At a time when electronic options for making and accepting payments are expanding into ever greater and more complicated forms, ISOs, merchant level salespeople (MLSs) and the merchants they serve need a way to simplify the integration and management of new tools, according to PayLeap Chief Executive Officer and President Scott Miller.
PayLeap does just that by bundling the gamut of POS payment acceptance and back-end management functions into an all-in-one virtual terminal, Miller said. The terminal makes the installation and maintenance of merchant POS systems easy through its multiple acceptance offerings, seamless integration with multiple front-ends and locations, and compatibility with new technological pieces from different developers, Miller added.
"We built a platform on simplicity, and anybody who wants to can integrate into our system," Miller said. "I started PayLeap in 2008, and one of the reasons was the payments space seemed a little too complicated. I wanted to do clear terms, clear pricing and simple solutions."
Until recently, PayLeap's main partners were software developers who wanted to integrate their payment programs into a larger POS package that could be marketed to merchants. PayLeap continues to open its application programming interface (API) to new developers, but the focus now is taking its gateway-only offering to ISOs for immediate resale, Miller noted.
"Right now, it's really our gateway-only merchants that are going to be driven by the ISO market," he said. "For merchants that want to go online, ISOs already have an acquiring relationship, and we're trying to compete in the online merchant space and are looking to expand our offering to include an ISO model.
"We have moved to aggressively pursue ISOs because we feel we have a superior software solution that's relatively inexpensive and which ISOs and MLSs can easily upcharge."
Part of the program's appeal to resellers is a co-branding option that allows ISOs and other sellers to easily add their logos to the program, along with certain design and color scheme options, Miller pointed out.
"They can co-brand it and make it look like it's owned by the ISO or MLS," he said. "We let them drive it, and get it set up with a color scheme and logos. They can do all that within a few minutes."
On the front-end, PayLeap offers all of today's POS services, including gift card and loyalty card programs, PIN debit, automated clearing house and electronic check acceptance, along with recurring billing and invoicing, Miller said.
PayLeap can be used with brick-and-mortar, e-commerce and mobile acceptance, and merchants with multiple front-ends can have them seamlessly integrated, allowing the merchant to connect with a single gateway and view their entire reporting suite in one consolidated virtual portal, according to Miller.
Miller said the company's program has "the highest level available" of Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) compliance. It can verify the proper cardholder with online purchases by using both the Address Verification Service and Card Verification Number, and it reduces the PCI scope of electronic merchants and mobile merchants by keeping card information away from the merchant environment, Miller added.
"Payment information stays on our system the entire time - it is never in the merchant's possession," Miller said. "That guards the data and prevents the merchant from having to undergo an audit."
Consumers who decide to buy something online from a PayLeap merchant are redirected to PayLeap's shopping cart, but that page is called up instantly and is designed to match the texture of a merchant's website. That way, consumers don't ever feel like they're leaving the merchant's site, which reduces shopper abandonment and virtually eliminates the scope of PCI compliance, according to Miller.
On the back-end, PayLeap can integrate virtually any type of payment software - making it a virtually limitless platform for POS add-ons. According to Miller, PayLeap's API framework makes it easy for developers to integrate new software pieces, as well as for merchants of different types to integrate the program and tailor it to their needs.
For example, Miller said PayLeap is a leading brand among medical billing entities, providing a customized system that can bill both insurance companies and customer co-pays. "The system allows a medical billing firm to submit an electronic invoice to the patient," he said.
Virtually any device that has a Universal Serial Bus port, including any computer or mobile phone, can be turned into a card-present POS system through the attachment of a MagTek Inc. swipe terminal and the installation of PayLeap, Miller noted.
He said that unlike some legacy platforms, PayLeap uses state of the art technology that gives it across the board compatibility with existing computers, smart phones and POS systems. The flexibility of its back-end API also makes PayLeap ready for any new technological developments down the road, which can be seamlessly integrated without overhauling the program, Miller added.
In discussing mobile payment acceptance, Miller said, "There are two schools of thought about where it's going. There's the Square school of thought ... and there's the point of view that the future will be NFC [near field communication].
"With either one, we can code right into the developer's program. We're robust enough to basically do whatever the developer wants. Some gateways out there can't add features because their platforms are too old."
PayLeap's API consists of five components: transaction services, reporting, hosted payment form, secure data storage (recurring billing and card vault), and secure checkout.
Developers and other resellers can sell all five components as the total bundled solution, sell single components individually or sell any combination of them, making it easy to tailor the program to a merchant's specific needs without superfluous add-ons, according to Miller.
"In the past, the web developers had to develop all these different pieces separately," Miller said. "They had to integrate web services; they had to integrate recurring billing; they had to integrate reporting.
"Let's say they only need transaction services. They need to send us data, and we send back an authorization yes or no. We can easily give them just that, whereas other providers may need the recurring billing function and the secure data storage. ... Whatever they want to take from it, they can."
While partners don't have to install every feature, those that opt out of certain features but want to add them later can do so free of cost, Miller pointed out. "We're not going to do à la carte recurring billing, shopping cart and other add-ons," Miller said. "With this you have one simple solution with everything, so there's less complication around pricing."
For instance, a merchant who accepts card payments at his or her brick-and-mortar store but wishes to add a virtual shopping front can use PayLeap specifically for that purpose. "Using, for example, TSYS as a primary provider, we can provide a gateway to TSYS and, through them, integrate it with their technology," Miller said.
Miller added that PayLeap's user-friendly technology makes it easy to install, although PayLeap can do installations itself if merchant providers prefer, and the company also provides direct technical phone support.
On top of that, PayLeap can conduct merchant boarding for ISOs that sell the product to new merchant customers but lack the time or inclination to undergo the application process.
"If the merchant provider sends us a lead, we will bundle the process from start to finish," he said. "We set up the account, get the documents signed and get them over to the payment provider. ... We cater to whatever the ISO or software provider wants. If someone sends us 100 leads to work with, we'll do it."
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