Specialization is the name of the game in today's merchant services business, and that is exactly how Revo Payments has found its niche. In 2008, the company that began as a merchant payment processor switched its focus to the production of cloud-based, payment and customer relationship management (CRM) software that targets emerging markets. Revo has since developed six distinct payment software platforms for what it has identified as its most leveragable markets, according to Revo Payments Chief Executive Officer Mike Corbera.
Those markets are business-to-business (B2B) invoicing, property payments, utilities, medical billing, nonprofits and schools. The company also offers a flexible gateway product that can be adapted to more conventional vertical markets.
"This is a multivertical platform," Corbera said. "What makes us unique is we have a platform for each of the emerging verticals that we work with. So the bank or ISO can operate this solution for all the different emerging markets using the same, single platform. You don't see that level of specialization from other [vendors]."
Revo is marketed to merchants entirely through third-party resellers such as ISOs and banks, Corbera said, adding that the company's white-label program allows its resellers to brand and market Revo's software as their own. "It's entirely white labeled - customized, branded and everything," Corbera said. "From the merchant's perspective, they are receiving a service from their ISO or bank, not from Revo."
Revo is a "gateway on steroids," Corbera said. He noted that it accepts all types of electronic payments - including debit, credit, automated clearing house, e-check and PayPal - and includes features that automate and facilitate recurring billing, invoicing and collections. It also works with all payment channels, including mobile, Corbera added.
For repeat customers, Revo includes the option of substituting log-in credentials for primary payment information. "Your bank account information and credit card information can be accessed through the software, so now all of your [payment options] are consolidated on one platform [behind] your log-in credentials," Corbera said. "You input your payment information one time, and afterwards you just need to sign in."
On the back-end, Revo includes a merchant dashboard with payment information that's displayed numerically and graphically, Corbera said. Dashboard charts help delineate and illustrate larger customer payment trends, he added.
The dashboard operates in real time, with payments and settlements appearing as they are made, and delinquencies automatically popping up when due dates have passed. The dashboard includes data like web traffic, payment volumes and payment statuses, plus recurring payment and collections information. Customized reports are also available, allowing merchants to drill down in any number of ways, according to Corbera.
"Our dashboard has graphics showing each pay type, recurring versus single payment, that type of thing," he said. "But it also includes custom reports, so you could, for example, find out who paid you between the first and fifth of the month. Or you could view specifically the statuses of invoices - who has opened them, and who has paid them."
Corbera pointed out that such specific, customizable information can be leveraged to bolster web traffic and payment volumes.
For example, if the data shows that numerous customers are visiting the site but not using the platform to make payments, a merchant could offer free e-check payments for six months to entice customers who are perhaps deterred by electronic payment fees, Corbera said. Or, if a merchant sees that customer retention is weak, the merchant could provide discounts to customers who sign up for recurring billing.
Revo's six vertical-specific solutions have indigenous features, but also integrate with existing software platforms that cater to each industry, according to Corbera. For example, Revo's property management platform is integrated with the software, YARDI, which caters to that niche.
The platform includes automating, overseeing and managing both incoming payments (rent, utilities, and special services like equipment and pool rentals) and outgoing ones (maintenance, repair and construction costs, deposit refunds, for example).
"Our property management software includes a tenant roster upload manager, which can be used to manage different [buildings and housing units]," Corbera said. "Different communities have different fees. A property manager may have 100 or 500 [buildings] they are managing, and so with this they can drill down and create custom pay categories for rent, utilities, barbecue rental, whatever the case may be."
Normally landlords use a platform like YARDI as a management tool, but not to accept payments, according to Corbera. Thus, they conduct their back-end management on one software platform, but accept payments either over a separate gateway or by traditional methods (mail and in-person payments made with checks, money orders or cash).
By its integration of vertical-specific business management software with its own gateway, Revo allows merchants to accept electronic payments and manage their businesses on a single, specialized platform, according to Corbera.
In so doing, they avoid the hassle of exporting and importing business data from one program to another; instead, updates automatically pop up in the CRM tool because the payment and management pieces are tied together.
In addition to automating and displaying back-end business tasks, Revo Payments includes other CRM-related benefits. One is the automatic tabulation of convenience fees in keeping with card company rules, Corbera said.
"Our markets are very convenience fee-heavy," he said. "We have convenience fee-compliant software that offers a way for you to be compliant and won't let you [conduct transactions] in a way that's not compliant."
Another feature is what Corbera called "dynamic invoicing," which allows merchants to offer daily discounts with automated billing. Whereas most invoicing programs will let the payee offer a single discount that's applicable within a certain period, dynamic invoicing can produce discounts that start at a certain level and taper on a daily, pro-rated basis.
"If I send an invoice that in 30 days you owe me $1,000, I could give you 10 percent off if you pay me today, followed by [decreasing] discounts spread over the 30 days until there is no deduction on day 30.
"So it takes advantage of every single day, and it creates a system for equalizing supply and demand between small businesses. So if I send an invoice and really badly need the money, now I'm going to send you a really juicy discount to pay faster.
"The software calculates for you the full amount in 30 days, so now the only question is how much of a discount do I offer today so that 10 percent is spread over the 30."
Revo Payments also affords ISOs an additional revenue opportunity with its e-Vendor Payments feature, which rewards ISOs with an interchange split not only for incoming payments to merchants, but for outgoing payments to vendors as well, according to Corbera.
"A lot of B2B customers take payments online," he said. "To use the property management example, that business needs to pay the valet, the landscaping, the roofer, the repair guy ... so they use our software not only to get paid inbound, but also to make outgoing payments. ISOs earn residuals not only on transactions collected but on transactions made outbound. That's a big deal for the ISO."
Corbera added that Revo continues to add new features to its vertical-specific products so that the company caters to its merchant customers as efficiently as possible. For example, he said the company has added a feature that allows nonprofits and other businesses to solicit and receive donations on their Facebook pages.
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