for people who do own the data to work with their consumers and provide rich experiences to connect with others. People trust us with this data, we are protecting it and enabling one-click checkout buying experiences for some of the most innovative and interesting brands in the world.”

This capability is similar to what Braintree enabled for Pinterest more than a year ago, as well as the Uber integration with Facebook Messenger in December.

Auth, says Benitez, is intended to open up entirely new avenues to solving some of a merchant’s most pressing problems, like checkout conversions on existing commerce platforms or creating entirely new commerce opportunities, like expanding the number of new merchants on an existing commerce platform by making it easier to connect to them, payment enable them, and eliminate checkout friction for consumers.

“We are taking away the complexity that often exists when people have designs for new customer experiences and just want to innovate with their partners – and get it into the market quickly,” Benitez reiterated.

With major eCommerce platforms already utilizing the platform, the number of possible use cases and innovations fostered through Braintree Auth is still yet to be seen, but Benitez said that there are all kinds of interesting possibilities out there.

Auth will also allow connected and authorized merchants to perform a number of transactions that go beyond payments, including richer analytics, the ability to integrate data into other dashboards, and even providing alerts related to changes in store records.

Benitez hopes that Braintree Auth can use its scale to unlock powerful new capabilities for merchants who see the promise of connected commerce as an opportunity to scale too. “This is yet another new area to see how the market evolves and what people do with it,” he added.

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