With 14 years' sales experience in the payments industry, Frank Grabowski decided it was time to do something about the margin compression and lack of market differentiation negatively affecting many payment professionals. In early 2013, Grabowski founded Open The BIG Doors to provide innovative products designed to open the door to more sales for ISO and merchant level salesperson (MLS) clients.
The first program to launch was a business-to-consumer finance product called Go Qualifi, which targets difficult-to-reach, high-residual accounts. Among them are doctors, both general practitioners and specialists like plastic surgeons; dentists; veterinarians; and contractors. The program is also applicable to such merchant sectors as high-ticket home improvement; appliance; jewelry; auto repair; and new auto, boat and motorcycle sales.
"We enable the business owner to offer financing to their customers," said Grabowski, who serves as Vice President Sales and Marketing at OTBD. "For example, if you're a doctor or plastic surgeon and you're offering facelifts, that kind of procedure is not covered by insurance, so it's an out-of-pocket expense. It could literally be $10,000." He added that financing generally caps at $25,000.
With Go Qualifi, the surgeon would receive a customized web page with an online application for the patient to fill out and submit. "We use that to pull one credit report," Grabowski said. "Then we share that credit report across our 10 different lenders. Those lenders come back with their best offer. The patient then chooses which one he likes the best." He noted that OTBD is among the few companies able to offer financing to consumers with credit scores under 600.
OTBD recently extended Go Qualifi to legal professionals. "The new legal program has been very successful for family law," he said. "From the lawyers we've talked to, eight out of 10 of their clients cannot afford the retainer. So rather than clients having to give in or lose their rights when it comes to a custody suit, now they're able to finance that retainer and put up a fight."
Turnaround time for most approvals is 24 hours. During the process, business owners can check status on their reporting page and notify clients upon approval to set an appointment or schedule delivery. He said from an ISO perspective, the sales message is powerful: I can help you sell more if you are offering financing to your customers.
During the annual Northeast Acquirers Association conference held in January 2014, OTBD rolled out HioTablet, a preloaded Windows-based tablet system equipped with 17 self-installable templates for nearly any type of business. According to Grabowski, the system can operate as a standalone POS or integrate with the HioPOS system; both are manufactured by ICG Software and are easily boarded on major processing platforms.
Once businesses pay for their table-based POS systems, the businesses own them outright. "There is no monthly software fee, so you're not paying every month for the rest of your life for an app," Grabowski said, adding that such monthly fees can add up over time.
In addition, OTBD does not compete for processing revenue. "We don't do any credit card processing ourselves," Grabowski said. "They can sell their credit card processing and just use our program as a way to get in the door and as an additional residual stream."
The system can also be white labeled. "We have several ISOs who have white labeled our program and are having great success not only in writing new merchant accounts but also in recruiting new sales agents who are looking for an additional residual stream and a company that has something different to offer," Grabowski said.
OTBD said it offers extensive training, including webinars, to help ISOs and MLSs close sales and get merchants started. OTBD also intends to continue adding new products that sell.
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