Industry Perspectives

Winning the Mobile Wars

In the fast and furiously-evolving world of mobile payments, some brands appear to be emerging as clear frontrunners.

It is easy to assume that those who get there first will finish first, that big marketing dollars will build immutable brands, that companies shipping little square cell phone attachments to every newly-issued EIN will therefore own that business market.

But we’re forgetting something. We’re forgetting that, excluding the big box chains, most businesses buy their payment solutions from either a bank, or from a merchant service provider (MSP) registered by MasterCard and Visa, and typically referred to as ISOs. To date, most ISOs have not yet rolled out extensive mobile solutions. But they will. They are getting ready to now. And ignoring them would be a mistake.

Since the founding of the credit card industry, businesses have turned to these payments resellers because they appreciate the expertise, convenience and support of a one-stop-shop. Are we to assume that these business managers will now buy mobile payment solutions separately or differently from the way they purchase their other payment solutions? It would be a risky assumption.

To best penetrate and own mobile payments acceptance in the vast merchant marketplace, solution providers must capitalize on the existing payments distribution channel. And the time is now.

ISOs are overwhelmed with literature and information. They are looking now for the best options to offer their clients. If you want those solutions to be yours, here is what you have to know:

  1. More than anything else, there is confusion: Those who make it simple for us to understand why your solution adds value – to our businesses and to our customers’ – will be the ones that get our attention.
  2. Money matters: We can only succeed if we profit. We can only profit if we offer superb solutions at competitive prices with a respectable margin.
  3. Understand our model: ISOs need to build and maintain merchant portfolios that generate residual income. In a commoditized industry, that is increasingly difficult to do. Show us how you can help us sell. What kind of training do you provide? How much marketing support? 
  4. Go beyond sales and revenues: After the sale, loyalty and retention is key. Will your products be deployed in an efficient and timely manner? Who will support the customer? How will you communicate with both our customers and our own team?
  5. Merchants want simple solutions: More than anything else, merchants don’t want anything to interfere with their relationships to their customers. Not data security or fraud. Not long lines or slow transaction times. Not even something new or different. Show them how their customers will enjoy a simple, secure, fast and pleasant payment experience and you are showing them how to build a loyal customer base. 

The real winners in the mobile wars will not necessarily be the companies you’re hearing the most about now.

They will be those organizations who understand the existing payments arena, and capitalize on their distribution channels by communicating, educating, training and supporting their needs.

Prior to joining SignaPay in 2011, Kevin served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for First American Payment Systems, an industry leading payment processor. In this role for the company, Kevin led the first multi-channel strategy, realigned the internal organization and refined the brand to better reflect the current strategy and goals. He also expanded key departments to enable the company to provide partners with the proactive training and support needed to grow portfolios. During his tenure, Kevin’s team achieved unprecedented revenue growth, partner retention and consistent recruitment.

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