GS Logo
The Green Sheet, Inc

Please Log in

A Thing
View Archives

View PDF of this issue

Care to Share?

Table of Contents

Lead Story

Integrated systems create a new POS paradigm


Industry Update

Intuit's IMS ends agent program

Indictment halts the action for poker sites, processors

PayPal, Discover launch Money Messenger

Does certification without licensing make sense?

Selling Prepaid

Prepaid in brief

China's prepaid market a different world

Prepaid's unique way in India


Text message marketing, the other mobile

Pal Flagg
Street Savings

Meet The Expert: John Arato

Technology in the hospitality world

Press release power


Facts and figures from the feet on the street

Jeffrey Shavitz
Charge Card Systems Inc.


Street SmartsSM:
Let's reform our industry's education and training

Bill Pirtle
MPCT Publishing Co.

What tokenization is and isn't

Tim Cranny
Panoptic Security Inc.

Ask, don't sell

Jeff Fortney
Clearent LLC

How to use direct mail to build your business

Peggy Bekavac Olson
Strategic Marketing

Global opportunities mean global strategies

Caroline Hometh
RocketPay LLC

New Products

Tapping the government and education markets

Electronic Merchant Systems


Learn to make use of conflict


10 Years ago in
The Green Sheet


Resource Guide



2011 Calendar of events

A Bigger Thing

The Green Sheet Online Edition

May 09, 2011  •  Issue 11:05:01

previous next

New Products

Tapping the government and education markets

Product: ConvenuPAY

With budgetary cutbacks an ongoing concern, many public agencies and educational institutions want to trim costs and, until now, accepting card payments online was cost-prohibitive for most such organizations. ConvenuPAY by Electronic Merchant Systems offers a Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS)-compliant, web-based credit card payment application that enables agencies to process card transactions in real time and mitigate costs with a convenience fee.

According to EMS President Dan Neistadt, card acceptance in this space has been minimal. "Quite often, they are not accepting cards or they accepted cards in the past," he said. "Especially in a municipality situation, they stopped taking cards. They didn't think it was fair passing that cost across all constituents, including ones that don't pay by credit card. So [ConvenuPay] gives them the ability to charge a fee for the convenience of using that plastic card for payment."

While card company rules vary, a provision exists whereby public agencies and educational institutions can charge a convenience fee to cardholders who have chosen to opt in. Neistadt said the fee is set to cover interchange and service costs; in the case of ConvenuPAY, these include a licensing fee for each account activated. Agencies are then able to integrate an unlimited number of individuals on multiple levels at no additional cost.

How it works

ConvenuPAY's Virtual Point of Sale program features a virtual terminal interface for processing face-to-face or back-office transactions. A unique identifier function permits clients to update internal and external billing systems. The navigation tools direct office personnel to a secure payment page that integrates with existing websites. The fill-in form on the customer-facing payment page includes the required cardholder opt-in and calculates convenience fees automatically.

According to EMS, a city government can implement the program across all city departments that accept credit card payments. Clients can control which departments employees have access to and define user roles. ConvenuPAY allows each department to maintain compliance with card brand convenience-fee requirements regardless of merchant category code, acceptance environment or card types accepted.

The ISO appeal

After extensive research, EMS determined the time was ripe to enter these virtually untapped institutional markets, but it had to eliminate cost and regulation as barriers to card acceptance. EMS was also convinced that payment volume in these markets is more stable than in the traditional merchant sphere and could ultimately lead to steady, long-term revenue for merchant level salespeople. As to what the sales cycles are for these entities, Merrell Sheehan, Vice President of Product Development for EMS, said, "In a small entity, we're seeing 30 to 60 days; larger entities take longer. It all depends on where you start and where they are in their budget cycle. We have found that this is somewhat of a specialized sale. We're here to help our agents and direct salespeople relative to the sale, but we do need somebody that has sold in this space before."

According to Sheehan, finance directors typically make purchasing decisions for educational institutions, but this is not the case for government agencies. Depending on the size of the city or municipality, buying decisions can be made by a mayor, an executive director or a department head, he said.

For ISOs interested in creating a service bureau-type of payment offering, ConvenuPAY's aggregator can centralize payment processing with an unlimited number of institutions. The company offers a web-based, on-demand training program for agents and prospective clients.

Electronic Merchant Systems

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

previous next

Spotlight Innovators:

North American Bancard | USAePay | Board Studios