Zeta’s on a Mission to Make Payments Invisible
By 2022, invisible payments are expected to reach a whopping $78 billion in annual transactions.
Part of this is due to the boom of digital payments during the pandemic. And Zeta—a company rethinking payments from core to the edge—is benefiting from this boom.
We invited Ramki Gadipatti, Co-Founder & CTO of Zeta to chat about the fascinating innovations coming from fintech and why Zeta is on a mission to make payments invisible.
Read on for some takeaways from the interview or listen to it here:
1. Why Zeta plans to make payments invisible
Payments are typically an elaborate process, involving lots of steps and verifications—making it impossible for the user to not feel its presence.
Zeta’s aim is to shrink this payment experience so the user won’t feel like it exists and use technology to speed up and minimize the authentications and validations involved.
Today, they’re spreading the phenomenon of invisible payments through players in the banking and financial industries. They help these organizations realize their ambitions, like reaching audiences their products haven’t been able to reach until now.
Financial institutes need systems to run their banking products. These systems are usually referred to as core banking products. All the physical branches of these institutions are connected in these products—including customers’ transactions, balances, and fraud detection. These systems are quite outdated and in desperate need of an upgrade.
If a bank were to conceive a product, they need to think about the integration and manifestation of that single product across 30 systems. This process itself could take anywhere between 8 and 18 months and sometimes the product might not even see the light of day!
As technology pervades every aspect of consumers’ lives and continues to make everything easier and quicker, consumers obviously expect their banks and other financial institutions they depend on to level up as well. The pace of the systems needs to be matched with the pace of the customer.
Zeta is on a mission to solve these challenges.
2. How Zeta is innovating fintech
Tachyon, a product of Zeta, is reducing financial institutes’ time-to-market from several years to a few days of support. They’re providing an integrated platform of payments and core banking services as a SAAS to give banks a faster time-to-market and make them future-ready. With this offering, banks don’t have to worry about buying and integrating 10 different systems to offer new products to their customers anymore.
Banks used to look at distribution as purely geographical—having a presence in a certain number of locations. Wherever they’re located is where their business takes place. With the rise of digital financial services, the user base is no longer restricted to physical locations. Platforms like Whatsapp, Swiggy, and Twitter are the distribution channels for the banks of the future and Fusion enables financial institutions to reach these channels and participate in the fintech revolution.
3. Diving into the tech stack
Zeta’s tech stack enables them to achieve maximum security and performance at the foundation.
At the bottom-most layer, Zeta has its complete operations and computing infrastructure platform called Olympus.
Their entire posture on the cloud is completely opaque to the cloud service provider because they’re dealing with extremely sensitive data. They have a zero-trust architecture at the foundation that deals with a lot of Kubernetes, OpenWhisk, Spark, Presto, and more.
Some languages they use include Java and Golang, but the engineers that deal with this layer don’t give the languages as much importance as they do to the raw solutions and algorithms to the complex questions. Some examples of questions include: How do I manage several data centers coming together? How do I respond to an issue in production swiftly?
On the top of the stack, they have a product framework layer where they deal with, for example, the scalability of banks’ accounting systems. Handling 30,000 TPS (transactions per second) is very different and much more complex than serving 30,000 web requests per second.
They do a lot of component engineering, library engineering, and so on. There are engineers working in Vue.js and React Native for the front end and they also have their own native frameworks for delivering UI.
With the problems the Zeta engineering team faces and the platforms they work on, the teams are always having conversations based around architecture and design, understanding the complex business space they serve, and debating the viability of a solution in the short and long term.