Company: Settlement Data Systems
Settlement Data Systems launched Pioneer, a software-as-as-service (SaaS) solution designed to reinvigorate ISOs by supporting their unique operational needs. The processor-agnostic platform can help payment processors and ISOs improve margins by giving them more control of their merchant portfolios, according to Kevin Smith, CEO at Settlement Data Systems.
ISOs that resell the same products from big processors have few ways to differentiate, Smith noted. "Competing on price alone is a race to the bottom and it's one of the main reasons ISO margins have sharply declined in recent years," he said. "With Pioneer, ISOs have a way to compete by customizing their services specifically for their business model. They can easily manage those services from the central platform of Pioneer, and even better, at a reduced cost."
Smith also mentioned that Pioneer was developed several years ago to support his wholesale ISO business, Secure Bancard. When he saw Pioneer's potential to help other ISOs, he quickly pivoted to turn it into an SaaS solution. "As soon as we implemented Pioneer for our own ISO, we substantially increased our profit margin, reduced utilization of our existing staff by roughly 40 percent across various operational areas, and received overwhelmingly positive feedback from our selling agents," Smith said. "We knew we were onto something."
Created for ISOs by ISOs, Pioneer cuts merchant portfolio management costs, replacing costly outside services with a user-friendly account management dashboard, the company stated. The following features and benefits enable participating ISOs to keep more of the money they earn, according to Settlement Data:
Settlement Data Systems also provides an underwriting and boarding product, Payment Prospector, a complementary product to the Pioneer merchant management platform. Combined capabilities of the two software products enable ISOs to manage the entire merchant lifecycle, from underwriting to onboarding to residual revenue streams, within a single platform, the company noted.
Elaina Smith, CFO at Settlement Data Systems, stated that Pioneer is designed to help ISOs overcome top challenges. The platform can reduce and eliminate common problems such as shrinking profit margins, inaccurate financial data, merchant funding errors, unreliable and disconnected software systems, cash flow delays, complicated residual calculations, over-billing from third party vendors and merchant losses based on bad risk or incomplete data, she added
It's common practice for ISOs to handle risk on one platform, merchant funding on another, and customer service on yet another, Smith noted. "Pioneer brings it all into one place so that ISOs have complete control over their merchant portfolios on one platform," she said. "If a merchant is held for risk in Pioneer or they have an ACH Return come in for 'account frozen,' there's no need to go to a separate system to stop them from getting funded that day."
ISOs processing on multiple platforms can see all of their data in one place with Pioneer, Smith stated, adding that Pioneer also enables sponsor banks with view of all of their ISO business, which they can use for risk management purposes or to white-label the solution so that all of their ISOs are running their business on the same platform.
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