Founded in 1996, Total Merchant Services is primed for expansion as a merchant acquirer. This follows a recent expansion and the April 2014 release of its Groovv portfolio of small business solutions.
"Just as Total revolutionized the credit card processing industry 18 years ago by being the first company to offer a free placement program, we are reinventing ourselves with Groovv," stated Joe Kaplan, Chief Executive Officer at TMS. "We are transforming ourselves from a credit card processor to a small business solutions provider with innovative, scalable and secure products and services that help small businesses succeed."
To accommodate the transition, TMS moved last year from Colorado to a larger 50,000 square-foot facility in Southern California that houses collaboration rooms, state-of-the-art training facilities and an employee gym. "Los Angeles has a lot of payment processing and technology companies around it, in it," Kaplan said. "So we have a much larger pool of labor." TMS also expanded into Canada, opening an office in Toronto spearheaded by Tom Dolan, the company's Canada General Manager.
As Kaplan described it, Groovv brings together a suite of business solutions in a user-friendly interface that enables merchants to transact, manage and grow their businesses. The suite features six bundled offerings and three core offerings. More offerings are planned for the future.
The first is Groovv Register, a tablet-based POS system that operates on Android-based devices and features back-end online management of devices and inventory. Built for both single-lane and multilane environments, Groovv Register comes with multiple bundled hardware options. The system is powered by the technology formerly known as Registroid, developed by Registroid LLC and acquired by TMS in September 2013.
Groovv Offers, the company's second Groovv product, is powered by technology formerly known as Fanminder Offers developed by Fanminder. TMS acquired Fanminder in January 2012. With this program merchants can create, send and track promotions using web-based templates to offer discounts through social media, mobile devices, email and websites. Through the online forms and import tools provided, merchants are able to build customer contact databases.
Groovv API, an open application programming interface, is the third Groovv offering. According to Kaplan, it is a "really powerful, reliable and secure integration platform that offers third-party developers a way to integrate payments through us, and customer data, and online marketing services via Google Offers, for instance."
Kaplan believes the value proposition Groovv delivers will be an asset to TMS sales partners because it's a departure from traditional or app-based offerings. "Not having an app and cloud-based mentality in the payments business is going to really drive whether you succeed or fail," Kaplan said. "I think what sets us apart is we're designing products for the future."
With price alone no longer a sales advantage, the conversation for ISOs has shifted to solving merchant needs in response to changing consumer demands in a multichannel world. "For the first time, consumers are really driving it," Kaplan noted.
He said the byproduct of this new paradigm is that the value created by solving business needs results in lower attrition and greater loyalty. "That's why we created Groovv," he said. "In a hub-and-spoke model, my merchant can come to me and I can provide them with payments, offers and marketing coaching. They have to rely on me because I'm creating more value."
That value also extends to the company's partner program. "That's why I think for Total our sales partners are really going to benefit," Kaplan said. "Not only do we support them and have great bonuses, they're going to have amazing flexibility. We have great training. We care about their successes and want them to succeed. We want to help them move across the spectrum into the future."
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