Ryan Frantz
Augmenting Online Payments with AI

Wherein I explore what it might look like for an online payments company to implement AI in a way that augments their customers’ work.

If I Were A Product Manager at PayMeBack

While canvassing an online payment company’s offerings, documentation, and competition, I was trying to answer a question: “What makes (let’s call them) PayMeBack different?” To paraphrase Herb Simon: information is abundant, attention is scarce. So I didn’t spend a lot of time on my research; if it wasn’t clear from the landing page and maybe 5 minutes of perusing the site, I figured I had enough of an idea of what they provided.

Thinking as a product manager at PayMeBack, I wondered, “How can we support new and existing customers to fulfill their needs in a way that makes us stand out?”

While I thought through it all, a narrative formed in my mind that helped me shape how PayMeBack could differentiate itself.


I tried to boil down what I think is important to:

PayMeBack is different because we get you all the way to the point that you can begin taking payments in a day or less. And it’s going to feel easy.

And I imagined an entrepreneur who would use PayMeBack.

The Story of Very NYC Purses

During the pandemic, Jordan joined a makerspace and learned to sew. They started making simple cloth purses and shoulder bags. Eventually they mastered leather work. After a year of selling their wares on Canal Street they know there is strong demand for their wares; Jordan sells out each weekend, beating out the Gucci knock-offs. They’ve got a strong NYC vibe.

Jordan thinks about selling on Etsy, but friends at their makerspace tell them it’s full of junk and Jordan is concerned they won’t stand out anyhow. They also aren’t a fan of the extra fees and having to offer free shipping.

Jordan has a friend, Reagan, experienced with building some websites on Squarespace and Reagan is willing to help. Reagan doesn’t know much about online payments but they heard PayMeBack is great for new businesses. Jordan lands on PayMeBack’s page, sees a button that says, “I’m a brand new business” and clicks it. A window opens and Jordan is prompted to describe their business.

Jordan isn’t interacting with some script-following bot; it’s PayMeBack’s AI assistant. This isn’t AI hype, either. This assistant is backed by all the knowledge PayMeBack has accrued from their customers, including the types of businesses they run, the distribution of their customers, their customer’s preference of payment processor, and more. The assistant asks Jordan pointed questions that help them describe their needs better than they even knew they needed. Turns out that Jordan would like to expand to all of New York state with a stretch goal of Boston to Philly. Reppin’ the Northeast!

Our assistant knows what payment providers that market tends to use and recommends 2-3 options to select.

Because PayMeBack’s assistant also knows Jordan isn’t a developer but wants to use Squarespace, it gives them step-by-step instructions on how to set up a site there and offers a free starter theme that includes support for integrating with PayMeBack’s payment orchestration using those 2-3 providers it initially recommended. In fact, Jordan’s new account at PayMeBack (the AI assistant set this up once Jordan engaged it) has already been set up and configured to use them! PayMeBack’s AI assistant wraps all of this information into a custom page at paymeback.com/jordan that they can keep referring back to. Or, they can send it to Reagan! Jordan or Reagan whips up an MVP that same day, allowing Jordan to tinker and test their ideas with a fully functioning site.

At PayMeBack, we’ve extended the top of our funnel with little effort while also building confidence in our product. We can reach out after a day to see if Jordan would like any help. We can even offer a 1-hour session with a human to vet the AI-generated solution, discuss pricing, packages, etc.