Merchant services can be complicated, but when you peel away all the layers, business is – and always will be – about money. Merchants need capital to thrive, which includes the ability to offer customers a variety of payment options, turn a profit and, in many cases, expand into new markets.
BCC Merchant Solutions offers end-to-end business solutions for merchants of all sizes. The company's business model is built on electronic transactions. BCC accepts credit, debit, gift and loyalty cards in addition to other payment alternatives. It has an integrated business service designed to enable merchants to accomplish three vital tasks: accept money, make money and get money.
BCC comprises two companies: BankCard Central and Silver Stream Marketing. They are located in the same facility to share resources and be a one-stop shop that provides merchants business capital, e-commerce services, marketing, and payment processing in a convenient and efficient manner.
Since its inception 17 years ago, BCC has grown from being a local merchant service provider to an international supplier of secure payment solutions. The company employs 22 people in the United States and one in the Republic of Mauritius, an island off the southeast coast of Africa. Recently, it began processing in Europe and Asia.
"We save clients time, money and stress by providing several key business services in one location and with one point of contact," said Monty Lockyear, Chief Marketing Officer for BCC. "We not only save merchants money, we help them increase sales and carve out a unique competitive advantage."
Merchants have an abundance of options when selecting service providers. They can choose to use several companies, or they can select one to fulfill their needs.
Either possibility can have drawbacks. For example, using a mixture of providers can make it difficult to determine what business is accountable if issues arise.
BCC mitigates this risk by limiting its e-commerce merchants to working with one company and one contact. "BCC eliminates the finger pointing that occurs when different service providers seek to avoid responsibility by blaming difficulties on other service providers," Lockyear said.
If merchants opt to streamline their services and work with only one company, they may feel like they have to forfeit personalized service. To address this, BCC said it can provide merchants customized end-to-end solutions. "We cover every Internet business need including merchant account setup, connecting to a secure payment gateway, secure certificates, hosting, alternative payment brands, payer authentication products, Web site security and Internet marketing," Lockyear said.
All merchants like to save money, but obtaining a lower rate isn't worth sacrificing customer service, brand loyalty, security or reliability. "We believe that saving merchants money is not enough," Lockyear said. "We have to help them increase sales, get the capital to grow and set a plan for long-term success."
BCC's staff walks new clients through the setup process from application to terminal setup to training and follow-up education. The staff checks in with merchants to make sure they are comfortable with how the application looks and to answer any possible questions that may arise. "We follow a strict process of monitoring new merchants for any processing anomalies, conduct regular customer reviews and even send every new customer a gift package for choosing us as their merchant service provider," Lockyear said.
BCC strives to help merchants obtain the finances necessary to run a successful business. Through its cash advance program, merchants can turn future credit card receivables into cash. They can use the funds for remodeling, marketing, business expansion and expenses such as tax or invoice payments.
Everyone in the payments industry knows that products and services don't sell themselves. No matter how revolutionary a concept is or how much money a product or service can save merchants, it still needs qualified merchant level salespeople (MLSs) to present it to an appropriate customer base and successfully close sales.
BCC has a two-step approach to increasing sales. First, it offers a variety of products the company has determined are most valuable. Second, it shows MLSs how to sell those products. The company endeavors to equip MLSs with skills needed to sell hardware to customers; BCC's proprietary Solution Selling Process trains them on how to identify customer needs and provide fitting solutions.
"Because we have a unique mix of products and services, agents are able to sell a wider variety of business solutions," Lockyear said. "We give agents a bigger and better toolbox. ... We believe that selling isn't telling, and every merchant has a pain. With our product mix, we have a tool that can solve that pain and lead to bigger business opportunities." With these tools, MLSs have the ability to differentiate themselves from competitors who pitch solely on saving money on card processing.
Two of BCC's premier services are Coolorder and mIQro Card. It normally costs a business seven to 10 times more to attract new customers than to retain existing ones. Plus, repeat customers spend 33 percent more than new customers, so a customer loyalty program such as mIQro Card becomes a no-brainer, Lockyear said. MIQro Card is available only through BankCard Central and its affiliated agents.
Coolorder is an online ordering program that allows restaurants to accept orders from a Web site to a fax machine, POS system, e-mail address or mobile phone. It is integrated with mIQro Card and stores customer purchase history to make ordering "the usual" a breeze.
BCC's technology team also recently completed development of its VerePay Internet gateway. The solution has grown into a full e-commerce suite including payer authentication, alternative payment brands and PIN-less debit.
There is no doubt that keeping up with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) compliance can be difficult. Helping merchants stay up-to-date on requirements and deadlines can be a challenge. BCC has been PCI DSS certified for more than three years and is committed to helping merchants achieve and maintain PCI compliance. This dedication is backed by real dollars. The company foots the bill for the first year of McAfee Inc.'s Scan Alert PCI compliance analysis for each of its merchants.
"We've spent a tremendous amount of money in PCI," Lockyear said. "We are PCI certified on the gateway and on the bankcard side." BCC has demonstrated its commitment to security by investing huge amounts of money and human resources to the cause. In 2007, two staff members spent approximately 70 percent of their time on PCI compliance. Furthermore, Lockyear estimated the company spent 50 percent of its time on PCI compliance and related issues for six months in 2007.
Achieving PCI compliance and maintaining PCI compliance are not synonymous. And busy businesses are often susceptible to falling behind on data security rules. Therefore, BCC provides tools to help customers ensure they are taking proper measures to remain within regulations. For example, BankCard Central has partnered with Restaurantpartner.com, a restaurant industry Web resource that provides updated, relevant information and services to its members. Employee environment A company can have a unique business plan, as BCC does, but it isn't worth much if employees act as though they don't have time for their customers. To make sure it hires and retains quality employees, BCC has a customer centric culture and a code of honor.
"In contrast to many business principles that are just lip service, we review the company code of honor in monthly meetings and reward employees for ability to go above and beyond for our customers," Lockyear said. "We believe in getting it done right the first time, establishing personal relationships with every customer and being much more than a merchant service provider."
BCC has high standards for its employees, and it supports them by fostering an environment that makes them want to work toward the company's goals. BCC culture is derived from collaboration, creativity and mutual success. One way management facilitates this culture is to create a personal development plan for every employee and set a course to help each employee achieve personal and professional goals.
Employees meet with BCC management quarterly to review the company's goals alongside the individual's goals, with the intent of finding a balance. To help employees meet expectations, BCC provides financial assistance for college courses and seminars. This same aid is offered to MLSs.
BCC's approach to selling and compensation is twofold. MLSs are compensated with unlimited residual income, interchange revenue sharing, as well as support to build and grow their businesses, sales skills and overall careers.
MLSs can choose one of three reseller programs: Licensed reseller, Affiliate reseller or Referral partner. Additionally, ISOs can take advantage of these programs as can Web developers, banks, consultants and so forth. For all resellers, Lockyear said, BCC guarantees on-time monthly residual payments, 24/7 technical support, customer service and no hidden fees.
BCC focuses on service, marketing and technology to differentiate itself from competitors. "We may not be the biggest but will have the most unique approach to the business," Lockyear said. "Because of our breadth of products and services, we can help customers not only save money but increase sales and create a unique advantage in the marketplace."
Merchant satisfaction is extremely important to BCC. Its integrated services can empower merchants to keep money coming in and out in a constant, productive flow. "We do [business] differently and it may not be for everyone," Lockyear said. "But if you want to build loyalty and provide business solutions, we are the right people."
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Director of Sales
105 East Fifth Street
Kansas City, MO 64106
Web site: www.bccenterprises.com