• Share on Facebook
  • Tweet This Post
  • Share on LinkedIn

A Look Into Payment Technology for Merchants with optile CTO Jonas Maurus

Richard ClaytonRichard Clayton
October 19, 2020

As Chief Technology Officer, Jonas Maurus guides the technology vision at optile, a Payoneer service. We sat down with him to discuss his history with payment technology, optile’s competitive advantage and how we are helping merchants during times of uncertainty.

Let’s start from the beginning. What’s your origin story with coding and then payments?

My first computer was an Apple II that my dad brought home in 1984. I learned basic coding at a very early age and had my first professional coding experience at age 18. At that time, I cofounded a company called Mediaphil.

In 2001, my best friend and I founded a startup for on demand video in hotels. After building that for a while and studying at the University of Regensburg, I did consult for banks and startups before founding a payments company known as LaterPay in 2010. As you may know, I joined optile as CTO in 2017.

What was the fascinating thing about optile that made you join?

There were two big aspects of optile that drew me in: one was that optile was dedicated to an area that I was passionate about. The idea of building an abstraction which would eventually become an orchestration of the payments market was super enticing. Plus, it was important for me to build new payment bridges for Ecommerce and marketplaces, allowing them to connect to different payment providers and methods from one place.

The second thing was that at that point, optile needed to scale its technology to offer an even better payment experience to merchants. This was a perfectly challenging opportunity for me to do what I love and get my hands dirty again without building a new company from scratch.

Okay, so what are you and your team responsible for? And what do you enjoy most about your work?

In a nutshell, we are responsible for every single line of code that processes data at optile. We built the whole processing system, gateway system and all the backends that are needed to perform our business. My responsibility includes the whole of what I call the TechOrg, consisting of development and operations—everybody who writes code or has anything to do with this service works in my team.

I really like the CTO position because it allows me to work with people. I’ve seen how team and culture are the most valuable resource when it comes to growing an organization. At the same time, I still get to do fun tech stuff and even query our database once in a while.

Where do you think optile’s advantages lay compared to other payment providers or platforms?

optile’s biggest advantage technology-wise is that its APIs, in other words its abstraction, is surprisingly tight. What that means is that many payment gateways that are available in the market allow you to do only simple things like a credit card or SEPA transaction through their gateway. However, when businesses want to go more in the backend and perform more complicated actions like reconciliation, getting data from a PSP or exporting a token, they have to, at some point, leave a gateway’s ecosystem and talk directly to the PSP. This is because the gateway has no abstraction, or their abstraction doesn’t entirely fit.

The design of optile’s APIs was built in a way that it works surprisingly well in most situations. optile’s abstraction allows our merchants to interact directly with us. In only a few small circumstances do they have to interact with PSPs. That is what differentiates us technology-wise.

How could optile’s technology help businesses during COVID-19 or similar crises in the future?

The first thing we saw from COVID-19 after going into lockdown was a huge transaction spike. Ecommerce, our largest customer base, was booming as people stayed home to order things. What we solved for our customers were their needs for scaling—we kept up with their transaction surges and allowed them to grow effectively.

We also added new payment methods and shifted their traffic to other providers when their providers weren’t fast enough or didn’t scale as well. We were quite lucky in that we were not affected when industries like hospitality were hit hard.

Moving forward, I’m confident in our team and technology’s ability to help our customers navigate future uncertainties and market shifts.

The content provided in this article including any information relating to pricing, fees, and other charges is accurate and valid only as of the date it was published. In addition, changes in applicable regulations, policies, market conditions, or other relevant factors may impact the accuracy of the mentioned pricing and fees and other associated details. Accordingly, it is further clarified that any information regarding pricing, fees and other charges is subject to changes, and it is your responsibility to ensure you are viewing the most up to date content applicable to you. Payoneer will provide the most up to date and accurate information relating to pricing and fees as part of the account registration process. Registered customers can view this information via their online account.

SUBSCRIBE to our newsletter

Thank you!