Building on a decade of online payment innovation

8th May 2017

Ten years is a very long time in the world of technology. Ten years ago, Microsoft launched their commercial version of Vista, Apple announced iTunes had just surpassed its 1 billionth downloads and Google had just overtaken Microsoft as the most valuable global brand, as well as becoming the most visited website on the Net.

Ten years ago, SiD was born, looking to bring secure online payments to the growing local e-commerce community. At its inception, the technical team was working in an environment that would look antediluvian in comparison to how we design and develop today.

To further put this in perspective, cloud computing also turns 10 this year. I wonder who can even remember working in an IT environment without the Cloud? Yet when SiD version 1.1 was released, the Cloud was nothing more than hype and speculation.   

Building the first iteration of our solution was not simple, given that we were one of the first to market. Version 1.1 was driven by download programs which, if they were used today, would be viewed with suspicion. However, that was not only readily accepted by our users but considered fairly high-tech at the time. Moving onto a browser-only environment in version 1.2 was a significant step forward, but users would still only see a window which they simply had to trust would link securely with their bank. Again, our loyal customers and their users were happy to do this, given the benefits of secure EFT.

Payment innovation – constantly moving forward

The SiD development team has made strides over the last ten years. Keeping up with technology changes, as well as the many advances made by our nefarious adversaries in the hacker community, has been a full-time job.

Our SiD version 2.0 has a javascript-heavy front-end following best practice. There are also new web frameworks out there and using them ensures we are in line with interoperable standards, keeping the product compatible with all browsers and across all devices.

At the heart of the SiD story has been our drive to build a solution which has usability at its core, without compromising on security. When you look at where the world of e-commerce and m-commerce is going, this is going to become even more important.

The constant drive toward mobile is shaping how every tech company designs. People are looking for speed and are used to instant gratification. Consumers are used to getting what they want, when they want it, wherever they are.

Looking internationally, Forrester predicts US online retail sales will reach over $500 billion by 2020, up from $373 billion in 2016. South Africa, admittedly coming off a lower base, will see even bigger growth. Forecasts by World Wide Worx from 2016 to 2020, show local online retail sales almost doubling.

Payments lie at the heart of serving up a frictionless e-commerce user experience.  Late last year Apple launched a payment button on its MacBook Pro keyboards and the growth in in-app payments is keeping the industry on its toes. Advances in device and biometric fingerprinting are getting increasingly complex when it comes to verification and authentication and every improvement needs to be factored in when we design for the user.

SiD has come a long way in 10 years and, the one thing we are very clear about is that the next decade will be pushing our payment innovation expertise to the limit. Fortunately, the team is smart, agile and committed and, if our track record is anything to go by, we will be ready for the challenge.

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