A Partnership Based on Open Innovation

Comtrade Digital Services
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  • Date Published
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Comtrade Digital Services takes a lead role in consolidating distributed software development and contributing to open innovation.


Skrill was growing fast which resulted in the company having several external development teams scattered across the globe. Having a dispersed workforce created challenges in communication and solution development. The client engaged Comtrade to help consolidate their distributed environment and optimize development processes.


Our client PaySafe is an e-commerce business that enables customers to make payments and money transfers over the Internet. Over the years, PaySafe had created a distributed software development environment, which consisted of two large research and development centers with several external partners engaged on an as-need basis.

To add to the complexity, the global sales team and product management team were located at a third location. Managing this highly distributed environment with fragmented development teams proved to be very challenging and time-consuming.

PaySafe wanted to improve and consolidated the product development chain and needed to find an experienced partner to help them with this process. They had several requirements – firstly, the partner had to be able to dynamically drive innovation from product management and across all platforms using various technologies, particularly web and mobile applications.

In addition, PaySafe wanted to build a long-term partnership where the partner company would be able to cover all aspects of the project – from product management to development, as well as contribute to making the R&D phase more interactive and agile.


Soon after Comtrade and PaySafe started working together an open innovation partnership was born. Now, the development teams at PaySafe are working jointly with Comtrade developers and consultants to build new features, functionalities, and applications. Specifically, we helped PaySafe’s development teams achieve:

• Reorganization and consolidation of development teams
• Optimization of software development processes
• Greater R&D capacity
• Consolidation of the technology landscape

Comtrade resources were added to the most critical areas where additional input was needed in the innovation process. By adding highly skilled R&D resources, the client was able to better cope with the amount of work.

As part of the engagement, Comtrade consultants and developers reviewed the existing software architecture and worked together with PaySafe to reorganize their development teams and tasks. As a first major project, the newly defined teams took over the development of an online wallet solution and online marketplace for books, AbeBooks.

After the first major projects were completed, PaySafe gained even more trust and confidence in Comtrade’s teams and with that came new and tougher assignments. New projects that were assigned to Comtrade were critical for PaySafe’s growth and they involved both strategic/long-term solutions as well as support.

It was not long until Comtrade was responsible for supporting all departments inside the PaySafe environment – from Risk, Operations/Payments, Reconciliation and Banking. In addition, Comtrade was responsible for the integration of numerous Providers and Payment methods as well as the implementation of the PaySafe Mobile Wallet.

Technologies Used

  • Java with RESTEasy
  • deployed on JBoss EAP
  • Oracle database with
  • PL/SQL
  • Angular frontend

Results Delivered

The open innovation partnership reduced the number of interaction points with external partners from 15 to 1. A single point of contact is made through Comtrade engagement managers who organize and manage the interaction with Comtrade consultants and developers.

Also, the newly formed organizational structure proved to be beneficial to the open innovation cooperation. Communication and knowledge transfer across platforms is structured and actively shared between teams leading to better solution outcomes. Finally, the open innovation engagement contributed to the motivation of the entire team. As improvements became visible, the teams got the extra stimulation to continue working together to drive innovation across the organization and create new solutions.

About PaySafe

PaySafe is a market leader with over 20 years of experience in payments. PaySafe is a business of substantial scale employing over 3,000 people in more than 12 global locations, an annualized transactional volume of over $80bn US in 2017.