In 2016, SignaPay founder and CEO John Martillo and Matt Nern, the company's managing partner, began to explore innovative approaches to cash discounting. The stakes were high for this relatively new concept: they believed their efforts would either fizzle or reignite a maturing, consolidated payments industry. With that in mind, they set out to blaze a new path forward for ISOs, merchant level salespeople (MLSs) and their merchant customers.
At SignaPay, Martillo and Nern had seen firsthand the challenges facing ISO partners and small and midsize merchants, such as staffing shortages, competition and ever-increasing overhead. They created PayLo, which they described as a simple cash discount program, to offset these challenges and drive new revenue streams. The program, now in its fifth year, is used by more than 30,000 merchants nationwide, Martillo stated.
"SignaPay services small to midsize businesses, both ISOs and merchants, nationwide, and it's no secret that owning such a business is challenging to say the least," Martillo said. "As a wholesale payment processor, PayLo is our flagship product, but we're also well versed in the high-risk space and place traditional processing merchants as well."
Martillo went on to say that he, Nern and much of SignaPay's management team have either sold on the street or been merchants themselves. It's that real-life understanding that drives our team to offer a better processing experience to our partners and merchants, he stated.
Nern agreed, noting that SignaPay is proud of its merchant services heritage. "We may not have been the first to the cash discount dance, but we're the first to do the program the right way, which means learning, growing and evolving as you go," he said. "Through guidance from the card brands, our sponsor banks, and a litany of recognized attorney generals and legal counsel, our program stands today as the industry's gold standard."
Reflecting on PayLo's journey, Nern said the program began five years ago in Los Angeles and boarded 500 merchants nationally within the first three months. By 2018, SignaPay had boarded 10,000 PayLo merchants in 49 states, he added. The company went on to open offices in South Carolina, Illinois and New York and grew its merchant base to 25,000 during the height of the pandemic, Nern said.
Despite its exponential growth, PayLo has maintained highly personal relationships with its partners, resellers and service providers while earning its partners' trust through its consistent performance and their customers' longevity, Nern stated. SignaPay partners are not only making more money, he said, but their merchants aren't attritting at the same level as they would if they had been enrolled in a traditional processing program.
"Our partners are confident that their relationship with SignaPay places an emphasis on their growth and servicing the needs of their merchants," Nern said. "PayLo is now a nationally recognized brand with tens of thousands of merchants benefitting from the unique revenue producing advantages the program offers."
Nern further noted that SignaPay employs an in-house proprietary risk management system to continuously monitor usage, trends and fraud. The system will automatically notify our partners if any processing falls outside its normal scope, he stated, adding that these efforts are part of SignaPay's overall commitment to maximize the PayLo experience to the benefit of all involved.
Martillo agreed, pointing out that SignaPay continues to invest in its partners and has SignaPay-branded satellite offices throughout the Southeast, Midwest and Northeast regions of the United States. "We'll continue to place an emphasis on growing with our partners," he said. "From marketing campaigns to loans to investments in our partners, we're committed to leveraging the PayLo brand and positioning our partners for continued growth and success."
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