Derek DePuydt, founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Apogee Payment Systems LLC, believes ISOs and merchant level salespeople (MLSs) today who are still doing pure play payment processing could be at risk of losing market share. "In today's world, merchants are demanding more," he said. "Years ago, merchants took the word of whoever they were working with, ISOs would run their credit cards, and as long as everything made it to their bank account, they were fine."
DePuydt noted that today's merchants are savvier and more demanding of their service providers. "We can't just focus on payments anymore," he added. "We have to know what business owners are thinking, what business managers are looking for and wanting. We need to be more in tune and think like those business owners."
DePuydt founded Apogee Payment Systems in 2013. The company said it provides credit and debit card and ACH transaction processing using cutting edge technology at the best possible rate and with exceptional service.
"The first thing we do is we help customers not only to save money or reduce their expenses, but we're also there to make sure they have the right technologies," DePuydt said, adding that processing is just one component of what they do. "We need to see where else we can help them, and you would be surprised," he noted.
"There are other things that can be added, if maybe they want other ancillary products that we can offer, like a gift card solution, check, ACH, or loyalty solutions, or really anything that is more than just payments. We are working with their largest asset which is their customers, and we can't mess that up."
Apogee is a First Data Corp. partner, offering Clover Mini, Clover Mobile, and the Clover Station as part of a product line devised to provide customers flexibility and affordability. "What I like about Clover versus some of the other POS systems out there is that you are starting at more of a base model at a very good price," DePuydt said.
He noted that clients can tailor the solution to their industry or business at the price they want because they don't have to purchase POS features they do not need. "It's different than having a high-priced POS system with everything; you may only end up using 5 percent of the system, yet pay the cost of using 100 percent," he said. "With us, it's the opposite. Customers can pay for only 5 percent and add on what they'd like as they grow. They can try something for 30 days and turn it off if they don't like it. It's a good system for customers to grow with."
Apogee also offers same-day credit approvals. "Our underwriting system is an algorithm that provides instant approvals, literally within 10 minutes, and then we'll know what we can do for that client," DePuydt noted. "It allows us to be proactive and as soon as we know something, we can communicate to the agents or to the merchants, or both, what the next steps are."
DePuydt emphasized that Apogee has a generous referral program for ISOs and MLSs. "We are going to try to make you more money as an ISO or agent because of the fact that we split on everything," he said. "We don't keep certain income items in our pockets; we share on those. … When you really do the math, sharing on everything makes a huge difference."
Customer service is the most important thing Apogee provides, according to DePuydt. "We are here to help our agents and ISOs and we are here to help their clients," he said. "You are going to get a fair, honest relationship."
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