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Accelerating integrated payments

As the payments industry has evolved in the last few decades, many of its influencers have followed. Some have ventured beyond the industry; others continue to focus on meeting the demands of the dynamic, evolving payments sphere. Payments pioneer Brian Shanahan is among the latter. With nearly 30 years dedicated to the payments industry, Shanahan is known for founding private payment firms and transforming them into publicly traded, enterprise entities.

Pittsburgh-based Pineapple Payments is Shanahan's fifth payments business. He founded it in 2016, along with entrepreneur and co-founder Jon Halpern. Shanahan serves as CEO, Halpern as president. Shanahan believes the company's strength lies in its relationships. "Pineapple's ability to differentiate ourselves relies on our ability to help partners compete in the marketplace," he said. "We do that by giving them comprehensive payment solutions that improve their proposition."

Building core strength

Pineapple Payments has nearly 50 employees, a payments platform, and a robust suite of value-added tools at its core. The firm describes itself as a "payments technology company that provides payment processing, proprietary technology, and omnichannel payment acceptance solutions for merchants of all shapes and sizes." Focused primarily on outfitting resellers with application programming interface (API)-based solutions, Pineapple supports everything from hosted payment pages and recurring billing to online invoice management and integrated applications for QuickBooks.

Since the company's inception, its leadership team has strategically utilized investment capital for acquisitions and to drive organic sales distribution. "We've had eight acquisitions in the last three years," Shanahan said, describing them as "a combination of both portfolio and company acquisitions." The purchase of Chicago-based Transax in 2018 enhanced Pineapple's complement of proprietary solutions with payment gateway and omnichannel capabilities. According to one company representative, it was a pivotal acquisition that enabled Pineapple to position more prominently as both a payments and technology company.

"This really takes Pineapple Payments' technology to a very different level," Halpern stated shortly after the deal was announced. "These guys at Transax have created a fully integrated payment gateway, as well as a payments platform, and they've developed a number of value-added features."

Onward and outward

Pineapple targets relationships with independent software vendors (ISVs) and other industry resellers by offering its proprietary, omnichannel platform to help partners monetize solutions in a scalable environment. "We talk about omnichannel payments because that's what merchants and partners need to be successful," Halpern said. "They need tools that eliminate inefficiencies and span all areas of operations, and Pineapple's out-of-the-box payment solutions and APIs make it faster and easier for merchants and partners to scale their business."

Pineapple's platform features ready-to-go solutions and also supports custom integrations. The packaged solutions, such as Pineapple's desktop and online QuickBooks APIs, are tailored to provide merchants with maximum business flexibility. "Our proprietary QuickBooks integrated app is a prime example of streamlining workflow and reducing duplicate data entry," Halpern noted. "Merchants get seamless access to process new QuickBooks payments and sync functionality to reconcile payments back." Halpern indicated the partner benefits as well. "It's not just merchants who benefit either," he said. "By leveraging our integration, ISVs can automatically sync payments from their software back to QuickBooks without writing one single line of QuickBooks-related code."

More technology to come

According to Pineapple's leadership, the plan is to continue building the technology team and developing new technologies to increase distribution channels and meet the unique and varied needs of partners. "ISVs can integrate to Pineapple's APIs to build their own offering," Shanahan said. "ISOs can white label our solutions to build their own brand, and strategic partners can leverage Pineapple as a financial asset, receiving upfront and long-term investments to bolster growth and rollout. Our vision, to make commerce easy and accessible in a variety of different markets, is made possible through our powerful relationships and partner networks." end of article

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Company Profile originally appeared in
The Green Sheet Issue 200102

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