Interview With Payment Integration Engineer, Homero Graco

 January 27th, 2020

In the complex and global space of payments, a smooth integration of payment methods and providers is a must for online businesses. Thus, the role of an integration engineer is crucial for a company like optile which seeks to create an open payment world. We examine this position in an interview with Homero Graco, integration engineer at optile.

Please introduce yourself and describe your role as an integration engineer

I am involved in specific events during the integration lifecycle. It all starts with a demonstration of our product. I help prospect companies understand what we do in technical terms and how to apply our technology to their business scenarios.

Once these prospects become optile customers, I make sure they can leverage the full potential of our products. This requires considerable attention to their needs so that I can understand how they can benefit from the range of payment solutions that we offer at optile. We work with companies in different verticals from digital to mobility and retail. Due to this, we receive all kinds of requests.

This brings me to the next component of my job, which is to link our development and product delivery teams. I take part in passing product feature requests over to our technicians and later testing procedures when there is a new release that is tied to integration.

The last step in this process is to support our merchants so that they can better use optile’s products after the integration with optile is complete.

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How do you help companies choose the right integration scenarios and comply with payment legislation?

optile offers several integration possibilities to help all kinds of merchants. Some have little experience in payments and need support for Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance before offering online payments. Others are seasoned companies that are fully PCI compliant and want a native integration into their existing environment. Our integration scenarios cover a range from out-of-the-box solutions that require low development efforts to native APIs and SDKs providing maximum integration to web pages and applications.

Describe the process of transforming a customer need into a product feature.

It involves a lot of listening and putting myself in the position of the merchant. Not every person uses the same vocabulary to communicate a technical requirement.

Our language needs to be specific enough for technical users to execute their functions but concise enough for a project manager to immediately realize the benefits of working with optile. The support team is usually the first to hear about a customer’s need for a new feature. I have to bridge external collaborators and internal ones—namely I work to understand customer needs and translate them to developer-friendly verbiage.

Thus, understanding what is needed requires some skill since I translate real-world use cases into technical terms. The next part entails using these technical terms to communicate internally with product managers who might have a completely different view on the product. These product managers should be able to assess the benefits and development timeline for a new requirement, which must go through an approval process before development starts. Other ongoing projects must be taken into consideration so that we can allocate resources to a new project at the right time. If the project is approved, all required features go through development and testing before we deliver them to our customers.

What is a central challenge of your work?

Integration engineering has an interesting connection with teaching. In a sense, I explain how an extremely technical concept works to people that I haven’t met. This can be difficult when I am not fully aware of their knowledge level concerning payments and web technologies. Some can be newcomers while others could be teaching me. It’s a balancing act to handle communication with such a broad audience.

What’s one rewarding aspect of what you do?

We feel satisfied when customers can fully utilize our product. When a customer wants advice on adding new features to their own product, we clarify how to leverage optile’s capabilities to arrive at a solution that accomplishes their goal.

How do merchants and end-customers benefit from a smooth integration?

After payment integration, the merchant needs very little maintenance. The best part is that the customers don’t even notice. They get to enjoy an online payment process that is easy to use while the merchant gets a high conversion rate. We aspire to be payment ninjas, keeping everyone happy while remaining invisible.

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