The Green Sheet Online Edition
July 14, 2014 • Issue 14:07:01
Meet the Expert
Sam Zietz, Chief Executive Officer and founder of TouchSuite, believes the success he has had in the payment processing space has been the result of his philosophy to always innovate. "MySpace came out and was obsolete all in a couple years," said Zietz, who is also a member of The Green Sheet Advisory Board. "I think you always have to stay in the forefront of where things are going otherwise you may find yourself owning 100 percent of the buggy whip industry." And stay in front of the industry he has. TouchSuite was recognized by Inc. magazine as one the fastest growing companies in the United States for the fifth time in 2013.
It would be easy to believe Zietz's professional background is steeped in the electronic payments industry, but before he founded TouchSuite in 2003, Zietz was a corporate attorney specializing in structured finance at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP. Zietz found his true calling while working there. "I loved everything about the securitization area, but it's one thing to do the legal work; it's another to actually have the company," he said. "And when I found the payment space over 13 years ago, it had all the ingredients in there. There were a lot more independent guys at that time who stumbled upon the space and built themselves a business."
TouchSuite is a financial technology company focused on the electronic payments space. When the company began it provided a touch screen system, but it has since evolved to offer a full range of products enhanced by a host of related services. "We are touching the merchant with a whole suite of products and services," Zietz said. "Our touch screen systems handle lots of different processing – merchant processing, inventory, payroll, marketing, appointment book, check processing. All of these have become a suite of products and services inside of our system."
The right touch
Today companies are more competitive than ever, often slashing prices to the bottom in an effort to increase market share. TouchSuite employs a different approach. "Our focus is how to differentiate ourselves by providing value based solutions to merchants," Zietz said. "Technology allows us to constantly evolve and stay in the forefront. One is being able to solve problems for our customers, because if you can solve their problems you have a client for life. From an attrition perspective and an origination perspective, that is a real value differentiator."
Zietz advised those who aspire to grow a payment business to not be like so many others who attempt to gain business by claiming they'll save merchants $20 to $50 per month if they switch processing to their company. Instead, he recommended telling merchants how you can help them generate an additional $5,000 to $10,000 a month. He then asked, if given a choice between the two options, "Who would you go with?"
When considering what the future holds, Zietz said, "The way to differentiate yourself in what is becoming a very commoditized space is to provide some sort of value. Through technology, we feel that we can provide those value solutions, whether it's through our point of sale suites or our other types of technology solutions. We provide tools and services that increase revenue and reduce cost to the business owner across their entire business, not just in the payment space. And since our payment processing is integrated, we promise to match whatever their rates were previously, so we're not going in there selling price."
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