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Incorporating customers into the design and development cycles

Many industries, payments being no different, have working groups designed to tackle audacious goals and work towards standards (e.g., currently EMV in the US, IFX and SEPA).  But, what are we doing together to improve the business acceptance of payments software on a day-to-day basis?

A customer-centric development approach with financial institutions or retailers working with payment software vendors typically has four distinct outcomes:

  • Better alignment of the vendor with customer values
  • Improved product quality
  • Higher team productivity
  • Increased flexibility within the development process

Let me explain what I mean when I say “customer-centric development approach.”  For years, vendors have taken customer requests for enhancements, prioritized them, and then simply built a product based on their interpretation of those initial requests.  Customer feedback was at the start of the development cycle and again at the end.

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A customer-centric development approach allows for customer feedback during the software development cycle which becomes more of an iterative and agile approach to product design and development.

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The distinct outcomes for the software vendors, in turn, lead to potential improvements for customers:

  • Faster time to market with new products
  • Reduced internal development costs
  • Closer relationships with the vendors
  • New ways to use existing payment infrastructures

This brief explanation of the differences between the traditional approach and customer-centric approach, should lead you to ask yourself “what is my payment software vendor doing to incorporate my input?”

Incorporating customers into the design and development cycles by Paul McMeekin