Building an API ecosystem

This is the writeup of a session I delivered at both the Hong Kong Computer Society EASIG Seminar and Cloud Expo Asia. It’s about how, at PayMe, we started by creating an API product but realized our goal should have been to build an ecosystem instead. What is PayMe Wikipedia makes a decent job of explaining it:, although it’s a bit light on the products that are most relevant to this post: API and POS.

PayMe for Business: How we built it?

In the past few months, as HSBC ramps up its digital investment and seek to reorganize the way it delivers digital products, I have been asked this question many times. In some cases, people mean “Can you explain to me how your technology platform look like”. In other cases, the person asking was interested in how we built and organized the team, how we structure ourselves to be agile and lean, a “small startup inside a big corporation”.

Let's chat about WeChat… one year later

Almost a year ago I started working with WeChat… I prepared a small intro, but did not share it widely back then. This evening I presented it - updated- to the Hong Kong codeaholics meetup. Enjoy! When we talk about “WeChat” (or “WeiXin”, 微信), most think of one of many smartphone apps used to chat. And this is true - as the app’s main window contains a list of your friends’ contacts (slide 3).

A Better Octopus Card

Octopus card is, by all standards, a success story. Introduced in 1997 by a consortium of railway and bus companies, for transit ticketing purposes, it subsequently expanded to other payment usages (restaurants, parking, convenience stores) following Hong Kong Monetary Authority granting Octopus’ operating company a deposit-taking license. Pretty much everywhere you go in Hong Kong, you can pay with Octopus. It’s as close as one can get to a cashless society utopia.

Debunking WeChat

A no-frills description of what WeChat really is. I’ve been reading for a while articles about WeChat, a Chinese “mobile instant messaging cum social media” very popular in Mainland China (and not only). Most of them are a mix and match of: screenshots of features provided by either Tencent, Tencent’s partners, or brands’ 3rd party developers, delivered as part of the app, wallet, or embedded web browser description of how WeChat is a “platform” capable of delivering any service imaginable (add again lots of use cases, some really existing some not) usually, an ending highlighting how this is the future of apps and how all western apps should follow Tencent’s footsteps But really, what is WeChat?