Gr4vy, Inc is reimagining the future of payments by providing an intuitive, cutting-edge payment orchestration platform (POP) that leverages the power of the Cloud to modernise payments infrastructure.
Gr4vy, Inc, the only cloud-native payment orchestration platform on the market, has been named in Business Worldwide Magazine’s Top 20 Innovative Companies to Watch, 2021. John Lunn, Founder and CEO, shares with us how Gr4vy came to be, and how their payments platform is changing the future of payments.
Congratulations on being recognised in BWM’s top 20 to watch list. Can you tell us a bit about what led you to start Gr4vy and a little about your team?
I’ve been in the fintech and payments space for over 21 years. I saw payment companies build something to process payments throughout my years, but they weren’t building the infrastructure to manage and scale those services. This gap, essentially, created an environment in which merchants had to employ large, complex payment teams to support and manage their payment stacks.
We launched Gr4vy in April 2021 with the idea that payments infrastructure shouldn’t be so frustrating for a merchant to manage. For merchants with an online presence, optimising every part of a customer’s checkout experience and every step of a transaction flow has become increasingly complex – and precarious. Recognising there was an opportunity, I and my co-founders, Ali Minaei and Cristiano Betta, set out to create a solution.
We brought together a team of payments industry pioneers and experts from Adyen, Braintree, Cybersource, Google, PayPal, Recurly, Spreedly, and Yoyo Wallet. These industry experts have spent their careers working with merchants of all sizes to optimise clients’ payment stacks and gain a deep understanding of the payments industry’s pain points. Simply put, merchants need flexible, scalable, and customisable payment infrastructure, which led us to create Gr4vy.
Speaking of pain points, for those unfamiliar with the challenges within the payments industry, what are some of them?
If you’re a merchant or ecommerce business selling internationally, you have to deal with different languages, and industry and country-specific laws and regulations. You must find ways to securely store customer payment data without violating privacy or data sovereignty requirements. You also have to provide the right mix of payment methods in the right locations. And, lastly, you have to make sure they all work in concert to deliver a seamless checkout experience. If you don’t, consumers will take their business elsewhere.
Unfortunately, most merchants are held back by legacy systems stuck 20 years in the past. Making improvements to their payment stacks causes them to incur technical debt, regulatory difficulty, and the inability to get the best pricing. Ultimately, this leads to a reduction in serving customer needs and the ability to compete. The idea for Gr4vy was born out of this frustration.
Payment orchestration seems a hot topic in the ecommerce community. How does G4vy work and differentiate from other POPs serving the market today?
The truth is, payment orchestration itself is not a new idea, but what is different is the accelerated drive toward digital transformation and the advantages of cloud computing. Payment orchestration is no longer optional. It has become something available and affordable for all sizes of merchants, whereas, in the past, it has only been something for very high-volume large merchants.
We designed Gr4vy as a cloud-native payment orchestration platform (POP) that takes the complexity out of merchants running payments infrastructure. Our cloud-native POP empowers merchants with the ability to streamline and manage payment methods, services and transactions, and offer new payment methods without having to onboard large payment teams or make complex code changes.
Unlike other POPs, we’ve intentionally built an infrastructure-first solution designed to leverage the power of cloud computing. One of our key infrastructure benefits is that we generate individualised cloud Instances. These Instances act as a merchant’s payment stack(s) in the Cloud. This single-tenant cloud infrastructure means no sharing server loads with other merchants or the resulting slowdowns and no single point of failure. Merchants can also orchestrate payments and risk management services across multiple providers – making it easy to deploy, test and learn what services work best for their business.
Once merchants have their individual cloud Instances, our platform enables them to expand into new markets by spinning up Edges to their Instances within a chosen country or region. As a result, merchants can keep transactions and data secure within a local, unique Edge in compliance with sales and privacy regulations. This makes it much easier for merchants to go global and control their payment stack from anywhere confidently. Our vision is to become a merchant’s payments team in the Cloud.
With other POPs on the market, what do you think is needed to lead this idea to worldwide adoption?
I believe cloud-native POPs are just getting started as a technology. Interestingly, a lot of what we do at Gr4vy is educating merchants that there is a better way. Traditionally, the old way of payment orchestration has entailed employing large payment teams and onboarding each new payment option individually. This way of doing things has been around for so long that we often see “Eureka” moments when we talk with merchants. For example, we hear, “Why has nobody done this before?” Payment Orchestration is the next wave in payments technology, and it’s not a matter of “if” but more of how quickly merchants will adopt it.
What advice do you have for merchants looking to modernise their payments infrastructure?
The right POP for a merchant’s business depends on their specific needs and priorities. However, technology deployment, orchestration, data visibility and management are all being pushed to the Cloud. You need a POP that not only works with your payment stack today but will also work with your payment stack – wherever and however deployed – and the cloud-based payment methods of the future.
It’s also crucial that whatever POP you choose addresses the complexity of compliance. Privacy, data, and commerce laws continue to change, and merchants will need a POP that will help them evolve as regulations alter. This means supporting different laws and regulations on a country-by-country basis. And it often requires data storage at the edge to comply with privacy and data sovereignty requirements.
Simplicity and scale are also essential. The best POPs provide simplicity regardless of scale. After a single integration with your backend systems, they essentially get out of the way. Backend plumbing, reporting functionality, and security updates are maintained in the background, enabling you to orchestrate frontend payments from a simple, code-free dashboard.
Lastly, you’ll want a POP that provides payment infrastructure, insights, and assistance for optimising that framework. Select POPs will help you increase conversion rates at both cart and checkout levels. They will provide actionable, data-driven recommendations for improving transaction routing and reducing exchange rates and fees. And they will help you increase sales and decrease costs as your business grows and evolves. To learn more about Gr4vy, visit https://gr4vy.com.