How do you harness the promise of advanced technologies and steer a large technology team in the dynamic payments space? We spoke with Camiel Schoonens who leads the Global Online technology team for Ingenico ePayments.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your role at Ingenico ePayments?
I’ve been interested in technology ever since I worked with my first Apple Macintosh in 1987. I believe that because of that formative experience, I’m still a technology enthusiast to this day. Technology is useful, elegant and should be simple to understand.
When it comes to my role, it’s my responsibility to bring our people across the globe together, to encourage them to come up with new ideas and to deliver towards our long term Ingenico Group technology strategy.
I’m a strong believer that an open culture drives change. Any expert in technology knows that a great idea can come from anywhere. I strive to build a culture where everyone can pitch new and innovative ways to solve problems and to overcome challenges. This drive and innovation helps us deliver a truly open and global offering with products that meet the needs of our customers.
Camiel Schoonens - CTO Ingenico ePayments
How is the technology team structured and how does it operate?
Over a third of our employees at Ingenico ePayments are part of the technology team and they are spread across three continents (Asia, Europe and Latin America), so we’ve had to find efficient ways to work together. We build and run our platform in DevOps teams where our own agile coaches make sure that we use the latest agile methodologies to collaborate.
Following industry best practices our employees are brought together in ‘chapters of expertise’. These teams each have a specific focus, on Data Analytics, User Experience etc. Bringing teams together in a scalable and structured organization helps us foster the experience of our people. In return this helps us manage priorities and activities in a proactive and rapidly adaptable approach. To me adaptability is especially important when delivering and running new products through global teams which continuously scale up and down.
Fortunately, this adaptability and scalability prepared us well for the unforeseen impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve adapted quickly to the ‘new normal’ in each geographic area we operate in. This allows us to continue to operate efficiently in the face of social distancing measures.
Scrum teams discussing the next sprint
What’s the philosophy of the technology team and what trends are you looking at?
At Ingenico, we don’t just process payments, we use technology to solve problems. I would argue that we’re a tech company not a payments company. Technology forms the basis of everything we do. There are two trends that I would like to call out here: Artificial intelligence and data science.
We apply Artificial Intelligence (AI) in our platform monitoring practices. AI has helped us reach platform availability of more than ‘5 times 9’ (99,999%) for the past 3 years. In our monitoring practices we use AI to predict technical platform interruptions and foresee to use AI in the near future to do more functional predictions and routing of customer traffic on the platform. We apply advanced analytics and data science within our new Ingenico Insight Product, as well as constantly improving our smart routing capabilities to improve payment conversation ratios for our customers.
The tech team is constantly evolving and so is our platform, becoming more robust, smarter and intuitive. Thinking of the fact that we have approximately 300 technology employees worldwide contributing to this makes me extremely proud.
The Ingenico ePayments platform is monitored 24/7
Where do you see the industry heading?
There is huge demand for innovation and scalability at pace. By this I mean that we’re able to make rapid adjustments to new trends in each region. For example, no one could predict the COVID-19 pandemic, but we have responded to the changes and impact it has had on the payment landscape quickly and efficiently.
We have also seen cash usage decline in many countries such as India and Latin America. These rapidly changing trends offer us an opportunity to innovate, and it provides an exciting platform to put our tech and expertise, honed in-house and from acquisitions, into practice.
Furthermore, a company standing still is a company moving backwards, so as the industry evolves, we are also making great strides to invest further in our technology. The aim is to create seamless integration for our customers, regardless of their entry point with Ingenico. Ingenico Insight, our next generation data platform, is the next offering which will fulfill this mission.
This article was originally published on blog.ingenico.com. Since October 28, 2020, Ingenico has joined Worldline.