It can’t be said enough: If you want to be special, specialize.
The way to success in payment facilitation is not to appeal to as many merchants as possible, it’s to appeal to as many of a certain kind of merchants as possible. There are exceptions like bill.com, which targets any business that pays employees, but even then it specializes in one part of what merchants need: to streamline accounts payable and receivable.
Ty Hardison is vice president of strategy and development at Vantage Card Services, a processor that targets low-risk merchant verticals like the professional market — law, CPAs –as well as property management. Hardison says just as SaaS firms make life easier for small merchants, his company makes life easier for Saas firms.
“I’m not encouraging them to become a payment facilitator, I’m encouraging them to become a partner with us,” he says. “We have a payment facilitation program that they can plug right into and they can keep doing what they’re doing, what they’re best at, and we can provide the solution that they’re looking for in a turnkey manner.”
The path to growth is clear as technology disrupts payments: find out what problems a particular type of merchant needs to solve, then provide the solutions bundled with payments. Simple, no? Hardison says there is room for both ISOs and payment facilitators, so he doesn’t think of PFs in terms of disrupting the traditional ISO model.
“The SaaS models that are more industry focused, depending on size and so forth, they may fall more in line with a payment facilitator,” Hardison says. “I think it’s getting the right solution in the right place. They can influence one another but it’s not disrupting us, it’s just adding a different solution set to what we have at our disposal, to be able to say, ‘What you’re trying to do, we would solve that problem with this program, and we’d solve another problem with another program.'”
In other words there’s more than one kind of special.