PAYMENTSfn 2018

Spreedly’s first customer and partner conference was held in leafy Durham this year. First thing you notice is the new construction and the recovering economy: the city is still far from overdeveloped. The one-and-a-half day event drew more than one hundred attendees in the Carolina Theatre downtown. Spreedly’s growth has been accelerating since it pivoted away from hosted subscriptions a few years ago into a meta-gateway providing PCI compliant card vaulting and a standardized card payments API. Transaction volume last year tripled to around 90M, helped by key accounts like FattMerchant and SeatGeek, which recently won the ticketing business for the Dallas Cowboys. The first day featured lightening talks on feature prioritization, Riak, Elixir and Kafka, followed by open house at Spreedly’s offices, recently doubled to around 10,000sq.ft.

The second day was filled with a variety of presentations. Nate Talbott pitching to build a payments community. John Duff with a familiar history of payments at Shopify: integrations using active_merchant, compliance, scalability, partnering with Stripe for merchant services, leveraging data for fraud protection. Jennifer Marston on transitioning to Spreedly at Paylock. Nathan Adamson on the costs of EMV for small businesses. Stephanie Slattery on accessibility and Alex Henderson on ‘assured’ payments and learning to effectively work around gateway outages. Camille Acey providing a non-engineering perspective and Brad Powers of Passport on the challenges and benefits of working on local government projects. Unfortunately I had to skip Sandi Metz’s closing keynote but I look forward to catching it on Confreaks.