Introduced to the payments industry when he was a college student, Taufiq Mithani focused initially on honing his sales skills and mastering the industry's complexities. Then, at the age of 20, he developed a business plan.
Convinced his son's plan was solid, Mithani's businessman father agreed to invest seed capital to launch The Merchant Solutions in 2006. "He had faith in me," said Mithani, who serves as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of TMS. "One thing led to another, and we're doing extremely well right now."
Today, practices like making routine follow-up calls to ensure merchant satisfaction, are well ingrained in the TMS corporate culture, Mithani noted.
"We work to help businesses maximize partner profits and create consistent value and support to our merchants," he said. "This is our mission. Everything we do reflects this mission and the values that make it possible."
And TMS routinely bundles POS solutions based on agent preferences. The company offers over a dozen standard POS configurations for the retail sector and nearly as many in the restaurant sector.
TMS also provides virtual terminals and payment processing in multiple currencies depending on the sales channels and geographic regions merchants select. These choices can change as merchants establish and grow their businesses.
"We try to provide all the needed solutions for the merchant in-house, allowing them to have only one number to call when support is needed regardless of how they are set up," Mithani said. "We offer free POS systems, gift cards, gateway accounts, ACH [automated clearing house] billing, free terminal programs and website promotion."
The go-to source
In terms of a free, integrated systems offer, the TMS POS proprietary solution is installed free-of-charge as a service to retail and restaurant merchants who process payments through TMS. The basic system includes a touch-screen monitor, cash drawer and printer. Businesses may customize the system by adding such features as bar code scanners for retail establishments; remote printers and tablet devices can be bundled to help restaurants operate more efficiently.
"We also have online ordering that's integrated into the system as well," Mithani said. "When you set up a restaurant, [customers] can actually order from their phone and send that directly into the POS system."
Another service TMS provides is search engine optimization (SEO), to benefit both merchant level salespeople (MLSs) and merchants.
"If you're an agent that focuses on online accounts, gateway accounts, every online account needs SEO in order to drive traffic to their website," he said. "You can't just get a website and expect traffic to come to you. We will help you with that, and agents can actually get a revenue stream."
One reason for extending value-added services like SEO is the stickiness factor. "So a merchant who wants an online account, we're the merchant processor," he said. "We're also your gateway and your web guy.
"Instead of sending our merchants to so many different vendors, we're really trying to focus on getting all that in-house, so we can capture them from their websites to their social media marketing to advertising for their businesses and really become that one-house ISO."
Mithani said accomplishing this goal will require continued investment in the TMS programming division. "We're working on social media marketing through our POS system right now," he said. He added that over the next few years, the company will focus on developing new technologies in tandem with launching innovative products, so merchants will have a single source for all their vendor needs.
According to Mithani, the top five benefits for ISOs and MLSs who partner with TMS are its competitive split and bonus program, dedicated support team, flexibility in account control, innovative technology and updated programs, and a strong commitment to fulfilling business needs and building accounts.
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