As the European online marketplace Trouva plots a global expansion, it's getting an early validation of its decision to bolster mobile transaction performance and security through an open development platform.

The London-based Trouva reports it has boosted online conversion 14% and mobile conversion 16% in less than a month of deployment, an improvement it attributes to using Braintree's software development kit (SDK).

As Trouva, which was founded in 2013 as StreetHub, plots a deeper presence in global markets, it can't afford a poor experience in payments and other vital consumer and merchant services.

"We always knew that the payment process was central to Trouva's success," said Mandeep Singh, co-founder of Trouva, which currently provides a digital shopping and payments service for about 100 independent clothing boutiques in the U.K. "We found that shopping cart abandonment was one of the biggest issues we were facing, so we needed to find a way to convert browsers into buyers."

When building its new merchant interface, Trouva wanted to maintain PayPal as an option for clients. Trouva’s merchant users told it PayPal was a popular choice among their shoppers, Singh said.  

"Mobile and online shopping have grown exponentially in recent years, and the user experience is often the core focus when it comes to site design, but this is futile without a robust payment solution," Singh said.

The deployment is an example of PayPal's improving efforts to reach merchants. PayPal initially purchased Braintree in 2013 with the hope of taking advantage of the open third party development tools that drive popular payment apps such as Venmo. PayPal has made it a priority to expand the model behind Venmo's success to other demographics and markets.

Trouva uses Braintree's v.zero SDK Drop-in UI, which integrates with PayPal and card payments.

"The time and money we've saved on back end integration has allowed us to focus on growing other parts of our business," Singh said, adding Trouva's need to process international transactions is increasing as Trouva and its clients expand. "Braintree allows us to process transactions in more than 130 currencies and it's simple to switch currencies on and off...Also it doesn't charge foreign exchange fees and European card transactions are not charged cross-border fees."

The UI also provides access to card verification tests, identity controls and Kount, a fraud service that recently upgraded its own ability to track transaction histories to spot potential fraud.The fraud services are important for Trouva given the increased attention on third party risk for merchants.

"The security of payment process is crucial to any online or mobile commerce company," Singh said. "When shoppers share their personal details to pay for goods online, they expect them to be kept completely secure. And for shoppers, the buck stops with the retailer. They don't care if there is a partner involved."

An API-based service can provide benefits such as savings and ease of deployment, as well as reducing PCI scope, said Julie Conroy, a research director at Aite Group. "However, the sensitivity of the data involved heightens the importance of rigorous due diligence, since the merchant is ultimately the one with reputational and financial risk should a breach occur at the third party provider."

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