Introducing Serverless Payment Functions

Ryan Burke
Jan 31 · 3 min read

Over the past year, we have interviewed a range of innovative merchants from social networks to SaaS providers to digitally native vertical brands. In this discovery process, we’ve sought to deeply understand the complexities of their payment needs. We’ve traced and re-traced the transaction lifecycle, starting from customer intent, through authorization, to money hitting the merchant’s account.

For many merchants, a portion of their volume uses unique capabilities like credit financing, special regional support, or payment options Braintree does not yet offer. Other merchants require custom reporting or leverage sophisticated analytics tools. While we always try to stay ahead of merchant needs, commerce rapidly evolves and we’re always learning from our merchants. In many cases, it’s simply not possible for Braintree to offer our most tech-forward merchants new capabilities right when they need them.

We’ve set out to solve this problem, and today we are excited to tell you about a new technology that we are developing: serverless payment functions.

We took the clear patterns we’ve been seeing with our advanced merchants and designed a general solution to give developers more control and flexibility in how they leverage Braintree. With this new capability, developers will be able to use Braintree to write and deploy serverless functions to instrument their transaction lifecycles, enable 3rd party connections, hook into existing business processes, streamline data exports, and more, all via Braintree tooling. This is an open-ended platform with limitless possibilities.

With functions, merchants can map their own handlers to transaction lifecycle events (e.g. Auth, Capture, Refund, etc) to customize payment methods. Functions may even be used to implement payment methods not yet offered via Braintree Direct; though funds won’t be handled by Braintree, transaction records will still be available via search and reporting as if they were.

Teams are also empowered to adapt to changing needs and act on new insights only possible with unified, up-to-date payments data. Want to test-drive a new BI service with your Braintree payment method data? Keen to pipe all your transaction events into a homegrown data warehouse? You’ll be able to write, test, run, and iterate on payment data connections — all hosted by Braintree.

We’ve scaled our global payment processing to well over $500B in cumulative volume as of 2018; it’s safe to say we know a thing or two about scaling payments services! Functions are edge-deployed to minimize latency, optimizing both customer experience and backend service performance. By handling the payments infrastructure, we are able to ensure security and compliance so that merchants can focus on innovating their products.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll offer more details about serverless payment functions, including how this technology works and what it can do for merchants and developers, plus some behind-the-scenes stories about how we’re designing and building this new feature.

In the meantime, if you’d like to partner with us to leverage functions for your commerce use cases, please drop a note or check out the developer documentation!

Braintree Product and Technology

Essays on design, engineering, and product development at Braintree.

Ryan Burke

Written by

Product Designer

Braintree Product and Technology

Essays on design, engineering, and product development at Braintree.

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