The launch of Dallas-based fintech startup Fuzse in October 2016 marked the latest venture for payments entrepreneur Lane Conner. The former executive for First American Payment Systems and Century Payments, and co-founder of Jerry Jones-backed Blue Star Payment Solutions, founded Fuzse to address a growing need for seamless, supported payments integration in the digital economy.
"Over the last four or five years, I've seen the niche market of ecommerce and different payment options for the way that we transact becoming a lot more prevalent," Conner said. "What's really energizing is you've got people who are thinking of new ways for people to spend money on goods and services that we utilize every day."
Fuzse works with mobile app, custom software and web development firms to bring advanced ecommerce solutions to market. "My company doesn't hunt merchants; we hunt developers," Conner said, noting that Dallas has become a hotbed for technology and developer talent. He served as a startup mentor for Dallas incubator Tech Wildcatters and sits on the board for Bold Idea Inc., a tech nonprofit that educates and empowers local students.
"We have a really easy to use API that we utilize where we do everything from card-not-present to card-present transactions," Conner said. "For instance, we did the parking at the Super Bowl; it all ran through us." Fuzse was able to collaborate with Dallas startup ParkHub to provide back-end services for its mobile parking platform, which has reduced lines in parking areas for events associated with AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Conner pointed out that application programming interfaces (APIs) like the one Stripe offers, although popular with users, can be too costly for some merchants. "I wanted Fuzse to be a boutique version of Stripe and really be hands-on with my customers, so they can go to market quickly with the products they're trying to develop," he said.
Fuzse's ecommerce suite offers an intuitive API, gateway, deep analytics, customer onboarding, industry-specific security and 24/7 customer service. For developers seeking to aggregate sub-merchants, Fuzse supports the payment facilitator model with an online application and instant boarding. Clients already using its platform include ISV partners, development companies and merchants.
In its initial stages Fuzse has partnered with several companies to support digital offerings. Clients have access to unified commerce via a Rest API from GoEmerchant, Anovia Payments LLC's Trio payments platform, and proprietary gateway services from 1stPayGateway. Fuzse has also teamed with FAPS and contracts with engineers as individual projects may require.
Conner feels that joining forces with Anovia and FAPS allows Fuzse to remain nimble. "We didn't want to go out and hire and create our own BIN, and hire a boarding team, so we rely on our partners for that," he said. "We wanted to stay lean and mean, so we could be as customer-focused as we could be." Fast response time is something he takes pride in and clients have acknowledged this quality in interactions.
Looking toward the future, Fuzse plans to expand its partnership program. "We are going to be bringing on sub-ISOs and sub-agents as soon as our workload permits," Conner said. In the meantime, he remains open to partnering with anyone qualified and interested, and stated he offers competitive buy rates. He also wants to explore expansion into other tech hotbed regions, such as Austin, Silicon Valley and Boston.
With marginalization in the highly competitive card-present realm, Conner encourages payment pros to consider alternative channels. "Everybody is looking for another way to expand margins, and the best way that I have found is in the card-not-present side of our industry," he said. "You've got these tech shops that don't have a storefront that you can partner with, and they can just feed your business with new merchants, and you can build a really strong ISO on that."
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