Finance innovation and the cashless future: how we built a global payment system

07 Nov 2019 |

Robin Nierynck

The Global Payments team at Delivery Hero supports our brands all over the world in creating a smooth payment experience. Orkhan Abdullayev is Senior Director, Global Payments & Revenue Initiatives in the central Finance department. He talks about his career journey, finance innovation and the cashless future.

Orkhan, what has your journey at DH been like so far?

I have been in this business for 6 years now, but so much has happened in this time that it certainly feels much longer. My journey started at foodpanda (one of Delivery Hero’s brands) as part of the initial operations team at Berlin HQ, working on launching new countries and building out the payment infrastructure. Back then, we were launching a new country every few weeks. After foodpanda was successfully acquired by Delivery Hero, I joined the central team to drive global payments and build new revenue initiatives. Currently, I am solely focusing on scaling FinTech initiatives across the globe.

Orkhan Abdullayev Delivery Hero

Orkhan Abdullayev is Senior Director, Global Payments & Revenue Initiatives in the central finance department

Could you introduce us to your team?

We started building the Global Payments team 2 years ago and now there are 20 of us working on various projects in operations, fraud-prevention, analytics, compliance and partnerships.

We are quite a diverse team with 13 nationalities joining us from different parts of the world. Fun fact – we have a “food corner” that is, somehow, always stacked with sweets…

What’s your team’s mission?

Our mission is to support our entities all over the world in removing friction from any kind of payment experience for our customers and riders.

What role does global payments play in creating amazing experiences for our customers?

An important part of an amazing customer experience is to have an equally amazing payment experience. As a hungry customer, you are eager to place an order fast, and we need to ensure that you can find the payment method of your choice and seamlessly initiate the payment. Given the increasing shift to mobile, and customers ordering food more frequently compared to other items, we strive to ensure our payment experience is optimized for mobile and recurring customers can pay in a minimum amount of steps.

How is your team driving finance innovation?

We put a lot of focus on processes that happen in the background to ensure we can handle millions of transactions within a very short amount of time, and nothing goes wrong when the customer is making a payment.

To give you an example, as the average order fulfilment time for food delivery is below an hour, this does not allow time for any manual inspection of orders to assess their riskiness. This means we have to rely more on automated decision-making that is scalable. We are investing into machine-learning based solutions to capture and assess all the available data about the given transaction and customer, and make a decision whether it can be a fraudulent or genuine transaction, all within milliseconds.

An important part of an amazing customer experience is to have an equally amazing payment experience.

What is the most exciting part of your job?

Solving problems and implementing innovative payment solutions. Our industry is very dynamic and Delivery Hero is one of the fastest growing players, so no one day is like another. It is extremely rewarding to be exposed to such scale, collaborate with colleagues from so many different cultures, and work on overcoming challenges that generate real value for the customers and company.

Which intersections do you have with other teams at Delivery Hero globally, and how would you describe the culture of collaboration in the company?

What makes Delivery Hero unique is that we have many brands all over the world that strive every day to improve our services for customers, restaurant partners and riders. This creates an environment where you can learn a lot from each other and join forces to collaborate and make a true impact. In that sense, we also have a ‘service mindset’ when it comes to how we operate internally – our central team is there to support our local Heroes to define and execute in building best-in-class payment experience.

How do we make sure that we remain ahead of the market regarding payment solutions?

Food delivery is a local business and customer preferences when it comes to payments also vary greatly depending on the context and where in the world you are. Hardly any competitors have the geographical coverage, service offering (i.e marketplace, own-delivery, pickups, groceries) and the scale that we have. Solving this gives us a competitive advantage and helps to stay at the forefront of innovation – we can learn from specifics or developments in one market or region and quickly apply learnings in others.

We are investing into machine-learning based solutions to capture and assess all the available data about the given transaction and customer, and make a decision whether it can be a fraudulent or genuine transaction, all within milliseconds.

What does the future of  payments look like?

The payment world is moving very fast, so it is difficult to make accurate predictions too far ahead. We already see in many parts of the world that customers are increasingly shifting towards cashless payment methods and the share of cash is dropping. I don’t think cash will disappear in the short term, but its share will certainly continue dropping.

I believe similar regulations in other parts of the world like PSD2 (Payment Services Directive 2) in EU will foster innovation for new products and increase openness in the market for new players to come in. Such new products and alternative payment methods (APMs) will take a bigger share of transaction volumes. We are already seeing this trend in China, where wallet players are dominating the market. It will also be interesting to see to what extent Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) will impact the fraud loss and conversion rates of merchants in EU, and what measures will prove most efficient to raise acceptance rates.

I think in the future, payment services will become more commoditised while providers shift focus to additional value-add products to differentiate themselves. Marketplace players will be well positioned to solve pain points of their participants when it comes to payment or financial products, and to view it as an extension to their service offering.

As your team is growing, what kind of talent are you looking for?

We are looking for strong talent in software engineering, product, operations, fraud-prevention and analytics to join us.

Check out our jobs page for current openings.