credit card installment plans for expensive purchases

users: credit cardholders about to purchase expensive retail products

user problem: with quality of goods comes pricing of goods: to get the best of the best, we often have to pay much more. we are aiming to make expensive retail product purchases more accessible to customers who may not be able to pay such large lump sums upfront.

additional business problem: our team had to liaise between retail partners and credit card processors. we’d receive one set of service documentation from the cardholder-trigger interfaces and then determine the work required on our part to manipulate or translate data to the credit card processor. once the processor delivered the planned release, we’d have to double-check the validity of the release and often re-translate responses to be sent back to the retail partner. all services send and receive notifications for each API call as well, which got pretty complicated quickly.


  • manage APIs for retail vendors to provide interested cardholder information & installment payment term details

  • manage APIs for credit card processor to calculate monthly payment and interest amounts, activate installment plans, and return user’s installment plan summary information

  • use external banking services to check for fraud, handle disputes, and calculate rewards information

  • manage notification services to send and receive plan status and payment updates

  • performance logging/caching work along with site reliability engineering

cardholder outcomes: 

  • apply for and activate an installment plan for an expensive retail purchase

  • access information relating to remaining plan balances and payment schedules

lessons learned:

  • bringing in UI design earlier in the game might surface gaps between interactions and service calls before crunch time

  • continue to make noise in as many channels as possible when dev and QA environments go down