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BNA Smart Payment Systems, Ltd.

MLS contact:

Matt Moore, President
Phone: 905-939-9537

Company address:

314 Main Street
Schomberg, Ontario L0G 1T0 Canada
Phone: 905-939-9537
Fax: 905-939-9540
Web site:

MLS benefits:

  • Ethernet and TCP/IP connectivity
  • Loyalty and stored-value programs
  • Complete turn-key solution, enabling sales rep to simply sell the product and let BNA take care of the rest
  • North American distributor of C-ZAM/SMASH point-of-sale terminal

All You Have To Do Is Sell the Terminal

As point-of-sale terminals and the applications that run on them grow more sophisticated and bounteous, many ISOs find themselves working harder to keep up with the pace of the market. They spend more time with their merchants, more time learning about the products and even more time trying to differentiate features and benefits offered by various manufacturers and application developers. BNA Smart Payment Systems wants to keep it simple for ISOs, so it offers an all-in-one solution. BNA calls it a "total solution."

"The ISOs have done an incredible job of deploying a huge number of terminals in the U.S. marketplace," said BNA President Matt Moore. "As the terminals become more and more sophisticated, [ISOs] have to do a lot more handholding, which is keeping them out of sales, which is preventing them from making the money."

Moore and Mike Sorbara, Executive Vice President of BNA, are payment industry veterans who came together in early January 2002 with one goal: putting together a total solution that would enable the ISO to focus on what he or she does best: sell to the merchant. Through partnerships and its own staff, BNA would handle the rest - the applications, downloads, key injections, merchant support, training, help desk support, etc.

"The ISO is freed up to keep doing what he is doing: calling on the merchants, getting more terminals deployed and earning his living," said Moore.

An independent company, BNA consists of 14 professionals who develop and market a suite of certified payment applications. The company is also the North American distributor of the C-ZAM/SMASH point-of-sale terminal, manufactured by Banksys, a Belgium-based company.

Perhaps it is easier to explain the features and functions of the C-ZAM/SMASH terminal than the origin of its mysterious European name. "The name 'SMASH' obviously refers to the hit that it's going to be in North America," Sorbara joked.

The C-ZAM/SMASH is a sophisticated multi-application terminal with a large memory capacity of 20 megabytes and two 32-bit processors - an application and a security processor - and a magnetic stripe and chip card reader. The terminal supports credit, debit and stored-value cards. It runs on a Java operating system (Java Virtual Machine) designed by Sun Microsystems, Inc. and has an open architecture that easily integrates with other payment systems and various peripherals and printers.

"We've been extremely happy with [the C-ZAM/SMASH]," said Moore. "From a quality perspective, we really put it through its paces during an initial development effort. We've thrown an awful lot at it, and it's come through first rate."

Since the C-ZAM/SMASH contains interchangeable communication cards, the terminal can support a dial-up, lease-line or wireless environment, which includes wide area networks (GSM and GPRS) and local area networks - specifically, wireless Ethernet capability with TCP/IP connectivity.

Moore said one of the things currently generating the biggest interest for BNA is the Ethernet/TCP/IP configuration of the C-ZAM/SMASH terminal. "Ethernet and TCP/IP are standards that have been around since the late '70s," said Moore. "It's new to the POS environment, however. It's a lot quicker transaction. We're seeing anything from a three- to five-second response."

After BNA secured North American distribution rights for the Banksys C-ZAM/SMASH terminal in October 2001, Moore said the company's first order of business was to develop applications that would run on the device so it could start marketing and selling the product. "If you've got a multi-application terminal, it's not a lot of good unless you have multiple applications to go on it," he said. Because of the terminal's design and open architecture, it can support an unlimited number of custom applications from loyalty programs to smart vouchers, access control and lunch vouchers.

BNA chose to develop the terminal's applications in the programming language Java in order to be able to quickly develop and customize programs to meet the ever-increasing demands of the marketplace.

"As the ISO market and the merchants come up with unique requirements, we can respond to those extremely fast because of Java," said Moore. "The times of taking a year to develop even a simple feature don't exist in our environment anymore. We're able to develop applications, and it's down to months, sometimes even weeks now. The time savings is incredible."

Within BNA's first year of business, it was certified with six U.S. processors (the company holds 14 total certifications). "It's all about time to market," said Moore. "We're pretty proud of the fact that within 12 months we managed to get six applications out, certified, that basically can be deployed today."

BNA is credit- and debit-certified with processors Paymentech, Vital Processing Services, NOVA Information Systems, FDR Omaha, FDMS Nashville (credit only), Global East and Tranvia, with industry segments of general retail, restaurant, hotel/lodging, and auto rental. Paymentech and Vital also have certified BNA for EBT.

"We write to the specifications of the processor - that's standard, obviously - and we've also included a lot of value and features that we think the ISOs/merchants are looking for and have been asking for the last couple of years," said Sorbara.

Some of these value-added features include multi-language support; multi-merchant support (Sorbara described a doctor's office, for example, where several doctors share one terminal); the ability to split payment among multiple patrons, such as at a restaurant; deferring payments until a certain time in the future, as agreed upon between the merchant and the customer; and recurring payments, which allow payments to be made in increments over time as opposed to paying all at once.

BNA also offers various reporting features, such as running reports by clerk or by shift/ tab management - a merchant can run a tab or a receivable against a customer for any length of time, and the terminal manages that. "These are all features that are included in our application regardless of what processor we're certified with," said Sorbara.

In addition to Banksys, BNA has sought out several other companies as partners to offer a total solution to ISOs. "Our philosophy has been, 'Why reinvent the wheel?' If there are solutions out there, if there are experts that are available and they do their job very well, then those are the ones we want to partner with," said Sorbara. "We think that with this type of arrangement, our offering is going to be that much stronger to the ISO."

BNA has partnered with Toronto-based KESM Transaction Solutions, Inc., an application service provider for the payment industry. KESM manages BNA's developers, professional services group and merchant support help desk, and also provides BNA with access to the software for the Catuity Loyalty program, which BNA has selected to offer as its loyalty card program of choice.

The loyalty program can be smart card-based or magnetic stripe-based. "A lot of the focus seems to be on the smart card," said Sorbara. "I think the reason for that is that it's a differentiator. There's been a lot of talk in the marketplace about smart cards with Visa and Amex. I think everyone wants to be involved in that."

BNA designed the loyalty program to be flexible for both ISO and merchant. ISOs can offer their merchants a customizable solution; for instance, merchants can put their own logo on the loyalty card, if desired. And merchants can give the cards to customers or sell them if preferred.

BNA provides the ISO with reports on the merchant's activity so the ISO can monitor the success of the program. If activity is low (few cards being used or activated), the ISO can follow up with the merchant. If activity is high, the ISO can ask if he or she needs more cards and in turn, can make more sales and more revenue.

"The ISO participates in that - he earns additional revenue through the program, the way we've set it up," said Moore. "We think there is a big incentive there for them. It also keeps communication in that relationship between ISO and merchant more consistent because they are in contact while the programs are running."

BNA structured its program in a way that would be acceptable to the merchant: a low flat monthly rate with no transaction fees associated with it.

"These are things our ISOs have told us they needed in this type of solution, so we've met those requirements," said Sorbara. "It's a robust system that we actually have, but the way that it's presented to the merchant and ISO, we've taken all the complexity and hard work and made it as simple as possible for them. They just have to run the program."

BNA's primary objective is to get to the ISO market, so it's just a matter of getting the word out. "This isn't something that is coming. Everything is done, ready, available and can ship today," said Moore. "We have the processors, we have the certifications, we have the additional functionality." BNA also has partnered with CIT Leasing for its leasing program.

"What we've tried to put together is a total package," Moore said. "It's a total turn-key solution for an ISO where he can actually go out, sell the product, call us and we'll take care of everything after that. Or he can do an a la carte menu if he doesn't require all services.

"We'll continue to listen to what the ISOs have to say, and we'll continue to provide them with the solutions that they are looking for."

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