What I Really Do in GCash

This is an answer to “what do you do?” but in long form.

I am an employee of GCash. My official job title is “Business Process Analyst” but my informal title is “Partner Integrations Tech Lead”. Here is a post explaining what I do in the company.

My Job Description

Partner Integrations mainly involve working with “partners” or other companies to integrate, or use GCash’s APIs to facilitate payments and related services. This means I get to work with both the business and technical teams — on both sides at any time.

On the partner side, the business teams handle the legwork of onboarding and signing contracts with their counterparts on our side. Our team handles any technical feasibility-related questions regarding the integration they want. Once they’ve signed agreements and gone through onboarding, their technical team will work with us through their development and testing.

Internally, our team becomes the technical experts the business team can tap into for integration-related questions and issues. The dev teams we talk with when they need to inform us about new features or updates in the APIs that we support and we in turn, give them feedback on how partners use the APIs for future updates.

Tech leads like me are the front liners of technical collaboration with partners as consultants.

Skills I Use at Work

A tech lead’s skill set mainly revolves around tech know-how and effective communications. I have a software developer and system admin background so I can easily understand how a partner’s system works and am not afraid to look at code if needed. I can also delve into other technical aspects like networking and security although these are mainly to facilitate between internal and the partner’s teams.

The more important skill is to adjust to different audiences as a communicator. I may need to explain something technical to a CEO or to have discussions with a software architect, both having differing levels of understanding.

Usually what we look for in tech leads is breadth of knowledge, instead of depth. This leads to skills that favor jack-of-all-trades. Sometimes I even become an ad-hoc system architect, technical support, QA lead, and project manager.

Other important skills I find useful are critical thinking and empathy.

Critical thinking is questioning why something is being done and can mean the difference between three steps of tedious work and a single streamlined process. It can also mean being forward in pushing suggestions that may not even be related to what you are doing.

Empathy is finding out why the partner tech team is being excessively hampered by a block of code that seems simple. It is being patient with QA testers by explaining how a partner’s system is supposed to work while being pushed on the other end by the business team.

How I Define Quality in My Line of Work

Quality for me means integrations that are trouble-free once live. This is mainly because I’m working on something that involves payments.

People are not forgiving when it comes to money, especially money that gets lost or when they get double debited by some obscure error. Nowadays, people can easily cause reputational damage through a viral social media post.

I can say that I’ve worked with a spectrum of partners — banks, payment facilitators, start-ups, NGOs, and gaming companies, across different local and international teams. I am also proud that most of them are still integrated and you probably have used their services somehow — if you are in the Philippines and using GCash.

Some Notable Integration Stories I’ve Been Part of

I am always excited when a new set of APIs gets passed down to our team as we get to see them first-hand before they launch.

Scan-to-Pay via Generate QR/Barcode

One example is the scan-to-pay via generated barcode in the GCash app. Some of the first partners we worked with were Puregold and Starbucks.

The key requirement of a generated barcode type of payment for a partner is a scanner, and the good (or bad thing) about this type of integration is the connectivity of their POS systems. When there was little to no connectivity it disrupted customers so much that they were forced to pay via other means.

There was such a high when I paid successfully using my app and dreaded it as much when it didn’t work back then. Now the system is mature enough to have little to no downtime and more stores (especially groceries) use this payment method.

Scan-to-Pay QR in Ayala Manila Bay

I remember the high-tech parking system in Ayala Manila Bay — this is where you don’t need to get tickets as their system takes a picture of your plate number when you come in and tracks your car as you park. Before you go out, you go to their kiosk and only need to input your plate number and pay. There is no need for a parking attendant as the gates automatically swing up as you go out.

The first payment method aside from cash was GCash, and you mainly needed your app to scan the generated QR on the screen to pay. I was there when they piloted it. I remember being so amazed by the system but hassled because there was hardly any cellphone data coverage. This was when the mall was open for a few months and had not set up their connectivity inside. I needed to do some tests and I had to find a LAN cable with the concierge to be able to get connectivity.

BingoPlus in GLife

Handling top-ups and withdrawals for gaming partners in GLife (an e-commerce platform in GCash) is a minefield with regulations that must be followed. Our first partner with this setup was the now-defunct Pitmasters (related to e-sabong or online cockfighting). Thankfully with the help of governance and oversight teams, we were able to set the groundwork for later gaming partners, continuing with BingoPlus.

Nowadays BingoPlus is probably the most (in)famous gaming partner in GLife, and they’ve since branched out to sports gaming (ArenaPlus) and color games (PeryaGame).

Wrapping Up

What do I do in my place of work? I serve as the tech consultant of partners that integrate with GCash APIs. The work can be tedious, as it means repeating a workflow with multiple partners at a time, but I get to see how they do so firsthand with the expectation of being used by everyone.

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1 thought on “What I Really Do in GCash”

  1. Hi Sir Patrick,

    Thank you so much for all the time and effort you put through to make quality and fair content about this platform. Been using GCash since I can’t remember when and I make sure I understand the products from your articles before I actually use them. You’ve been really helpful this way. Just wanna express my appreciation to your work 🙂


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