How Embracing Product-Led Growth Powered KUBRA’s EZ-PAY Launch

For its latest launch, KUBRA leaned into the possibilities product-led growth offers to both customers and development teams.

Written by Brigid Hogan
Published on Nov. 15, 2023
How Embracing Product-Led Growth Powered KUBRA’s EZ-PAY Launch
KUBRA
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A focus on product innovation can mean keeping an eye on the hottest developments in tech — from storage acceleration and server-cloud interoperability to much-lauded advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence. 

But unless those innovations respond to user needs, the product fails to advance in meaningful ways. At KUBRA, a shift to product-led growth ensures that product innovation resonates with customers and harnesses the power of investing in user-centric solutions.

“We leveraged a product-led growth framework for building and launching KUBRA EZ-PAY, which offers numerous advantages,” said Head of Product Management Alfred Sawatzky.

According to Sawatzky, centering the build around user needs results in higher satisfaction and retention rates, while reducing customer acquisition costs —  PLG-developed products tend to be easy to adopt with minimal need for extensive sales efforts. 

Crucially, the process also reduces the time to value, which means users experience benefits without the need for extensive onboarding.

“Moreover, our approach encourages viral loops and network effects, as satisfied users are more likely to invite others,” he said. “It fosters customer advocacy, resulting in referrals, positive reviews and impactful growth.”

Built In sat down with Sawatzky to learn more about how he and his team developed EZ-PAY to respond to user needs while working together through compelling technical challenges.

 

KUBRA team members gather at a volunteer event and wear matching t-shirts. 
KUBRA

 

Why did KUBRA build this product? What impact will this launch have?

Alfred Sawatzky
Head of Product Management

Our on-demand payment application offers customers a variety of payment channels and accepts different payment methods, ensuring convenience and flexibility. Operating on a cutting-edge multi-tenant platform and built on a highly resilient microservices architecture, KUBRA EZ-PAY facilitates swift implementation and seamless integration of new features, propelling us into the future of payment solutions.

With support for mobile, call center, Internet and IVR customer touchpoints — as well as a range of in-person payment options — KUBRA EZ-PAY caters to every preference. Customers can make payments using credit cards, ACH, PIN-less debit, signature debit or even cash. 

We’ve crafted a smarter payment solution that meets the evolving needs of billers and customers, while upholding our commitment to building trust and enduring relationships. By ensuring security, support, availability and stability, we empower billers to concentrate on their core business. We strive to give customers the freedom to manage payments effortlessly and reduce strain on contact centers. It’s the smarter choice.
 

“We empower billers to concentrate on their core business, while giving customers the freedom to manage payments effortlessly.”

 

In contrast to our previous monolithic application, our new approach is agile, providing easy support and feature releases. We’ve addressed concerns about implementation speed and modernized the user interface and experience to streamline payment transactions. This eliminates friction and confusion. The result is an enhanced experience for billers, with improved process flows and reporting capabilities.

 

Four KUBRA team members looking at a computer with a wall of city posters citing KUBRA’s U.S. offices on the wall behind them.
KUBRA

 

Which teams contributed to launching this product?

Our product management team played a critical role in building and launching EZ-PAY 6.0. Some key activities that helped us through the process included investing in market research and validation, defining product strategy, prioritizing features and requirements, managing the development process and designing a go-to-market strategy.

Our design team, consisting of UX researchers, UX designers, UX writers and visual designers, took on the responsibility of crafting an intuitive, visually appealing and secure user interface for the EZ-PAY product, ensuring a positive experience for users while meeting technical and regulatory requirements. Their work significantly influenced the success and usability of the payment portal.

Finally, our engineering team covered a wide range of technical tasks. Their functions included backend development, database management, payment gateway integration, security implementation, transaction and error-handling, performance optimization, compliance adherence and more.

 

KUBRA’S TECH STACK

Tools: Confluence, Figma, Aha, Jira, Honeycomb.io

Frameworks: Net6, ReactJS 17, Sprint Boot 2.1, Hibernate 5.3, Cypress 10.7, JUnit 4, OTEL, OpenID Connect

Languages: C#10, Java 8, 11, 17, HTML5, Javascript ES6, Typescript 4.2, CSS3, Apache Spark 2.3

 

 

What obstacles did you encounter along the way? How did you successfully overcome them?

Throughout the product journey, we had to address overall complexity as well as cross-service dependencies and distinguish between platform-specific concerns that prolonged the design stage for many services. We also had to prioritize dependencies, engage in collaborative planning and design, and commit to long and frequent minimum-compromise design meetings. The DevSecOps team dealt with concerns across multiple platform software development teams. As a result, there were several hidden dependencies on the DSO team. To reveal DSO-related dependencies and ensure sufficient lead time, we set up weekly meetings with product managers.  

We engaged in inclusive planning, design and demos, cross-team collaboration and celebrating incremental successes. We also focused on clear communication of objectives to make decision-making as transparent as possible, involved team leaders in planning sessions and provided meeting opportunities to ensure a common understanding.

 

What teams did you collaborate with to get this across the finish line? What strategies did you employ to ensure that cross-functional collaboration went smoothly?

This initiative encompassed all functional teams within the company — spanning sales, marketing, service delivery, product management, design, engineering, quality assurance and the executive team. 

Our approach hinged on the strategic utilization of an array of project management tools and industry best practices, such as Confluence, Jira, Aha, daily scrums and the agile software development framework.

Effective collaboration within our cross-functional teams was crucial. We relied on clear communication channels, including cross-functional meetings, workshops and trainings. We defined roles and responsibilities, set clear objectives and encouraged continuous and open feedback loops. To maintain alignment, we documented processes and procedures while delivering consistent updates and reports. Additionally, we celebrated milestones throughout the journey, boosting team morale and reinforcing the value of our collaborative efforts.

 

 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images provided by KUBRA.

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