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Opportune online transactions

Xpress-pay prides itself on helping businesses take full advantage of the ecommerce sphere. The software development company's clients transact almost exclusively online but usually don't encounter a high degree of risk because Express-pay serves relatively safe sectors, said Thomas Buttino, Director of Marketing for Systems East Inc., Xpress-pay's parent company. The company also provides cost-effective transactions for comparatively big-payment enterprises including those in the insurance premium finance, utility and government sectors, he stated.

What's more, client chargeback rates hover around 0.002 percent, the average ticket comes to $380, merchant attrition stands at less than 2 percent annually, and profit margins tend to beat those of brick-and-mortar merchants, Buttino said. Because the online transactions Xpress-pay facilitates aren't subject to the EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) liability shift, it hasn't had to deal much with EMV migration issues, he added.

Systems East opened its doors in upstate New York in 1981 to provide financial software solutions to municipalities; the company now operates a second office in Daytona Beach, Fla., and smaller offices in South Carolina and Arizona. It has customers throughout the United States and Canada, and is enhancing its website's back end in preparation to expand its network to Europe and other global regions.

Presenting many faces

Xpress-pay tailors online, mobile and interactive voice response (IVR) offerings to the roughly 35 verticals it serves, Buttino said. The most popular features include bill presentment and payment, and a secure payment portal connects directly to a merchant's online customer portal. "It's a payments ecosystem that merchants can live in to process their transactions," he said. About a dozen gateways link to Xpress-pay, according to Buttino. "We're agnostic on the backend as to organizations that process the transaction," he noted.

The company offers customization, but the core product carries enough features that customization's seldom needed, Buttino pointed out. It also provides white-label opportunities. "We offer a number of co-branding options to put our resellers and merchants at the forefront of the payment experience," he said.

Resellers include dozens of ISOs as well as merchant level salespeople, financial institutions and gateways. The company welcomes newcomers. "We want to work with more partners," Buttino said. "We know how to get resellers into the game in industries where there's not as much competition. We can speak the language of these industries."

The company charges merchants an upfront fee, which it shares with resellers, who also keep 100 percent of residuals and up to 20 percent of additional transaction fees. "We call this our 120 percent rev-share option," Buttino said. "Resellers can also opt for our simple buy-rate to lock in the simple pricing."

Xpress-pay has an in-house sales team but relies heavily upon resellers, Buttino said. Sales partners "can utilize our software to enter new verticals and get into emerging markets that are largely untouched," he said.

How a merchant pays for services varies by industry and by individual merchant needs. Typically, however, Xpress-pay charges an enrollment fee of perhaps $100; then it imposes a per-transaction fee, Buttino said. About half of the end users fall into the categories of utilities, government and insurance, he estimated. "Those would certainly be our top performers," he added.

Handling the outlandish

When Xpress-pay entered the payments business in 2005, its parent company had been developing software for government bodies for 24 years. Buttino believes those decades of experience have paid off in expertise.

"What separates us is the level of sophistication our software has and the flexibility it offers merchants," he said. "We're adept at creating solutions that handle even the more outlandish circumstances." By that, Buttino meant every municipality has its own ways of taking in revenue, thus complicating transactions; providing online transaction services for retailers seems "vastly more simple," he said, adding that Xpress-pay can handle those channels and more. end of article

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Company Profile originally appeared in
The Green Sheet Issue 160502

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