At the May 2014 Cartes America conference in Las Vegas, Canada-based mobile POS firm AnywhereCommerce officially launched mSuite, and the Open SDK CorePay module of mSuite, for acquirers, ISOs and financial institutions. CorePay is designed for the emerging category of the independent software vendor (ISV). Mitchell Cobrin, AnywhereCommerce founder and Chief Executive Officer, said mSuite represents a paradigm shift in mobile payments.
The Green Sheet: Why is the market ripe for mSuite and CorePay? Mitchell Cobrin: There are a growing number of vertical-market solutions developers and integrators that want to add payment functionalities to their offerings, but are unfamiliar with the complexities and regulatory issues surrounding payments. Our SDK gives these providers drop-and-drag access to our complete, fully secure, PCI-compliant payment functionalities. Instead of spending weeks, if not months, developing their own payment acceptance features, they can integrate ours in as little as a day.
GS: Why should ISOs/processors resell the CorePay module?
MC: The CorePay product allows ISOs and processors to significantly expand their addressable market. Instead of the "business-as-usual" approach of providing card processing services to merchants, ISOs can now expand their base by offering payment features that can be bundled with other services like mobile marketing, to an entirely new market while leveraging the ISV and third-party developer channels.
GS: What types of apps does AnywhereCommerce hope developers will write via the CorePay guidelines and how will those apps drive business for merchants?
MC: There are a multitude of vertical market software solutions that are ideal for payments integration. Virtually every type of industry from restaurants to auto repair shops to limousine companies has a specific software package to help run the business. These are ideal environments for integrating mobile payment acceptance. There are literally hundreds of markets and sectors that share these dynamics.
GS: How does CorePay help a developer writing an app for a restaurant ordering application, as opposed to a different type of business such as a shoe store or apparel store?
MC: The CorePay product allows the developer to seamlessly integrate PCI compliant payment libraries into their market-specific application. Merchants, like restaurants, stores – and even not-for-profits – have their own specific software packages to maintain operations. CorePay allows the developer to integrate payment functionalities into their existing solution.
GS: How do you see AnywhereCommerce's role shifting in the future?
MC: We certainly see a gradual shift to providing software, and AnywhereCommerce has taken a quantum leap in that direction with the launch of our AnywhereCommerce mSuite mobile commerce platform. This offering combines our mPOS hardware with gateway services and payment acceptance software apps that are quickly gaining traction in the industry. Frankly, it's a trend that we see continuing for many years to come.
GS: What example can you give of a mobile platform that isn't flexible? And why are merchants frustrated with these types of platforms?
MC: There are many mobile commerce platforms in the market that support only a subset of devices or protocols. Many support Android and iOS phones, but not Windows or Windows Phone. Others may support phones, but not tablets. A lot of platforms provide payment acceptance, but not other solutions like mobile marketing and loyalty programs. By limiting the functionality and compatibility, these providers, in essence, are boxing merchants into a corner and minimizing their ability to serve the evolving desires and needs of the market.
GS: What advice would you give to ISOs that have relationships with large incumbent acquirers that may not offer the flexibility/functionality that AnywhereCommerce offers?
MC: We're now starting to see that accepting mobile payments is only the tip of the iceberg; the integration with EMV, mobile marketing, loyalty, and other location-based services will become even more compelling to providers and merchants. The newer entrants in the market have already recognized this and are working hard to take businesses away from legacy providers.
If ISOs are to continue providing value to their customers – and fend off this competition – it is imperative that they seek out alternative partners that can give them the resources and capabilities to serve their merchants. If they don't, they'll likely find themselves at a serious disadvantage in a very short time.
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