CardFlight Inc., a mobile card-reader and tech vendor, prides itself on understanding the needs of merchant services providers, according to Derek Webster, founder and Chief Executive Officer. "We live and breathe mobile, and we want to be a partner to the ISO and acquirer channel," Webster said. "There's a lot that acquirers bring to the table."
That eagerness to work with acquirers has shaped CardFlight's operations from its inception in February 2013, Webster noted. The New York-based company started by designing its apps and card readers to solve the problems acquirers had with the hardware and software already on the market, he said.
The attention to acquirers' needs resulted in a product called SwipeSimple, which became available on a large scale in April 2014 at the Electronic Transactions Association's Transact 14 conference.
Today, the company reported, several dozen ISOs are signing up hundreds of merchant accounts monthly. It works with acquirers that include Clearent LLC, Anovia Payments LLC and Integrity Payment Systems, Webster said. And there's still room for more resellers, he added. Many of the company's ISOs fall into a category Webster called "mid-market," with 10,000 to 50,000 merchants.
Webster said listening to those and other acquirers resulted in free co-branding, a big differentiator for SwipeSimple that comes in two forms. First, CardFlight puts the name of the ISO or bank on the reader hardware. Second, the ISO or bank name appears in the app on phones or tablets that merchants use to conduct transactions. Users log on to SwipeSimple, but the co-branding kicks in a little after the beginning of the process.
"When we get a new reseller, we can quickly create a profile" for co-branding, Webster said. "We can walk them through what we need for the logo and everything else." Some resellers have more than one brand to promote, and CardFlight is willing to support that, he added.
If co-branding isn't enough, Cardflight also offers completely white-labeled mobile readers and apps for larger ISOs and acquiring banks, Webster said.
SwipeSimple includes reporting and analytics tools that help acquirers manage their merchant portfolios. The product also streamlines merchant boarding by enabling salespeople to create accounts and add details. Acquirers can manage that data – including anything from updating settings to changing a phone number – on their own with no need for additional help from CardFlight, Webster said.
Merchants also get reporting and analytical tools to help them run their businesses. They can review and manipulate the data in the app or go to an online portal for additional services. Owners and managers have permission to use more of the tools than are available to lower-level employees.
SwipeSimple's capacity to handle merchants with multiple locations sets the product apart from competitors' offerings, according to Webster. He provided the example of a pizzeria with three locations, seven delivery drivers and a number of other workers. The owner can view data that reveals how well each location is performing and how well each employee is succeeding.
"We're a tech company, and we make this as seamless as possible," Webster said of the company's tools for both acquirers and merchants. The company based the tools on the needs that acquirers expressed, he reiterated.
CardFlight is becoming certified with processors to accept chip cards, and the company expects to be among the first mobile providers to finish the certification process, Webster said. Like most of the competition, the company is producing Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV)-capable readers that still accept mag stripe cards.
Because the company operates its own gateway and works with all major transaction processors, acquirers would never need to change partners to use SwipeSimple, Webster said.
The company also offers CardFlight SDK, which helps software developers integrate card-present payments into apps. It's used mainly by developers who are new to payments, Webster said, adding that it can change the process from months to a matter of hours.
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