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Platform reaches lucrative vertical markets

In business since 1999, YapStone Inc. has endeavored to establish itself as a payments leader in specific vertical markets, namely multifamily housing, vacation rentals, homeowners associations, storage facilities and nonprofit organizations. Through its customizable payments platform, businesses that typically rely on paper check payments can add credit and debit card, automated clearing house and cash payments, whether doing business online, by phone or in person.

"The industries that YapStone serves are dominated by the paper check," said Tom Villante, co-founder and Chairman of YapStone. "Our objective is to disrupt these industries by offering a robust payment platform combined with deep vertical expertise that makes life easier for everyone involved."

For Villante and his YapStone co-founder, Matt Golis, the original vision was to develop a payment processing product that would serve the multifamily housing industry. When they introduced RentPayment, their first vertical-focused payment solution, it was considered revolutionary.

That's because, for the first time, property management companies were able to accept credit card and electronic check payments for rent, deposits and apartment expenses, which made it significantly easier to close leases and collect rent on time, YapStone noted. Over the years, the company has invested in the sustained growth of RentPayment through the acquisition of such entities as eRentPayer and PropertyBridge.

Vertical expansionism

Building upon its experience in the multifamily industry, YapStone has extended its platform to other vertical markets, including the vacation rental property industry. In 2005, it launched VacationRentPayment; later it introduced HolidayRentPayment in Europe, with coverage in 14 countries and growing.

In 2010, YapStone partnered with HomeAway, one of the world's largest online vacation rental marketplaces and owner of Vacation Rentals By Owner (VRBO). According to YapStone, four years into the partnership, payment volume through this partnership has accelerated at an annual growth rate of 130 percent year-over-year.

"We see significant opportunities to connect buyers and sellers, landlords and renters, and hosts and travelers with our payment platform," said Golis, who serves as YapStone Chief Executive Officer. "We are excited to contribute to our partners’ success by combining our payment expertise and industry acumen with their business goals. By adding value throughout the transaction process, we go way beyond just taking a payment."

Today YapStone's payment platform encompasses such other verticals as StorageRentPayment for storage unit businesses, DuesPayment to accommodate homeowners' association assessments, InnPayment for bed and breakfast properties, and ParishPay for automating donation payments in faith-based and nonprofit organizations.

And vertical expansion continues. In 2013, YapStone's payment solution for faith-based donations, ParishPay, established a strategic partnership with Cathedral Corp., a provider of Catholic stewardship envelope and offertory enhancement. Through this partnership, electronic payments are now available as an option to more than 6,000 Catholic churches in the United States.

Poised for growth

In the past year, YapStone also added several executives to its senior management team, bringing in talent from PayPal Inc., Square Inc., Visa Inc., and Yahoo! Inc. Among them, mobile payment veteran Tim Armandpour, formerly with PayPal, Zong and SendMe, became Senior Vice President of Engineering and Technology. And PayPal veteran Kelly Kay signed on as President and Chief Operating Officer.

Today YapStone prides itself on delivering deep vertical market payment experience to thousands of partners. In 2013, the company reported that it processed millions of electronic payments totaling billions of dollars in transaction volume and that revenue grew 35 percent year-over-year, adding to its long record of continued profitability – now at 28 consecutive quarters.

As YapStone continues to focus on the growth of existing verticals and expansion into new markets it believes will benefit from its sophisticated technology, the company welcomes entrepreneurial agents willing to forge new paths. YapStone has offices in San Francisco; Santa Monica, Calif.; and Drogheda, Ireland. end of article

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Company Profile originally appeared in
The Green Sheet Issue 140601

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