There is no doubt the economic landscape is shifting rapidly. Merchants need to revamp their business plans to stay in business. ISOs and merchant level salespeople (MLSs) need to do the same. According to Steven H. Bryson, founder and Chief Executive Officer at Global Electronic Technology Inc., only two types of ISOs will survive in the next five to 10 years: the well-established and the innovative.
GET seems to fit the bill on both counts. The Cypress, Calif.-based ISO celebrated its 10th anniversary, but it is not content to rest on its laurels. With "We grow by helping you grow" as its corporate motto, GET enters its second decade of service with a continuing quest to offer superior customer service and assist its clients in growing their operations.
"ISOs have always focused on strategies that help themselves grow," Bryson said. "But if they want to survive, they will need to change their focus to helping their merchants grow."
GET provides end-to-end payment processing solutions, including a virtual terminal, multiple payment gateways, an online shopping cart, automated clearing house functionality, and loyalty and gift card programs. It serves a range of industries worldwide, both brick-and-mortar retail and Internet-based. The company caters to a variety of merchant types, so services are designed to bring value to a multitude of industries, including retail, fulfillment, insurance, online entertainment, restaurants, hospitality, car rentals and professional services in addition to government agencies and municipalities.
While GET's primary focus is the secure processing of POS and web-based transactions, it is also a value-added reseller of custom physical and virtual terminal solutions designed for specific markets. Additionally, GET maintains two payment gateways in order to offer specialized payment solutions to both e-commerce and retail merchants. GET is in the process of rolling out its Karma program, through which a percentage of GET's net revenue goes to the nonprofit charitable organization Never Forgotten Foundation. In addition, the company is building its own payment gateway with customizable shopping cart features and 24/7 customer service.
GET also keeps its eye on emerging trends and plans to launch new programs in the next year. "Green and locally owned business will continue to grow as they have in the past few years," Bryson said. "I also predict that markets that cater to baby boomers, the health conscious, and multilingual consumers will see large growth going forward."
Customer service takes top priority at GET. Support specialists are recruited from respected technical schools and participate in ongoing training, and the company indicated the turnover rate in its merchant support division is very low, ensuring that a qualified specialist answers each call.
Merchant support is provided 24/7 every day of the year, and support services are set up to ensure cardholders receive immediate answers to transaction inquiries. GET offers help desk and technical support for terminals, including virtual and e-commerce payment gateways. It also fields inquiries regarding analysis of transactions and statements.
GET noted that it provides comprehensive fraud prevention and risk management, including proactive chargeback management support. Risk managers continuously monitor transactions and chargebacks, alerting merchants to suspicious activity and assisting with fighting chargebacks. Risk management and chargeback management services include cardholder support for merchants in ecommerce and subscription-oriented businesses.
GET stated it is on Visa Inc.'s list of approved Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS)-validated service providers and maintains a secure card data environment, complying with all 12 requirements of the PCI DSS. It also completes an annual assessment by a professional, PCI-certified company that submits findings to Visa Inc.
The company is developing several webinars, one of which helps merchants understand the PCI compliance process. The webinar will encompass what it means to be compliant, as well as ways to stay alert and protected from intrusions. The program will be available to everyone via GET's website.
GET welcomed the challenges of the past 10 years. "As an ISO that prides itself in offering its agents and merchants the newest technology the industry has to offer, we have been having a great time at GET developing new products and evolving our services," Bryson said. "Our custom gateway with an easy-to-use API has been uniquely productive for our e-commerce clients."
GET is in the process of developing smart phone applications that integrate with its gateway for merchants interested in mobile options. "As most business owners would tell you, oftentimes the most productive products and services tend to also be the most challenging," Bryson said. "PCI DSS standards are the perfect example of a program with fruitful benefits like mitigating risk that can, at times, be challenging when a merchant doesn't comply." The company has seen the industry undergo significant changes since its inception and expects continued evolution going forward.
"The biggest change in the past 10 years has been the globalization of our industry through the use of technology," Bryson said. "Technology has expanded our reach, allowed us to become more innovative and has made business owners more savvy, forcing some of the outlaws in the processing industry to reform their tactics."
GET has also noticed an increase in the use of debit cards as a result of the credit crunch. Bryson believes debit usage will continue to increase until consumer confidence in the credit markets is restored.
Bryson began his payment processing career as the Southern California District Manager for a wholly owned subsidiary of Deluxe Data Corp. He then went on to build a distribution channel for Lynk Systems Inc., opening up multiple offices in the western United States.
Bryson also built operations for RBS Lynk (now RBS WorldPay Inc.) and TransFirst before forming GET in June 2000. He established the company to provide robust distribution channels, advanced payment systems, superior customer service and technical support for all merchant types.
"Because of how knowledgeable and accessible our operations and support teams are, we have a high merchant retention rate of around 98 percent," Bryson said.
The company currently counts a staff of about 50, including customer service and account executives, and is always endeavoring to add proven account executives to the team.
In addition to providing what it believes are innovative partner programs that benefit both the company and its partners, GET offers ISOs and MLSs the ability to place high-risk merchants through an extensive network of global relationships.
Through its ISO portal, GET's partners have access to the company's training and marketing materials, and the company prides itself on a history of paying residuals 100 percent on time. Compensation is individualized and structured to the needs of the agent, with all partners compensated in the form of commissions, residuals, and/or bonuses, GET pointed out.
"Our partner program is packed with fun, tiered incentives such as terminal giveaways, daily approval bonuses, as well as additional signing bonuses for reaching benchmarks," Bryson said. "Additionally, our ISO portal allows our partners to have synched, communal access to all of our resources and marketing materials, as well as real-time tracking of their residuals and the underwriting process. We believe in providing our people with the very best. Hungry ISOs can contact us for more information."
In today's economic climate, that hunger is almost palpable. "It's important to me that, no matter what the economic climate may be, we are always giving back the blessings we have received as a result of our hard work," Bryson said. "It's my unwavering belief that people should be better in GET's hands."
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