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Interview With Head of Developer Advocacy at PayPal / Braintree

Apptractor has recently interviewed Tim Messerschmidt at the latest Geek Picnic, one of Eastern Europe's largest open air events celebrating technology innovation and modern science. Here's my English adaptation of the interview.

Tim Messerschmidt is Head of Developer Advocacy, International at PayPal/Braintree, and a famous open source and fintech evangelist who'd gained his first hand experience in such brands as Samsung and Neofonie Mobile prior to joining PayPal. He's the author of Mobile Developer’s Guide to the Galaxy and a famous startups enthusiast and mentor in several incubators and accelerators.

Tim, what can you say about the current evolution of mobile payments market and what technology innovation is driving it the most?

This year, we've already witnessed some very important happenings. Mobile is gradually replacing desktop as the main screen people use for their daily routine which is a huge driver of mobile payments. As such, mobile technology is evolving to make mobile payments more user friendly and safe. Last year, we launched our OneTouch service for mobile devices that allows for successful checkout while avoiding entry of login credentials or bank details.

Both mobile and browser versions of OneTouch allow users to access their PayPal account on a certain device. To cut it short, instead of providing personal data identifiers at online purchases, OneTouch remembers your device and uses it without any further authorization. Users like this convenient way of completing online payments, and some entrepreneurs report a 50% increase in conversion rates after using OneTouch. To me, it's a truly significant achievement!

Right now, there're several competing mobile wallets in the market. What solution do you think has a greater potential of capturing the audience in the future?

Users dictate whether your solution will win or lose. Today, PayPal services 165 million active accounts in more than 203 countries. We've created our Braintree SDK to be compatible with several mobile payment platforms such as PayPal, Android Pay and Apply Pay. And when required, we can easily customize our payment technology to be compatible with other platforms that may only be used in a certain geography.

Are there any startups specialized in mobile payments that have grabbed your attention recently? Is it easy to get you as a tech mentor?

I'm really amazed with the Venmo project that unfortunately works in the United States only. All of my friends are using this service for money transfer and they love the idea of making payments without bothering to have cash with them.

Now moving to your question #2 - in 2013, we launched Startup Blueprint, a special startups bolster program that is closely related to the existing apps ecosystem. If your incubator or accelerator participates in this program, you can easily get our program manager's support. Otherwise, feel free to contact me in Twitter and LinkedIn.

Do you agree with such an opinion that the current apps ecosystem is just the next big tech bubble?

No, I don't. When traveling around the world I see a huge demand for technologies shaped as applications. I'm sure apps ecosystem is gaining traction now and tech companies that build and provide apps to users are driving its rapid development and improvements.

What key challenges are facing software developers today?

Talking to many software developers I always hear about the same challenges they're facing. They're still lacking tools able to solve strictly specialized issues. To build such tools with a scalable architecture we need competent system architects and software engineers skilled in data safety. By offering open source programs and products, PayPal helps developers design and create such tools in a much more effective way.

What particular tools does PayPal offer to software developers?

We offer our own SDK and APIs that allow for immediate integration with any major payment system. I once completed integration with SDK and was able to accept payments through credit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay and Android Pay in less than 5 minutes! Given my multi-year experience with fintech development, I went into raptures about the speed of integration. Besides payment technology, we provide a lot of open source solutions for developers globally to solve their issues.

Some time ago I was actively involved in the development of PayPal NodeJS Suite known as Kraken. This set of tools is a natural addition to the Express framework that helps build Node-based apps using pre-built templates, as well as data safety, scalability and localisation best practices. I also like one PayPal's plugin we built for Bootstrap. It helps people with disability to easily access and use Internet in a more effective way.

What solutions are still missing in mobile payments market?

Today, organizations are still lacking more in-depth insights about their business and target audiences. Mobile analytics platforms and systems are booming in the market allowing for identification of user behavior patterns and better monetization of solutions. Our dashboards, for instance, collect detailed information about business transactions and revenues which helps business owners reinforce their competitive advantages in the market.

Are you looking to drive more action with mobile analytics? We can help you build one from scratch or using pre-built components to make you lead rather than follow in any highly competitive market. Contact us now for client references and your custom price quote!

Source of interview: AppTractor; image - ShutterStock

Vik is our Brand Journalist and Head of Online Marketing / PR with 11+ years of international experience in IT B2B. He's also a guest blog contributor to Business2community, SitePoint, Journal of mHealth, Wearable Valley and other IT portals.