HomeINDUSTRY INSIGHTFrom the ground up: The Kiwi masterminds behind Afterpay’s technology

From the ground up: The Kiwi masterminds behind Afterpay’s technology

Revolutionising the online payments industry, Afterpay has a valuation of more than $25 billion and more than 10 million active customers across New Zealand, Australia, the UK, and the USA. A key component to the company’s success is the development and support from Dovetail, a Kiwi tech company that is the mastermind behind Afterpay’s app and website platforms.

Dovetail has looked after the design and development of Afterpay’s website and mobile properties since 2017. Initially, Afterpay’s consumer technology was at a very early stage of development, with no mobile apps and a basic website. Partnering with Dovetail, Afterpay gave 12 weeks for the completion of the first version of an app which would include the launch of in-store shopping, a new channel for Afterpay at the time. Dovetail said they’d do it in 16 weeks.

Creating Afterpay’s in-store experience included rapid prototyping and user testing of a new mobile app. The result, a platform that allows customers to generate a barcode while shopping, and when they’re ready to pay, simply present the barcode quickly and easily at the register. The first four payments of the item are deducted instantly, and the customer is able to take their purchase home immediately, paying off the item in later installments.

After only 48 hours of the launch, the app became number one on the Australian App Store. Now the app has been downloaded more than 20 million times and has more than 4.3 million monthly active mobile users across the globe.

The app is widely loved by customers, with an average review of 4.9/5 stars on Apple’s iTunes Store, a feat accomplished by no other app in the Australian Top 50 app chart.

Dovetail’s managing partner Nick Frandsen says it is a very rewarding feeling to see the teams hard work pay off.

“We built Afterpay’s mobile app and web platform which is used by millions of people every day across the globe. 

“It hasn’t always been easy, but it’s been an incredibly exciting journey to grow with Afterpay from a small Australian start-up to an international payments leader valued at almost $30B.”

Pushing the boundary even further, Dovetail took on Afterpay’s website, transforming the platform into a hot new shopping destination that could handle the aggresive international growth strategy Afterpay would soon pursue.

Since its transformation, Afterpay’s website has managed to maintain an uptime rate of 99.99 percent and handles billions of requests on a weekly basis. An evolution of the existing website with significant improvements throughout allowed Afterpay to elevate value to both customers and retailers – turning the top listings in their shop into valuable assets in themselves. This is all controllable via web admin tools built for the marketing team.

Fransden says when building an app it is important to understand why a customer will want to download it, once that is figured out, there are then countless potential features that could be built into your app.

“Make sure you correctly prioritise the two or three most important and nail these from day one. It’s better to do a few things well than many things poorly.

“People will judge your company and brand by the quality, design, and polish of your mobile app, so make the first impression count. People want to use brands they connect with and understand, so this needs to be a key focus.”

Dovetail’s work on the web platform has converted Afterpay from a payment gateway to a valuable shopping destination. It is Dovetail’s experience building and selling companies that have led them to understand what it takes to develop successful, intuitive, and revenue-driving software.

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