Primer: The Automation Platform for Payments

October 20, 2021

By Doug Pepper, Roy Luo, Sruthi Ramaswami, and Sarah Stebbins 

It’s no secret that the complexity of payment processes is rapidly increasing across the globe. Go to a checkout screen, and there might be an option to pay with Afterpay, Klarna, Affirm, Stripe, Adyen, Braintree,, PayPal, Shop Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay, or a multitude of local payments methods. As e-commerce continues to proliferate around the globe and merchants focus on delivering a seamless customer experience, we are seeing an expansion of new payment types and rapid growth in cross-border transactions, creating an increasingly complex payments stack for most merchants.

The complexity and sophistication of merchants’ payments stacks naturally begs the question: how can a merchant expand payment methods to enter new markets, enhance conversion rates, improve acceptance rates, minimize fraud, and do all of this as quickly as possible without constraining development teams or creating bottlenecks? That’s why today we are thrilled to announce that ICONIQ Growth is partnering with Primer as they build the world’s first automation platform for payments—a platform built to streamline this ever more complicated stack, without compromising on capabilities.

Founded by Gabriel Le Roux and Paul Anthony, who experienced many of the pain points above when working at Braintree, Primer lets merchants of all shapes and sizes build their payments stacks on autopilot. The burden of programming payment flows is no longer on the developer; with Primer, merchants can create an optimized, unified payments stack in an intuitive, low-code manner with a single integration.

We have heard effusive feedback on Primer from the market, underscoring Gabriel, Paul, and the entire team’s thoughtfulness and maniacal product focus, and the immense value Primer delivers in helping merchants scale their payments infrastructure:

We believe Primer is filling a massive gap in the market. Gone are the days of having to compromise on UX while managing increasingly complex interdependent APIs and integrations. Merchants can now focus solely on building the best possible payments experience for their customers. With Universal Checkout (in-context, fully customizable checkout for web and mobile), Connections (an ever-growing marketplace of third-party integrations), and Workflows (drag-and-drop end-to-end payment flows), Primer allows companies to optimize their payments stack without shifting focus away from their core business.

Primer is one integration to unify them all. Instead of spending months and significant resources building and maintaining integrations, Primer allows merchants to build and optimize their payments workflows in a matter of clicks with an entirely agnostic integration. Much like Zapier for web apps, merchants can quickly add PSPs and other vendors to their payments flows without additional development. Primer can turn 24 months of development into one.

Primer layers true intelligence to automate and transform payments infrastructure. While many companies have offered payments orchestration capabilities in the past, Primer is truly building a payments automation platform. Beyond building pipes for integrations, Primer offers superior data analytics, dynamic routing, and fraud workflows. At a time when regulations like 3DS2, SCA, and PSD2 are heightening compliance standards for merchants, Primer seeks to ensure complete visibility and compliance across the entire stack. For example, Primer allows tokens to travel between PSPs and anti-fraud solutions, enabling merchants to view data on fraud without continuously retokenizing and reauthenticating.

We believe Primer provides a clear ROI for merchants, partners, and their customers. With Primer, teams can do more with less effort; Primer turns 100s of tasks and months of work into an intuitive, agile, and efficient process. Moreover, Primer not only provides cost savings in development but also helps grow topline by increasing conversion rate and acceptance. Some customers even noted to us that “it feels like Primer is paying [them].”

Primer is becoming a mission-critical part of the payments stack. In just 20 months since launch, the Primer team has executed with incredible velocity and pace of innovation. We believe Primer is uniquely positioned to enable companies to rebuild their payments stack from scratch “like a Lego.” Payments today are inflexible and tied closely to payments services; Primer is flipping the script by enabling an agnostic layer that allows for connections, workflows, universal checkout, and more. In a world where most merchants are trying to consolidate their payments stacks, Primer is quickly emerging as a value-added partner to merchants due to its developer-first platform and powerful integrations that simplify the complex payments value chain.

The need could not be more evident to us for an intelligent automation and infrastructure layer like Primer to bring together every component of the payments stack. Optimizing payments routing, integrating new payments methods, and building comprehensive workflows will be critical as merchants look to improve customer satisfaction, enter new markets, and increase payments acceptance. We firmly believe Primer is at the forefront of propelling this generational shift.

At ICONIQ Growth, we have had the privilege of partnering with several exceptional fintech companies. Looking forward, we are delighted to partner with Gabriel, Paul, and the entire Primer team as they build a category-defining company to fundamentally change the way companies develop their payments stack.

You can read more on the announcement here.