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ExaDigm Inc.

ISO contact:

Michael Mulcahy, President & COO
Phone: 949-486-0320, ext. 244
Fax: 949-486-0333

Company address:

2871 Pullman Street.
Santa Ana, CA 92705
Phone: 949-486-0320
Fax: 949-266-5658
Web site:

ISO benefits:

  • Ease of implementation through an IP terminal with the power of a PC
  • Wireless solution that adapts to changing technology easily and cost effectively
  • Reduced cost of ownership
  • Exceptional service and support

Making innovation simple

It's a challenge for any business to create a product that is original and unique yet still easy to understand. If the idea is too innovative, it will confuse the target market and be unsuccessful; if the idea is simply a carbon copy of an entrenched product line, customers will have no reason to change their purchasing habits.

So, how does a company create a truly innovative product that is also easy to comprehend and use? The key is to start with the familiar.

For example, consumers had no difficulty understanding high-speed Internet service when it came to market because they were already familiar with dial-up Internet connections and cable TV systems.

ExaDigm Inc. employed a similar strategy when designing a new breed of POS terminals. It applied the ubiquitous personal computer's technology to POS terminals and created a line of products that are truly innovative yet comfort-ably familiar.

ExaDigm develops and manufactures wired and wireless POS transaction terminals. In addition to a ground-breaking PC-based operating system, the ExaDigm line features Ethernet, cellular, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity; options for smart card readers; radio frequency identification (RFID) capabilities; and the highest level of security available, which includes 128-bit Secure Sockets Layer encryption and complies with Visa's Cardholder Information Security Program.

Founded in 2000, the company has 38 employees at its California corporate headquarters, and regional offices in Florida, Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, Canada (Ontario) and Korea. ExaDigm proucts are deployed in the United States, Canada, Latin America, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region.

A different kind of terminal

ExaDigm did not enter the marketplace planning to create yet another terminal. "Why build the same terminal that is out there? They are all good terminals, and there is nothing wrong with them," said Michael Mulcahy, ExaDigm's President and Chief Operating Officer. "Instead, we wanted to solve problems that existed with the products available today."

The main difference between ExaDigm and other terminal manufacturers is what's inside "the box." ExaDigm's terminals run on the popular PC operating system Linux, and the company will soon offer a Microsoft version.

"Our competitors' products came from dial technology. It was based on their proprietary code; it was not based on Microsoft or any similar [platforms] because they didn't exist then," Mulcahy said. "We are aligning with technology that is already being driven in mass amounts of numbers, the technology in laptops and computers. Our terminal is the same as a laptop; the technology that is in the box is the same."

Scott Holt, ExaDigm's Director of Marketing added, "ExaDigm delivers the first innovative PC-based, IP [Internet protocol] terminals offering a completely modular approach to connectivity from TCP/IP and WiFi, to cellular and more. Our competitors are anchored by their legacy assets that force them to come up with remedies rather than solutions."

Using the same components and operating systems found in everyday PCs, ExaDigm's terminals provide flexibility and adaptability. Since they function like PCs, they can switch applications, add peripheral devices and adapt to changing technologies just as a PC can. ExaDigm terminals have USB and serial ports, just as PCs do. This means that peripheral devices, such as keyboards, scanners and cameras, are simply plugged in with little or no special software modifications.

Since the terminals can be adapted easily, merchants should need to purchase only one that can be upgraded and customized as new technologies evolve. For example, when ExaDigm decided to run transactions using a cell phone and terminal, it had the technology to do that in less than two hours. "Every one of our competitors would have to create a driver due to their proprietary OS [operating system]. We can just download it from the Internet because our OS is the same as those found on your PC in your home today," Mulcahy said.

In addition, since there is already a huge industry serving the PC world, ExaDigm is able to use that industry's progress to its advantage. New developments in keyboards, WiFi and modems can be applied to ExaDigm's products as well. "We use the same R&D being done by PC and technology companies ... [F]rom a support aspect it's just so easy," Mulcahy said.

Customer service is paramount

ExaDigm believes time spent up front will save time later on by eliminating the need for future calls. "The company philosophy is to spend whatever time is needed with a customer when they call to be sure they understand what caused the problem and what we are doing to fix it. In essence, to educate the merchant on the terminal," Holt said.

All new Technical Support Specialists must complete a six-week training program before fielding customer calls. The training includes "Credit Card Processing 101," which is an overview of transaction processing, interchange regulations, and an understanding of processors and the difference between host- and terminal-based processing.

They are then trained on terminal hardware and software, which includes all modem type communications (cellular, WiFi, Ethernet and dial up), setup functions and troubleshooting.

Simplifying the way terminals are sold

ExaDigm didn't always sell products through the ISO/merchant level salesperson (MLS) sales channel. "For the first three and a half years all our sales were through our Web site and word of mouth," Mulcahy said. Now ISOs and MLSs can benefit by offering their merchants ExaDigm products.

Because the technology behind ExaDigm's product is pervasive, the company can create specialized programs, such as those that enable pay-at-the-table functions, within just a couple of days. "Our approach is to simplify the way terminals are bought, sold and deployed," Mulcahy said. "It's so much easier to deploy. We don't have a problem writing special applications for marketing programs."

The company reports that merchant training is also easier because it is associated with what people do with their PCs, rather than what they would do with a specific credit card terminal.

Since ExaDigm products work with cellular networks, just like cell phones, the company also sells airtime plans. ISOs can resell airtime and earn residuals on the sale. "We are a reseller of the nation's largest and most used wireless network," Mulcahy said. "We have very aggressive cell network capabilities." ISOs and MLSs are free to set their own pricing on the terminals and the airtime. They can also bundle airtime and terminal purchases or sell each separately.

The familiarity and easy deployment of ExaDigm's products make them that much easier for ISOs and MLSs to present to merchants. Since everyone is well acquainted with PCs, there is virtually no merchant education required. The ExaDigm platform allows ISOs and MLSs to differentiate themselves without having to learn new skills or concepts.

"Through a detailed understanding of the IP, wireless and POS industries, ExaDigm provides innovative, technology-based solutions that increase revenue, reduce cost and boost productivity," Mulcahy said.

Article published in issue number 060302

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