Between meeting merchant needs and satisfying card Association requirements, sometimes merchant level salespeople (MLSs) and ISOs feel invisible. The concerns of MLSs and ISOs can be overlooked, or at least fall to the bottom of the priority list.
Founded on principles intended to make sure the needs of MLSs, as well as merchants, are met, eProcessingNetwork wants MLSs and ISOs to know exactly where they stand – out in front.
"eProcessingNetwork is a solutions provider and gateway, integrating products and services to enhance the merchant processing for the MLS community, while setting the bar for support," Company President Steve Sotis said.
Founded in 1996 by Sotis, a former tractor-trailer owner-operator turned programmer, ePN provided products, services and support to MLSs and ISOs. The company functions as a service bureau, with no direct sales to merchants. All sales are handled directly through the ISO and MLS channel.
While it may seem Sotis chose an unusual career path, he defines it as simple: "I sold the truck at 26 and enrolled in the University of Houston. An adviser asked, 'What major?' I didn't know, so he said, 'Well, we'll put you down for computer science, and you can change it later if you want.' Here I am."
Based in Houston, ePN currently employs seven people. To illustrate how important support and development is to the company, six employees are involved in these activities. Each member of the support team is highly experienced in either merchant account support or Web site design.
"We provide immediate support and service," Sotis said. "Our personnel, none with less than five years under their belt, are the very best in the business."
For merchants, and the ISOs and MLSs who serve them, processing choices can be confusing. For example, there are a variety of gateways, and the right one can get hazy in the sea options. Sotis said some may assume ePN is "yet another gateway," but the company is much more.
"ePN is a development company – focusing on marketability and functionality for the real world, not the virtual world," Sotis said.
The company focuses on integration and simplicity, as it works to make solutions trouble-free and easy to use. It strives to offer products and services to fit any merchant, anywhere. Perhaps drawing on Sotis' previous career, the ePN's slogans are "anywhere merchants do business" and "the everywhere processing network."
Also, ePN simplifies processing by integrating all of its services, including wireless, Web and traditional POS into one account. It offers dedicated wireless terminals from Way Systems Inc., VeriFone Inc. and Commerciant LP. It processes both credit and debit cards, as well as checks for stationary and mobile merchants through all the major networks.
The company is integrated into prevailing third-party shopping carts. The ePN Payment Gateway is a secure connection between a merchant's e-commerce site and processing network. ePNCart is an affordable shopping cart for Internet storefronts.
For mobile merchants, ePNMobile can handle wireless transaction processing solutions without incumbent monthly fees. Merchants can use wireless terminals, cell phones or PDAs to process transactions – all through a single account.
ePN's products and services are sold only through the ISO and MLS channel. "We have never sold our products or any other products direct," Sotis said.
Sotis encourages ISOs and MLSs to contact ePN to find out how it is unique. "A simple phone call and a few minutes will show the income opportunity," he said. "We never, ever sell direct and never, ever sell processing. The relationship is direct with us. The MLS has control of their portfolio, with no looming threats."
Another feature ePN takes pride in is the fact that all software is developed in-house, giving the company the opportunity to know the ins and outs of its products and provide the best merchant and MLS support.
Additionally, since ePN develops its own solutions, it is able to bring its products to markets in a timely manner. While it is nice to be able to respond quickly, ePN emphasizes functionality and reliability. "We have released new products faster, but that is not nearly as important as the fact our stuff works," he said.
Almost any economics 101 class will tell you that one way to increase revenues is to increase sales. ePN helps ISOs and MLSs earn more by giving them access to a larger customer base and offering solutions that are attractive to more merchants. "We open doors to opportunities most walk away from," Sotis said. "We provide unique products and services which increase retention and close more deals."
Sotis describes the company's compensation structure as "simple and secure, a direct relationship with no type of quota or oversight." It does not use commissions; instead, the company employs buy rates, and agents earn a residual of 100% above the buy rate.
ISOs and MLSs also receive ongoing training through multiple channels, including webinars, Flash presentations and live help. Sotis stressed that ePN's training is continually updated and evolving, just as our industry and its technologies evolve.
"This is a dynamic evolution, not a static, occasional offering," Sotis said. Since ePN's training topics are continually developing, Sotis said MLSs of all skill and experience levels can benefit. "Any rep can learn how to maximize their relationship with a merchant and increase their retention."
Sotis described ePN as "built from the ground up for the benefit of the MLS." As such, it does not compete with its ISOs and MLSs. If an ISO or MLSs has a question about an ePN solution, ePN can provide the answer. What more could you ask for in a partner?
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1415 North Loop West
Houston, TX 77008
Web site: www.eprocessingnetwork.com