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Goodies abound at BPS sales conference

A health care program, more agent support and a focus on wealth-building are what New York-based Business Payment Systems' sales partners can expect over the next 12 months, the company announced at its fifth annual meeting.

More than 150 merchant level salespeople (MLSs) gathered at Las Vegas' Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in August for vendor training, company updates, awards and giveaways.

Much like an episode of "Oprah's Favorite Things," booty included everything from cash, gift cards and a year's worth of gasoline, to several Infiniti FX45 12-month leases for top-performing salespeople. One MLS was even awarded a $20,000 bonus.

Agents now covered

BPS will begin offering the Century Health Care Plan on Sept. 1, 2006. Any BPS agent in any U.S. state who has at least $500 in monthly residuals is eligible to sign up.

The company will cover a percentage of the insurance premium based on the number of an MLS' monthly installed deals. In some cases, BPS will cover the entire amount.

"You asked us about this, and we responded," BPS President Steven Feldshuh told attendees. "There's also potential for dental, life and disability coverage in the future."

Jam-packed and entertaining

Although sales conferences are far from boring, if you've ever attended one you know they typically involve back-to-back vendor presentations.

(You also get to meet representatives from the ISO to which you send your business and mingle with other sales reps.)

The information provided is indispensable, but those who stay out too late each night may find the days challenging to say the least. BPS' family of vendors decided to spice things up this year.

VeriFone representatives, for example, gave it their all when modeling their latest POS equipment. A POS terminal mascot danced with them (as well as one could in a boxy, rectangular costume with air holes) and sang along to the Pointer Sisters' song "We are family."

Other vendors, including Access One, Advanced Restaurant Finance LLC, FastLane Secure Payments, First Funds and Northern Leasing Systems, explained their offerings and announced special incentive programs through the end of November or December of this year. This news brought cheers from the audience.

35,000 and climbing

BPS had $7 billion in bankcard volume and 35,000 active merchant accounts in 2005, according to Sam Chanin, BPS Chief Executive Officer.

He said the company, which is bringing on 1,000 new merchants a month, is ramping up for major growth by adding nearly 20,000 square feet at its main offices.

BPS is launching Helix, a residual reporting system that will also include data from vendor partners, such as Global eTelecom, IPP of America Inc. and Secure Payment Systems.

BPS is also rolling out a major public relations campaign targeted to merchants. The campaign may involve a company name change too, Chanin hinted.

"We're adding more desks, more bodies," he said, to bring sales partners "the service they deserve. And we're doing all this as salespeople, building our portfolios one deal at a time."

Article published in issue number 060802

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