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MLS contact:

John Allen Tharpe
Senior Vice President
Business Development and Strategic Alliances
626-744-7700, ext. 820

Company address:

959 E. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91106
Phone: 626-744-7700
Fax: 626-628-3864

MLS benefits:

  • Open Source applications greatly expand solutions to solve each merchant's challenges
  • Solutions put the MLS in a consultant role, enabling long-term merchant relationships
  • Residuals paid for life of the account
  • High-tech, low-touch solutioning for hassle-free selling

Open Source Applications for Each and Every Individual Solution

This might sound familiar: wrestling with a computer program, struggling to get it to do what you were hoping it would. You try tweaking and coaxing, but the darn thing just won't budge. It's a battle that usually ends in frustration for the user, who has to succumb to working around the software's limitations.

Proprietary, or closed-sourced software is convenient, but its preset features and functions might not provide the best tools for the job-when it comes to bathing suits, shoes and especially business solutions, one size never fits all.

If there are specific issues inherent to your customers' processing environment, think Open Source. The people at TrustCommerce did in developed their solutions for merchant services clients and those in industries including health care and mortgage lending.

Since 1999, TrustCommerce has provided solutions for a variety of commerce enterprises based on Open Source programming.

It also provides professional services including consulting, engineering services, software development, systems integration and system security.

Its IP transaction and payment processing applications are fast, comprehensive, secure and flexible, giving clients the ability to adapt the applications to their own needs and integrate them into their own specific environments.

"We custom-build applications," said John Allen Tharpe, TrustCommerce's Senior Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Alliances. "Our products and solutions are client-driven. We build what the merchant community desires. They're guaranteed, reliable, fast, secure, work painlessly and are easy to integrate. The clients can see what they're embedding into their own system.

"Our competition delivers shrink-wrapped solutions," he said. "Merchants look at those and find 80-90% functionality coverage. They may like certain features, but often require exacting, industry-centric functions to achieve 100% of their needs. Having the ability to acquiesce to client requirements provides us with a tremendous competitive advantage."

The company's principals are all industry veterans, Tharpe said; for example, he spent 12 years in acquiring, selling merchant card processing services and as an e-commerce specialist.

Tharpe compared the theory behind Open Source applications to buying a new car. In a closed-sourced environment, it's proprietary. At that car lot, the salesperson won't allow buyers to look under the hood to view the processing engine. Who wants buy a car with the hood welded shut?

"In Open Source environments, though, it's 180 degrees opposite," he said. "The salesperson lifts the hood and buyers can examine everything. This way, the client can analyze and determine if the processing engine code is well written or appropriate."

This dramatically changes the playing field of software development. Users benefit from the labor of everyone else and adapt code written by others to their exact needs.

Open Source software is more thorough and secure since the author knows that every line of code can be audited by anyone in the world. Linux is probably the best-known and most widely used Open Source program; IBM is a major Open Source user and supporter. TrustCommerce's software engineers and designers work with their clients to develop customized solutions. "We enable our customers with the ability to process transactions so it makes sense to their business models," Tharpe said.

TrustCommerce has a number of payment processing products and services available through wholesale and retail distribution channels and partnerships with many of the largest acquirers. They provide payment solutions for retail, MOTO, e-commerce, kiosk, call center and fulfillment environments-in other words, any processing environment that desires to transmit authorizations and settlements over the Internet (IP Protocol).

Its TC Suite of solutions offers easy integration and applications, which are platform-neutral and language independent. TC CrediKey offers innovative solutions for credit card processing. TC Citadel offers robust recurring payment, subscription, installment or continuity billing solutions; it also delivers a card storage feature to alleviate local storage liabilities for clients.

TC CrediGuard is a neural network providing enhanced fraud forensics, velocity, heuristic and blacklist capabilities. TC Wallet is designed for micro payments and allows clients to process stored-value transactions or process-aggregated batches once a client-defined threshold is met. The TC Suite of solutions is CISP compliant and is the only payment product to win an award for 'Product Excellence' from the Association of Internet Professionals.

Throughout its offerings, in fact, TrustCommerce has incorporated security procedures into its systems that it says rival those used by governments around the world. Going well beyond the industry standards of DES encryption or 1024 bit data transfer practices, for instance, TrustCommerce uses AES database encryption and 2048-bit data transfer practices.

Tharpe said the company's Open Source foundation and the combined experience of the staff have enabled them to build a system of products and services that are not only extremely secure, but are equally reliable and fast. "We started out knowing more what not to do," he said. "We architected a system diametrically opposed to the standard and common 'monolithic' architecture which utilizes a primary processing engine with a singular back-up in a remote locale.

"We offer 100% up-time," he said. "I realize this is a bold statement, but due to our system's architecture we have never been down-ever."

Even for smaller merchants, TrustCommerce's system provides fast transaction times. "We use geographically distributed processing nodes located throughout the country so transactions don't follow the same path. There are no bottlenecks at the main processing engine and transactions are processed more efficiently and quickly," Tharpe said.

Due to security issues, the company doesn't publicize its client base but instead will provide references to clients and invites potential customers to contact them.

TrustCommerce has a reseller program designed specifically for the ISO/MLS channel. Working with TrustCommerce allows salespeople to close clients they might not otherwise get because of its flexibility in being able to customize applications.

"These days, successful sales reps have to be technically aware-they're not just selling terminals anymore," he said. "We are the engineering department who reports to the ISO/sales department."

The company actually encourages its resellers to seek out challenging merchant situations other ISO/MLS organizations shy away from. When TrustCommerce comes up with solutions, ISOs/MLSs are able to take that merchant relationship one step further to one that's consultant-based and long-term.

"We are the industry's 'go-to-guys,' or 'hired guns,'" Tharpe said. "We solve problems. We develop systems and custom-build applications that make sense for our clients' vertical markets."

TrustCommerce's clients range from merchants and acquirers, reseller and referral partners, to Fortune 500 and independently owned companies. The list includes government agencies, banks, universities, hospitals, finance companies, major retailers and Internet and mail order merchants.

TrustCommerce designed, developed and manages an inventory management database for one of the nation's largest warehouse clubs and a 'product presentment interface' for Many companies hire TrustCommerce to provide security and assessment solutions, application development and consulting services.

The company also places importance on being community-minded. It donates services to registered charitable organizations. And according to its corporate charter, TrustCommerce will not process for companies it feels adversely affects the community as a whole, such as adult related businesses.

TrustCommerce is building on the communal philosophy of Open Source, each client, each step of the way. "We are not about offering quasi-solutions that work part-time-we are about achieving 100% of the merchant's intrinsic processing requirements," Tharpe said. "If we don't have it, we'll build it!"

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