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4 Posts authored by: mcafiero

They say if you love what you’ll do, you’ll never work a day in your life…

 

wave-payment-facilitator-payfac-vantiv.jpgUnfortunately, that’s only one part of the equation that many small business owners consider when starting up their own business.

 

Each year, more and more crafters and makers are ditching their corporate jobs to pursue their personal passions by starting up their own micro-businesses.  These include everything from hair stylists to bakers, consultants, and more. Consumers are drawn to them because of their agility and greater ability to offer a much more personalized service.

 

Starting up a microbusiness is a thrilling endeavor, albeit bittersweet upon learning that there’s more to running a successful business than simply being exceptional at a particular craft.  Fast forward to fruition, these impassioned artisans find themselves working extremely late nights, sleep deprived, family lives compromised and far too often less passionate about their craft than when they started. 

 

Sadly, this is often the way the story unfolds; the administrative, operational and financial demands of running a business overcomes the owner with overwhelming demand.

 

Vantiv Payment Facilitator (or PayFac ™) Wave, is not just empowering small business owners; in a sense, they are helping to preserve their passion… and their sanity, so that they can continue to do more of what they love.

The payroll, accounting, and even payment acceptance all add up (among other things) and put a hefty toll on the demands of all business owners.  Enter Wave, whose free software nicely takes that burden away, allowing small business owners to do more of what they love and less of what keeps them away from their personal lives.

 

Learn more in this month’s PYMNTS.com Developer Tracker, powered by Vantiv.

 

Download the Report

Every month, Vantiv and PYMNTS.com team up to deliver the latest news in developer spaces. Here’s the overview of the Developer Tracker published in June 2017.

 

apple-pay-and-omnichannel.jpgIn the growing pursuit of health and longevity, and any of the facets with which they encompass, success within the health industry no longer relies on great products alone.   Health and wellness companies must possess a greater understanding of their customers beyond the product itself, who now desire a truly personalized experience; from the products that meet their specific needs, the channels of communication they prefer, to the experience that defines their transactions.

 

The greatest challenge for any new company in this industry is having the broader intuition and all-encompassing understanding of their target market.  Much of NutraClick's success can be attributed to their customer-centric approach, both from a product standpoint to a more widespread understanding of consumer behavior.

 

June's Developer TrackerTM provides business leaders from all industries with an omnichannel case-study that we can all learn from in today's evolving world of payments.

 

The most profound of NutraClick's strategy is the simple concept to zig where others zag.  Most health product companies tend to follow a predictable strategy upon getting to market; often this strategy includes elaborate photo shoots with sponsored athletes in an effort to influence with images that are assumed to inspire the masses.  NutraClick took a different approach, and decided to instead focus on the buying behaviors of their target market and make the purchasing experience more appealing and convenient. 

 

That, and a more sincere effort to help their buyers reach their specific wellness goals are some of the ways that NutraClick broke free from the status quo marketing in their industry, to create a more loyal culture of customers.  One particular initiative includes the integration of Apple Pay, both online and in-app. 

 

Download the report

mcafiero

Money2020 Hackathon

Posted by mcafiero Oct 25, 2016

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One thing is for certain; this year's Money2020 hackathon was not void of any of the usual spirit, camaraderie, and passion that you'd expect from some of the country's best innovators.

 

The event began with an explosively motivating opening ceremony, where our own team, led by Matt Ozvat that included Dan Ourada, Josh Mather, Tony Rose, and Scott DeAngelo, hit the stage with a variety of tech toys / gadgets and a broad, but noble challenge statement: "Solve a World Problem With Vantiv Payments Integrations".

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And just like that, the packed conference room at the Palazzo Hotel/Casino in Las Vegas  evolved into a scene of organized chaos that included the sounds of keyboards clicking away; intense stares into monitors, freshly opened bags of various snacks and hot, steaming coffee (LOTS of coffee).

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Meanwhile at the Vantiv booth, we encouraged participants to include the use of any of our gadgets, which included robotics such as Sphero, Cubelets, Echo, and the wildly popular Nao Robot, along with Verifone's freshly launched tablet solution, the Carbon, and the newest augmented reality tech product, HoloLens.

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One team in particular had picked the HoloLens for their solution.  Looking over at their table, you'd be hard pressed not to see the device being worn by various participants, heads swiveling around at every angle, outstretched, reaching, and flicking of fingers, and placing invisible objects here and there, while one could only wonder what exactly they were up to.  One thing's for certain: time was especially important, as the giant LED countdown timer at the front of the room constantly reminded everyone that time was precious and very limited.

HackathonArt.jpgThe Nao Robot was also a popular pick for more than one of our teams.  As fun and interesting as the robot is to work with, it proved to be a particularly challenging device for payments integration, at least within a practical sense.

C35T6532.JPGOther teams gravitated to the Verifone Carbon, which opens big doors to developers who want to take advantage of the multitude of opportunities that exist within the development of apps for this product.

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The hackers who remained in the early morning showed mixed emotions; head-scratching, eye-rubbing frustration along with some more optimistic signs of celebration that included high-fives and hugs among team mates surrounding stacks of half-empty pizza boxes and coffee cups.

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Slowly but surely, the energy started to pick up again.  Eventually, the time had ticked away, and all hackers were forced to step away from their keyboards.  It was now time to pitch.

 

Each team was offered an opportunity to pitch their concept to the company that they had picked.  A total of 7 teams of brilliant minds  lined up to show off their solution to the Vantiv judges.

 

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In the end, we were forced to pick just two teams who would represent Vantiv on the final stage:

 

First up, Nimit Sawhney, a one-person team with a solution that he named Adjutus, integrated Vantiv's Apple Pay on the Web API into the Spheros device, which he designed as a fun and engaging table-top device that could be "driven" around to individuals sitting at tables, communicating to them via their mobile phones, delivering stories of people and organizations in need, and offering them a simple way to do their good deed for the day: tap to donate to the cause of their choice, right there on impulse.  We wish we could show off his UX, as it was beautifully done.

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The other finalist on the Vantiv stage was a group of young hackers who called themselves Team HoloVantiv.  They took on an extremely technical challenge that integrated our Vantiv API into a single solution that utilized both our HoloLens as well as the Nao Robot.  With Augmented Reality and your  Nao Robot, you could theoretically pay for live Tai Chi lessons from the comfort of your living room, among other things!

 

The grand prize was ultimately awarded to another team, but at the end of the day, anyone who can create such incredibly complex solutions in 24 hours straight deserves to be recognized!  We're proud of all the teams who integrated Vantiv APIs into their solutions, and every other team out there as well.  As usual, the camaraderie, innovation, and energy left us feeling even more excited to do it again next year.

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Stay tuned into Twitter for more live updates, including several live-streaming interviews and broadcasts that can also be found on our own Vantiv O.N.E. Money2020 Hackathon space.

Yesterday’s live webinar hosted by 451 Research was a great opportunity to learn about current trends in consumers’ mobile shopping habits and how Vantiv’s new developer network, Vantiv O.N.E., helps developers address ever-evolving trends.

 

Jordan McKee led the presentation with some interesting facts about how consumers have embraced mobile shopping and payments, including:

  • Technological concepts from mobile pay to tokenization and EMV
  • The key players: Google, Apple, Samsung, Amazon
  • The regulations and standards affecting all of the above


Next came the stats that make marketing so much fun:  how people are using the new technology.  No doubt, retailers are becoming aware that many (if not most) of their customers are price shopping and even competitor shopping from their very own showroom floor. If it were my store, my knee-jerk reaction might be to install some signal jammers, or maybe the better idea might be to advertise heavily that competitor prices would be considered for price matching.  Could this be a new era for negotiated payment experiences at retailers?  It’s always interesting to think about how advances in payments are going to affect the future of retail.


And speaking of the retail experience, payments are already allowing us to pay with our smart watches and other devices. Consumers are shopping in ways you might never imagine, like ordering groceries straight from their refrigerator’s touch screen, or using virtual reality headwear to augment reality shopping.  The future of shopping is indeed enticing, and I believe personal financial consultants are going to experience a surge in clients as consumer budgeting and self-control take new precedence.


The bottom line is that payments are changing.  And this means developers are faced with a lot of work to keep their clients up to speed.


That’s where Matt Ozvat comes in.  Vantiv’s head of integrations and lead technical evangelist, Ozvat describes Vantiv O.N.E. as developers’ go-to place for fast help and comprehensive payments resources.


Ozvat did a great job of explaining the three pillars of Vantiv O.N.E.: TechTools, TechLift and TechTribe.  These pillars offer developers everything they need quickly and easily, saving tech support calls, and time searching through cluttered FAQs and Help pages. Vantiv: O.N.E. is an organized repository of APIs and SDKs, an online support network of Vantiv company experts, and a forum/community of developers who integrate Vantiv products into their solutions.


If you missed the webinar, you can view it now. Enjoy!