When payments industry veterans John Lomax and Mark Sodon co-founded Fusion in February 2013, both were looking for a different approach to merchant acquiring. Neither was satisfied with the status quo. They believe their company has since distinguished itself by introducing innovative business solutions that go beyond the traditional realm of check, credit and gift card payment services.
"We took the approach of using technology and the attractiveness of the brand to sell people, instead of just the normal, typical merchant services pitch," said Lomax, who currently serves Fusion as Executive Member. "We wanted to combine different business solutions into one, hence the name Fusion, to provide a one-stop shop for business services."
While strategic partnerships with POS companies are part of the package, broader offerings paint the longer term picture. "We also market commercial phone systems for businesses and lower the fees that they pay for their phone service each month," Lomax noted. "We offer a digital loyalty program, which actually does text message, social media and email marketing for retail establishments." But that's only the beginning.
Fusion plans to steadily roll out new services and fully support them in the process. "Now that we have an established client base, we can start focusing on some of the ideas we had when we first started coming up with the idea to fuse all these solutions into one," he said.
The company recently launched Fusion Funds, its cash advance and lending arm, which provides working capital to businesses. During the first year, Fusion also added the Fusion Cares Program to the roster. With this program, a portion of proceeds from everyday purchases at participating Fusion merchants can be designated for donation to charitable organizations. Another division being launched will work with merchants to build their websites, so they can establish an e-commerce presence. "If a merchant comes to us and they want to set up e-commerce, but they don't have a website, now we don't have to outsource it," Lomax said. "We can actually handle it in-house."
Fusion executives are quick to point out that with each new offering, they are able to streamline programs to fit individual niche markets. For example, larger organizations such as chambers of commerce need special treatment and can be financially rewarding if set up properly.
Fusion has developed a program which ISO partners can use to effectively target the chambers of commerce in their respective communities. "We use the chambers as the outlet to get us in front of their members, and we reward the chamber with either upfront or residual income for referring us to their members," Lomax said.
Awareness continues to grow of the importance of taking a consultative approach to selling, and Fusion offers extensive training in this area. "My training is more based on the relationship and not the actual product, because you can't even get to the product if the relationship is not solid," Lomax said.
When a merchant level salesperson trained by Fusion first approaches a merchant, there is no immediate sales pitch. "They're literally questioning the merchants on how they run their business," he said. "We go in to do a full analysis of the business, almost like a management consultant, but we develop it for the processing end and then bring some of our other services to the table, if needed, depending on the answers we receive from merchants. We develop each solution around how the actual company works."
Thus, Fusion touts itself as the next generation in payment solutions on a mission to simplify and modernize the way people do business by providing innovative, state-of-the-art credit card processing services for the modern business world. In addition, the company stated it offers several ISO programs with flexibility to match personal preferences and around-the-clock customer support to ensure complete satisfaction.
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