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TAP 3 | Accepting Payments

 

Small businesses have been particularly badly hit by the lockdowns that ensued after the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, and many of them are struggling to stay afloat. Aside from the obvious problems of maintaining client contact and product turnover, these businesses are facing challenges in accepting payments and making financial transactions in general. Payroc LLC is a privately held full-service payment processor that helps these businesses with this problem. Joining Brian Powers in this episode are Colby Poulson and Torrey Woolsey, who talk about the innovative solutions the company has to offer to help these businesses stay afloat. With solutions ranging from contactless payment schemes to free marketing campaigns, Payroc leads the way in excellent service and a client-centered philosophy.

Listen to the podcast here:

Accepting Payment In Challenging Times With Colby Poulson And Torrey Woolsey

Colby and Torrey from Payroc, I’m glad to have you with us. Tell our audience first what Payroc is. What do you offer?

Thanks, Brian. I appreciate you having us. Payroc is a full-service merchant acquirer meaning that we offer payment solutions, primarily credit cards, but we also do ACH and others. In any way that our clients, our merchants want to accept a payment, via credit card, ACH, etc. Whether they’re in-person retail, restaurant, over the phone or online, basically any way that they need help accepting payments, we’re there to facilitate that in a way that’s both affordable and also providing them the most powerful and best technology that we can to make their life a little easier. We are headquartered in Chicago. We’re a top ten merchant acquirer nationwide. We also are international. We have offices in Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Utah area, Montana, but also Toronto, Mexico City, Manchester, England, and Dublin, Ireland with over 65,000 clients worldwide.

Full disclosure, JGS CPA uses your services and is happy with your services. Customer services are top-notch. Torrey has helped us endlessly with that. We appreciate all of your help. We have a membership in common through the BDO Alliance. The firm JGS is a member of BDO Alliance. For those who don’t know, BDO Alliance is a nationwide association of CPA firms similar to us that have the access and resources to BDO USA, which is a top-five accounting firm nationwide and internationally. You are part of their business resource network, which makes it great for us. BDO has vetted you and said, “These are the best of the best and we want you to offer them to your clients,” which we do. Payroc and JGs have that commonality being part of the BDO Alliance. We’re super happy with your service. I know you are trying to offer your clients and possibly our clients a survival guide of sorts for everything that’s going on now with COVID-19.

We’ve always been a community-minded and focused organization. We’ve got a list of charities that we’re always supporting and trying to get out and get involved in the community in every way that we can. This COVID-19 pandemic is no exception to the rule. We put together a bit of a survival guide that we’ve got online. That has some tips and tricks for things to do and also ways specifically that we can help our clients and potential clients. Anything from helping merchants and business owners gets online and maybe improve their online experience right now. It’s big for businesses that are trying to stay afloat, to have a slick, easy to use, online presence where their customers can go in and place orders maybe for a curbside pickup thing or take out if you’re a restaurant in a restaurant scenario.

Not all businesses and merchants out there have a great and easy to use interface like that. They are struggling right now to get that up and running, while they’re trying to manage everything else trying to stay afloat. We’ve got some great options to help people do that including some no-fee website development help that comes with several months of no-payment on a website and also no-fee to help you get your website set up, your internet gateway going, things like that. There are also some things that are important as far as trying to save costs as businesses are trying to do everything to keep their employees employed and keep the lights on.

TAP 3 | Accepting Payments

Accepting Payments: Now more than ever, consumers are more willing to do what they can to help the businesses that they love to stay afloat.

 

We’ve got some great solutions and tools, something that we call reward pay, which essentially will help the merchant, the business owner that’s accepting credit card pass those fees on to their clients. The customer, the cardholder is paying the 2% or 3% or whatever it may be as far as a fee goes for that the business owner usually pays to accept credit cards. They’ll pass that on and it can be big savings. We do it in a way that makes it easy and convenient for the business owner as well. In the past, a lot of our clients were hesitant to do that. I don’t want to surcharge and charge extra if someone wants to pay me with a credit card because then it’s going to push them to my competition. That’s a valid concern. No question.

What we see now especially though is consumers are more and more willing to do what they can maybe pay a little extra to help those businesses that they love, that they want to patronize, that they want to support. You’re getting a lot less hesitance and pushback from consumers when they see an extra 3% surcharge to pay with a credit card so that this business that I love, that I want to support doesn’t have to pay that. If that means that they can stay open and keep their employees on the payroll, I’ll pay an extra 2% or 3% for my order. It’s a good time to consider that for people who maybe haven’t been before.

Both of you deal with a set of clients probably from all walks of life and different types of businesses. Maybe give an example or two of how you see those clients dealing with what’s going on and maybe how they’re reinventing and maybe even how you guys are helping them reinvent it.

We’ve had a lot of restaurant clients that are struggling. Their volume has decreased significantly. Those merchants who don’t look for some new solutions, their businesses could go under. First of all, we’ve actively been reaching out to our restaurant merchants. We want to make sure that they are staying afloat during this time. Some ways that we’re looking is helping them get to a card not present platform and get a website set up so they can accept those payments online. We help them get their menu up online so their clients can see what they can order. One thing that a lot of consumers may not realize is that for restaurants if they’re using a service like Grubhub or DoorDash, those businesses are charging upward of 30% to the merchant to use their service.

It is advantageous for businesses that are trying to stay afloat to have a slick, easy to use online presence. Click To Tweet

We think that’s a little expensive. We’re helping them find a solution where they don’t have to use a third-party to offer a way to pay online. That’s one thing that we’re looking to help our merchants with is get rid of an unnecessary product that they could replace with something customized for them that’s going to be much less expensive. Something else that we’ve seen a lot of is people need to get their money sooner. A merchant is set up with a standard deposit schedule where any transactions that they run on a Monday, for example, those don’t show up in their bank account until a Wednesday. We have a product that we’ve put together where we can offer same day funding for our merchants. They don’t have to wait a couple of days to get those monies so they can put it back into the business. They can have that money the same day.

Something else too that I wanted to mention is that we’ve been doing a couple of other things. One is a free marketing campaign for our clients. For those that maybe they don’t have the resources or the personnel to put together a flyer that they might want to distribute around the neighborhood letting people know, “We’re still open and we’re running a special 20% off if you come in.” We’ve got a great robust marketing team. We’ve got them all hands-on deck providing free marketing for any of our clients. It’s a flyer PDF or a banner ad to go on their website or help with their website, sprucing it up or even developing it in the first place, any of that kind of stuff, we’re offering it for free to all of our clients. Saying, “Let us help you get the word out to your clients and your potential clients to hopefully bring some revenue your way, bring some customers your way.”

Our President, Adam, is a great guy. He is the one that originated this idea. He started a GoFundMe project. He’s calling it the Payroc’s Bucket Brigade. We’re taking donations from mostly our employees thus far have been the ones donating to say, “Let’s raise a bunch of money for our clients that are struggling.” We’re going to flat out give them money. I think $500 increments is the plan. We have a simple application solution for them to say, “I need some money. Here’s my story. This is what’s happening. Any help you could offer would be great. We’ve raised almost $30,000 amongst employees to be able to donate out to our clients, to say, “We’re thinking of you. We love you, guys. You’re our lifeblood. We want to support you in your time of need. If you’re in need, let us know and we’ll do what we can to help you out.” We’re trying to do everything we can to both educate people and also help them out keep their businesses open, give them tips, tricks, advice and then actual resources to help them stay afloat.

It speaks to your customer service that we’ve experienced. It’s consistent now in a time of trouble, but you are great when it comes to that. Any other tips, tricks you’re seeing that either you are putting out there or that your clients are utilizing that you’re saying, “That’s something great that other businesses could do?” Maybe talk a little bit about, are you seeing a lot of your clients that were retail and restaurant, are they going to that tactless payments by tapping their card? I see that as one of your bullet points on the marketing piece you sent?

These days as the more frictionless the transaction itself can be the better. We’ve long been proponents of near-field communication devices such as your Apple Pay or the chip in the card that you can tap. That is seeing an upswing as far as the number of transactions that are being processed via a near field communication device like Apple Pay. We do have a lot of merchants that are upgrading their equipment to be able to accept that contactless payment. If I don’t have to hand my credit card to anybody, they swipe it on the machine and then give it back to me, but instead, I can maintain on whether my phone or my card tap it myself. I don’t have to interact with anybody or touch anyone or anything. Anytime we can reduce that contact is a plus.

I also think we have a lot of merchants who have decided any way we can make it more convenient for our customers to pay us. That’s what we want to do. A lot of clients are using an invoicing system where they can send out an invoice to a client and it has a secure payment link that the client or customer can click. It takes them to a secure payment page so they can make that payment. We have a lot of people working remotely these days. The truth of the matter is, we’ve all got a barking dog in the background or screaming kids that need our help. It’s not always convenient to be able to answer the phone when a customer calls. Having those payment options available, where they can go themselves and make a payment online or if you send an invoice with the secure payment link, giving them the option so they don’t have to wait on you to get back to them. That’s been important and helpful for these businesses so that they can get paid, but also to help their customers feel like they’re being taken care of.

If audiences are thinking, “I’d like to go to these, make the transition to these,” talk about the transition. Folks are probably hesitant to do that. Leave anything there that they’ve been using for a while. If somebody wants to switch over to Payroc, what does that look like?

We want to make it as easy and painless as possible especially during these trying times. We don’t want anyone to feel like they’re being put out or like they are going to have to pay a lot of money to get switched over because we don’t want that. We want to take care of the clients and make them feel comfortable with the payment options. What we would do is we would go through an application process, which usually takes about a five-minute phone call. That said, it goes through an underwriting process, which takes about 24 hours and then we get them up and running with whatever solution we find is best for that specific client. From start to finish, you’re looking at maybe three days to be switched over to a new solution. What we’re doing with the COVID-19 team crisis, on some of these products, we’re waiving the cost for the first couple of months until we can get past this. They don’t have a setup fee or crazy monthly fees right off the bat. We never charged crazy monthly fees, but we want people to feel like all I have to do is a simple phone call to get set up and then I’m golden.

TAP 3 | Accepting Payments

Accepting Payments: Having an online payment option is great for a lot of people who are working remotely these days.

 

To emphasize a couple of points, the setup process from start to finish is quick and to make sure nobody’s confused. Torrey says it takes three days to get set up. That doesn’t mean that you’re without processing for three days. If you’re accepting cards, you’d continue using whoever you’re using until the moment that we make the switch, which happens over the space of a few minutes typically. Once the account’s approved and once the technology is all in place and everything’s ready to go, we essentially need to flip a switch. There should be little to no downtime on their part as far as accepting payments.

When it comes to technology, most of the time, if they’re using a system or a solution that they like now, a point of sale system, an online system, whatever it may be, we can most of the time reprogram what they’re using, so they don’t have to get anything new. We could get them into something similar at a minimal or even no cost. There are options for everybody. If somebody is looking to upgrade their technology so that they can take Apple Pay, for example, we can help them do that. We approach each merchant as a consultation to say, “Let us educate you on the things that you can do that will be best for your business, that will be the most cost-effective and help you make a decision. Ultimately whatever you decide, we’re there to support you and make it happen the way that you want it to happen.”

The more frictionless the transaction, the better it is. Click To Tweet

Give us your website if people want to check it out.

It’s www.Payroc.com. Probably the quickest way to get help and to get started would be to either call or email Torrey directly. Torrey, if you want to give your contact info.

My phone number is (801) 951-8142. My email address is Torrey.Woolsey@Payroc.com.

Thank you. This is super helpful. I know our audience appreciates it. I appreciate your time.

Thanks a lot, Brian. I appreciate it. I hope that you stay safe and healthy.

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About Colby Poulson

TAP 3 | Accepting PaymentsColby has been with iTransact since 2004 and has over 12 years of experience in the payments industry. During that time he has been instrumental in growing iTransact from a small gateway company to a full-fledged merchant service provider and technology company. Along the way he has served in many roles, including Sales Manager, Training Manager, Finance Manager, Director of Operations, and Business Development Manager, giving him a breadth of experience in every aspect of the industry.

He serves on Vantiv’s ISO Advisory board where he has helped guide the company in their product and technology offerings.

Colby is thrilled to be joining the Payroc team as the SVP of Business Development where he will be focused on finding new partners that want to help their clients and associates take advantage of Payroc’s best in class pricing, products, and service. Colby will also be using his broad experience and teaching history to head up training; ensuring that all Payroc staff is experts in both the Acquiring Industry as well as Payroc’s unique approach to earning and keeping their client’s business.

Prior to joining iTransact, Colby taught English at the University of Utah, where he received both his BA and MFA in British and American Literature.

About Torrey Woolsey

TAP 3 | Accepting PaymentsI have the privilege of working with both business owners: assisting them with their credit card processing needs; as well as with CPAs, Financial Professionals, and Trusted Advisors: finding payment processing solutions for their clients.

While my position is technically a “sales” role, I try not to think of it that way (mostly because many consider “sales” a cringe-worthy title). Instead, I consider myself a problem-solver, an innovator. I focus on selling Value over Price while keeping my customer’s best interest in mind.

I pride myself on my creative thinking skills, charisma, determination, adaptability, as well as my resilience and ability to weather any storms that come my way.

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