The making of MYOB PayDirect

Now that we’ve finally launched MYOB PayDirect on a limited release, I have time to sit down and reflect – if only for 10 minutes – on one of our most ambitious projects at MYOB.

MYOB PayDirect is a mobile payment solution, which allows users to accept credit card* payments from their smartphone. It is also integrated with MYOB AccountRight, with MYOB Essentials to follow later this year.

Going back to the start of this project, we were looking at the market for the big directional trends that would steer us in the right direction. I remember there were a couple of data points that helped crystallize our thinking.

The first piece of data was that consumer credit transactions was on the rise – it had doubled over the last couple of years. The second one was that only a third of small businesses actually process credit card transactions. Instantly, we could see there was a gap in the market, which presented an opportunity for us to innovate.

The next step was to run a research program with our clients and figure out what was behind this disconnect in the market.  Research insights are often pretty nuanced, but in this case the feedback was pretty stark: our clients want to process credit card payments but feel under served by existing solutions. We learned that the most desirable feature would be mobile invoicing. The one thing we really need to get right is making the whole thing simple, from set-up to daily use.

Obsessively client-focused

Next is the whirlwind of Agile R&D. If I can sum up the process in a few words, it would be “obsessively client-focused”. This is how it works:

  1. The team builds the application in two-week ‘sprints’ of effort
  2. The new build is tested by clients who join us every week in our user testing labs. These sessions are really the acid test for the work we’re doing and drive significant decisions in the team.
  3. Rinse and repeat

I remember one instance where the team couldn’t agree on whether the first screen in the PayDirect app should be to launch invoice or contacts. The result was the same either way — to bill a customer — but the team was split as to the best entry point. So we presented both options to our clients and they told us, “Wrong! It might be either depending on the day or the client!”

Sure enough, you can now bill a customer from either entry point from the nifty dashboard.

Running the pilot program

It was time to run a pilot program to help us bed down our processes around supporting our clients and finalize little details like the wordings used in the app and on our marketing pages.

Piloting is an intensely managed process, with a series of structured surveys to validate each step of the process all the way from a client opening an email through to processing the first transaction. The team is hardly off the phone as well, checking in with each pilot client on average 15 times over the last few months.

The good news that came out of the pilot was that our early research was validated – clients were thrilled to be taking card payments on-the-go and were in fact winning business that they were losing previously when their payment options were limited.

One of our pilot testers, Scott Tyson, is a really interesting guy. Scott sells his own books as well as his services as an electrical technician. Here’s what he had to say at the end of the pilot:

“PayDirect has been of huge benefit for my business, not only in the selling of my books, but also for the convenience of those needing credit facilities when picking up electronic repairs. Not only do I recommend PayDirect to other small businesses such as mine, I hope to continue to use the device in an ongoing capacity as I would be lost without it.”

We’re just at the beginning of our journey in mobile payments, with a whole road map of features and enhancements in front of us. But that’s the kind of feedback that tells us that our obsessive client-focused process is paying off

P.S: Check out our 5 star reviews on the App Store

*EFTPOS payment will be available later this year