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4 security threats facing merchants

 

If a business accepts credit or debit cards, they're responsible for protecting their customers' sensitive data from theft and misuse. Knowing the payments security threats that merchants face can help prevent a catastrophe, like a data breach or penalty fines from the major credit card brands from occurring.

 

Check out our infographic on the main threats that merchants face today, as well as the solutions that can help mitigate their risk: 

 

Security threats facing merchants

payment gateway is generally understood to be a software accessible interface provided to various types of merchants that facilitate card or other forms of electronic payments.  Developers can use this top 5 integrations with a payment gateway guide to learn more about how to better understand the variations of payment gateways.

 

hosted payments gateway pros and cons
Hosted payment gateways

When developers code to a hosted payment gateway, the gateway provider hosts a checkout page on their own servers, and web applications direct visitors to this "hosted" page when the process payment comes up in an  shopping cart. Payment integrations using a hosted payment gateway are easy to integrate and are generally responsive and mobile optimized.

 

Pros:  PCI scope is more easily reduced by relying on the gateway provider to secure the payment page and handle sensitive information.

 

Many ISVs use an HTML iframe option, where the cardholders may not even know that they're visiting an entirely separate secure page where the card data is entered.  The process is a secure and seamless user experience.

 

Cons:  While many solutions try to make this process seamless, consumers sometimes recognize they are being directed to a different site for the part of the page that manages the completion of the checkout process.  If that is a clunky user experience, even though it is secure, it can increase cart abandonment due to concerns over security.

 

Review our Hosted Payments Page Overview documentation for information on processing via the Hosted Payments solution on the Express payment platform.


API accessible gateways

That's why many merchants that want more control over the checkout experience choose to host their own checkout pages. There are plenty of options to use a third-party shopping cart, rely on application ISVs, or use consultants or in-house developers to build their own applications. Here, the merchant’s website or app interacts with the gateway provider for payment transactions (Authorizations, Captures, Refunds etc.) using an SDK, XML or JSON API interface.

 

These type gateways offer more flexibility, but usually increase PCI DSS scope because merchants usually handle, store or transmit cardholder data.  JavaScript libraries that Tokenize sensitive data prior to transmission can come into play, helping keep applications out of PCI-scope. 

 direct payment gateways pros and cons

Direct gateways offered by payment processors

Major payment processors often provide their own gateways to simplify connections to their core payment platforms. Payment processors may provide additional features supporting card present, point-of-sale functionality as well as card-not-present functionality. Payment processors may also offer the same interfaces described above including hosted payment functionality, SDKs, and REST APIs.

 

Pros:  The advantage of dealing directly with a processor is that they may offer better pricing (because there are fewer intermediaries involved in the transaction), they can be faster and more reliable because there are fewer “hops”.  These gateways typically have better success rates in authorizing payments because the processor has full access to all the capabilities of their core payment systems. Plus direct gateways can structure transactions to maximize chances of success while also lowering interchange fees.

 

Cons:  Unless the payment processor gateway has experienced payment industry staff members to assist ISVs through the integration process, even relatively simple gateways offered by major processors can be more difficult to code to because they usually expose a richer feature set requiring a greater knowledge of payments.

 

Platform-centered gateways

And then there are solutions where merchants can load their product into a white-label solution.  Platform-centered gateways provide an infrastructure allowing merchants to offer goods and services directly from a full-service payment platform.  Solutions in this category allow merchants to maintain their own store on the platform itself and present a branded  storefront.

 

Pros:  Platforms of this type can solve a variety of issues for merchants including avoiding costly development or integration efforts and handling issues like internationalization, multi-currency support and a broader set of payment methods popular in different locales. These platform-centered gateways may connect to other gateways, and this may or may not be selectable by the merchant.

 

Gateway aggregator

Gateway aggregator solutions present simplified programming interfaces to developers and ISVs and also provide “back-end integrations” supporting a variety of other payment gateways. Here, the gateway aggregator acts as a  “switch” allowing developers to code applications to a single API and support a wide variety of other gateways when it is time to go to market.

 

Pros:  ISVs can offer a merchant their choice of gateway while reducing their own coding, integration, testing and maintenance cycles.

 

Cons:  A potential downside of this model is that integrations tend to be more general in feature-set, leaving more advanced features of some gateways unavailable.  Plus, every transaction goes through an additional step, where this additional business cuts into overall profits taken out of each transaction.


Click here to download our Payment Gateway Whitepaper and discover if your payment gateway is right for your growing business needs.

 

Take the developer survey to enter to win 1 of 3 $100 Amazon gift cards

We want to hear from you how payments developers work. Take any (or all) of our three developer work surveys to enter to win a $100 Amazon gift card.

 

We'll be giving away 3 $100 Amazon gift cards-1 for each short survey- so if you take them all, that's three chances to win! 

Sorry to be the one to break this to you, but someone has to say it: You’re not that great of a speaker. Sorry, but it’s just not your natural gift to wow a prospect, your employees, or an audience of colleagues.

 

public speakers are made, not born.

 

I’ll also share this good news with you: Public speakers are made, not born. Public speaking is a skill you can improve with study and practice, and I’ve got two resources that will help you in your quest to inform, entertain, and delight.

 

The books Do You Talk Funny? and Speak As Well As You Think offer practical guidance for speakers at any skill level. Do You Talk Funny? author David Nihill shares techniques from standup comics who – you might not have realized – are public speakers who keep your attention through storytelling and smooth delivery. I received Speak As Well As You Think as part of a course I took with John Vautier, a speaking coach at Vautier Communications, whose book details excellent fundamentals for public presentations.

 

The authors have different backgrounds and angles for their books, and their blend of perspectives will put you on the path to speaking excellence … or, at the very least, on the path to not boring your audience to death. Here are some of my favorite passages from both books.

 

Do You Talk Funny?

  1. Almost every book ever written on public speaking says humor is a key part of successful talks. Yet none of them explain well how to employ it, which is about as useful as handing a MacBook Pro to a goat.
  2. Simply reading these principles won’t make you instantly funnier, more successful, or more attractive. Add a little practice, however, and it just might.
  3. Stories are told, not read. The storyteller connects with the audience when there is no page between them. Know your story “by heart” but not by rote memorization. Know your story well enough so you can have fun.
  4. Make an outline, memorize your bullet points, and play with the details. Imagine you are at a dinner party, not a deposition.
  5. A good leader needs to know how to create a connection, and the fastest way of doing that is by making someone laugh. Employees are humans, and humans respond to humor.
  6. You want to use words like weird, amazing, scary, hard, stupid, crazy, or nuts. “It’s crazy how soft modern-day workers have become.” The use of an attitude word (crazy) in the setup helps people focus and pay attention quickly.
  7. The first thirty seconds of your presentation can determine the rest of your talk. Rehearse this thirty seconds the most. Include your second-best joke at the start and leave your best until the end to go out with the strongest impression possible.
  8. Self-deprecating humor is a great tool to have in your back pocket, but be sure not to undermine your own credibility with too many wisecracks or humorous comments at your own expense.
  9. People like stories, but they tend to love funny stories.
  10. You don’t need all of the audience on your side to be a good speaker; 30 percent is plenty. Laughter is contagious.
  11. End your talk on an applause line that underscores a clear call to action.

 

 

Speak As Well As You Think

  1. A presentation — one human being speaking to a group — is the engine that drives almost all decisions in which money changes hands, actions are authorized, or power is deployed.
  2. The only way to judge a talk is by its effect on the listener.
  3. What does it mean to “speak as well as you think?” It means that when you get up to present you’re described with words like: credible, confident, interesting, genuine, natural, compelling, organized, professional, passionate, clear, concise, and charismatic.
  4. Make eye contact with your audience — one person at a time. Don’t dart your eyes restlessly from one audience member to another.
  5. Don’t stand in one spot throughout your speech or presentation. Limit your movements; you don’t want to move constantly. End up with two feet solidly on the floor — not in an incomplete half-stepping position. The person who is visually balanced appears strong, confident, and in command.
  6. People who speak at a higher volume project confidence. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being a whisper and 10 a shout, your speaker’s voice — the voice you use when giving a speech or presentation — should be your voice at a 7-to-8 level.
  7. An uninflected voice is heard as a drone, a soft buzz. More than anything else, it induces sleep.
  8. 95% of all speakers need to project more energy.
  9. It doesn’t matter if you’re comfortable; you only need to look and sound comfortable.
  10. When you begin to construct a speech, ask yourself: “When I’m done speaking, what do I want listeners to do, to know, and/or to believe?” The answer to this question is your thesis.
  11. Introduce your speech with a bold, interesting statement. Share a startling fact or statistic, a killer quote, or an analogy.
  12. Don’t let your speech die an ugly little quiet death at the end. Your last sentence needs to sound like your last sentence. Convey that intentionality.
  13. Charismatic leaders project genuine likability because they have a mindset of genuinely liking their constituents.

 

I hope these tips are useful to you – they’ve certainly helped me communicate more effectively. Here’s a speech I gave on the main stage at the RSPA RetailNOW Conference in Dallas in which I try my best to integrate the lessons I’ve learned. I certainly (and unfortunately) didn’t execute on every one of Nihill’s and Vautier’s techniques … but I didn’t put anyone to sleep either.

 

 

For more On the Edge content, please visit the Worldpay Partner Advantage website.

 

Jim Roddy is a Reseller & ISV Business Advisor for Worldpay’s PaymentsEdge Advisory Services. He has been active in the POS channel since 1998, including 11 years as the President of Business Solutions Magazine, six years as a Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA) board member, and one term as RSPA Chairman of the Board. Jim is regularly requested to speak at industry conferences and he is author of the book Hire Like You Just Beat Cancer.

daniperea

Join us at RSPA RetailNOW

Posted by daniperea Jul 26, 2018

retail now, rspa

 

Join Worldpay at RSPA RetailNOW 2018

August 5-8

Nashville, TN

Worldpay Booth #725

 

A team inspired to do better

Meet the team attending RetailNOW 2018 and hear how they are striving to empower your business independence.

 

 

Every year Worldpay looks forward to reconnecting with our partners, vendors and soon to be partners  ! With everything going on at the show, we wanted to make sure you don't miss out on the opportunities planned for you. 

 

Product booth demos

Explore what Worldpay is building to help our partners be independent 

  • triPOS® Connect and Verifone® VX 690 bring streamlined POS payment experiences to the table
  • triPOS Mobile for iOS and Android is built for the customer in mind
  • iQ® Launchpad puts partners in control for new merchant on-boarding and more
  • Bizshield/Insights delivers useful data for busy merchants, which is why we’ve made our data analytics tool intuitive and easy to use.

 

Worldpay speaking events

How Leading POS Resellers Implement Recurring Revenue Products & Services

  • Moderated by Jim Roddy, Worldpay
  • Monday, Aug. 6, 5:00-6:30 PM and Wednesday, Aug. 8, 8:00-9:30 AM

Our industry’s top-performing resellers regularly add new recurring revenue streams to their offering. This session will go in-depth with executives from those organizations detailing how they select, evaluate, bundle, market, sell, and service their recurring revenue products and services. We’ll discuss headaches and success stories plus practical tactics and techniques for transitioning your business to the highly profitable recurring revenue model.

 

You’ve Hired the Best, Now Develop Your Team for Success! (Building Productive Teams for the Long Term)

  • Presented by Shannon Reichart and Paul Kirk of Worldpay
  • Monday, Aug. 6, - 11:40am - 11:00am and 11:50am - 12:30pm
  • and Wednesday, Aug. 8, 8:00am - 8:40am and 8:50am - 9:30am

Let’s face it. Today’s tech-savvy workforce has options, and because of this, finding the right people for our business can be a challenge. This ranges from salespeople, administrative people, and everyone in between to keep your organization running at optimal velocity. And more importantly, keeping the right people is even more challenging!


This 40-minute session will assist with how to invest in developing your most valuable resource, your people, and demonstrate why this is so critical now more than ever before and how you can maximize your ROI in your talent development.

 

troubleshooting the eCommerce sandbox

 

Got 99 problems and access to our eCommerce sandbox is one (or all) of them?

 

First, bookmark Vantiv eCommerce Sandbox  for easy reference, then read on for the answers to 3 common Sandbox troubleshooting questions.

 

1) The url doesn’t work.

 

Make sure you’re using the correct url: https://www.testvantivcnp.com/sandbox/communicator/online.

 

We also recently expanded the sandbox to allow testing of our chargeback API. The URL to do this is: https://www.testvantivcnp.com/sandbox/services/chargebacks

 

2) Oops, you’re not in the Sandbox environment, you’re in the prelive environment.

 

How do you tell if you’re in the sandbox or the prelive environment?

This is easy-peasy. If the url has “prelive” in it, you’re in the prelive environment. If the url has sandbox in it, you’re in the sandbox environment.

 

Once you have applications working in the Sandbox, you can request access to our Pre-Live environment for additional testing. The prelive environment has scheduled maintenance on Tuesdays and Thursdays which is why you might see unresponsiveness. Please contact support at ecc@vantiv.com for prelive issues.

 

From: Is the sandbox site down? 

 

3) This still isn’t working - what can I do?


Have no fear, contact our helpful support team at sdksupport@vantiv.com.

 

The sandbox can tell you if it’s up or not. The live status can be checked at https://vantiv.github.io/sandbox/

What's the right payment API for developers?

When coding a payment solution, choosing the right payment API to help with your payment processing should never be taken lightly.  As developers, whether it's a payment integration for eCommerce, point-of-sale, mobile, Enterprise, or any combination, let's define what is a payment API.

 

choosing the right payment api for developers

Most payment applications (APIs) are transactional and involve sending and retrieving messages to and from remote systems across dedicated links or IP networks.  Payment API processes can include authorizing a payment, setting up a subscription, or initiating a bank transfer from a mobile app--to name a few of the common requests.

That's a hefty definition that comes with a stark reality for development teams.  On average, a comprehensive payment integration can take more than 6-months!  Here's why. 

 

Businesses demand a simple payment solution that can manage a variety of powerful capabilities and value-added features including analytics, account updating and reporting functionalities.  That's where a robust API is critical, allowing for the touch points between complex applications and financial business processes that grow each year as new trends and features become available to better serve the growing payment needs of your clients.  The process of managing, testing and certifying payment integrations take time.

 

So now that we've defined an API, let's dive into what type of API will you need for your merchant processing development project.

 

What are the types of APIs for payment developers?

When it comes to payments there are numerous APIs, but most fall into one of the categories described in Payment APIs Demystified - Five Common Types.

 

Once you master the mechanics of coding to an API in one of the standards listed below, the other APIs in the same family become more readily available to integrate into your payments development.  Because most payment transactions are message-oriented, protocols play a huge role in payment processing. 

 

In short, an understanding of the five types of APIs common in payment applications will move developers down the path to choosing the best payment API for coding payment processing and take you to the beginning of your payments journey.

 

five types of APIs common in payment applications

 

  1. ISO 8583 Standard - Although better described as a protocol or message format, the ISO 8583 messages may travel from a merchant terminal or ATM, through to a merchant acquirer, through to card networks, and ultimately to card-issuing banks.  Quick Fact:  Most developers probably won’t code ISO 8583 messages directly unless they are working at a large retailer, bank, payment processor or payment gateway.
  2. SOAP XML Web Services - The Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) is a W3C XML based standard that allows organizations to publish interfaces such that they are discoverable and platform agnostic.  Quick Fact:  A nice property of a SOAP API is that it is self-documenting.
  3. HTTP/S POST APIs - Developers use their own HTTP requests to send messages directly to a network endpoint.  Often referred to as HTTP APIs, it is standard practice to send traffic over an SSL/TLS encrypted HTTPS connection.  Quick Fact:  While POST APIs can support any type of payload, JSON is often preferred because it is lightweight, flexible, and easily parsed.
  4. REST APIsA Representational State Transfer is an architectural style for expressing an HTTP-based API.  Developers who understand how to code to HTTP POST APIs (above) will automatically understand RESTful APIs because the mechanics of interacting with them are the sameQuick Fact:  A RESTful API borrows from object-oriented design principles and typically provides multiple URL endpoints that correspond to objects being manipulated.
  5. SDKsSoftware Development Kits are not considered true APIs, but are client-side libraries that abstract and simplify coding to all of the above interfaces and are usually programming language aligned.  (We're including here due to the touchpoints with the other four API types)  Quick Fact:  SDKs simplify coding, but also introduce a new source of complexity in the form of a client-side software component that their application depends on.

 

How to start with your Payment API Integration

Now that you've selected an API for your business needs, it's time to get coding.  So here are the typical processes developers need to follow to test and certify an integration. (We'll use the Express Certification Overview  as an example to explain these steps)

 

  1. Setup a free test account.
    • Visit Getting Started with Express.  For Worldpay, sign up for a free, production simulated test account.  After signup, look for an email containing hyperlinks, including the Express Interface API to help you begin integrating your hardware and/or software solution.
  2. Test Your Integration.
    • The Worldpay Integrated Payment production simulation certification environment allows developers to code, test and evaluate your integration to the Express Interface.  And remember, if you get stuck, ask our integration experts or review the documentation here on Vantiv O.N.E.
  3. Submit your RFC.
    • The RFC and Scenarios document gives our certification team your hardware and software details.  This documentation is required along with details on your company policy on securing sensitive cardholder information.
  4. Certification Testing and Review.
    • After our integration team has all the necessary documentation--your integration team will also need to complete and submit all appropriate scripts, which our certification team will review your test transactions and respond with any needed changes to your integration.
  5. Express Certification Letter.
    • Once certified, your team will receive an official Letter of Certification and you'll be directed to a Partner Manager to begin boarding live merchants.

 

For help in choosing the right payment API

There's a lot to consider.  Everything from PCI Compliance, tokenization, fraud protection, global support for multiple currencies, sandbox functionalities and what SDKs are available in multiple coding languages (including Java, .NET, PHP, Node.js, and C++). 

 

Plus you'll want the best team of payments experts ready to assist in your integration--since the sooner you complete a payment integration, the sooner you can start processing payments!

 

Are you ready?   Choosing the right payment API for payment processing is as simple as reaching out to our Worldpay team of API experts that are continually updating our  documentation.

 

Create a Vantiv O.N.E. Account

Create an account in our Developer Hub and get the latest news and payment integration tools, plus links to kick-start your payment integration.  Let's get started!

 

Learn More:  Create a Test Account Quick Links

Getting Started with Express Payment Development 

Install Requirements for triPOS Direct 

triPOS Cloud Quick Start Tutorial 

triPOS Mobile iOS SDK Tutorial 

Getting Started with MercuryPay 

Lately, most of my consultations with software developer executives have focused on marketing – at their request, not mine. We discuss best practices in website content, SEO, content marketing, blogging, list building, inbound marketing, outbound marketing, and email marketing. To help spread the word on that last topic, I made email marketing the subject of my latest blog post on the Vantiv, now Worldpay Partner Advantage website: 8 great email marketing building blocks for the POS channel.

 

Today, we'll pull back from tactics and take a broader view of marketing thanks to the classic book The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout. The 22 laws were published in 1993 – before most of the tactics I listed above were conceived – but they’ve held up for 25 years now. That figures because the word immutable means “unchanging over time.” An illustration of that is seen in Law #13 which says narrowly focused specialists are stronger than generalists. Ries and Trout wrote back in ’93: For example, White Castle has never changed its position. A White Castle today sells the same “frozen sliders” at unbelievably low prices. Fast forward to 2018, and White Castle is still going strong slinging sliders.

 

Here is the complete list of the laws plus some of my favorite passages from the book:

 

  1. The Law of Leadership: It’s better to be first than it is to be better. People tend to stick with what they’ve got. If you meet someone a little better than your wife or husband, it’s really not worth making the switch, what with attorneys’ fees and dividing up the house and kids.
  2. The Law of the Category: If you can’t be first in a category, set up a new category you can be first in. If you didn’t get into the prospect’s mind first, don’t give up hope. Find a new category you can be first in. It’s not as difficult as you might think. 
  3. The Law of Mind: It’s better to be first in the mind than to be first in the marketplace. If you want to make a big impression on another person, you cannot worm your way into their mind and then slowly build up a favorable opinion over a period of time. The mind doesn’t work that way. You have to blast your way into the mind. The reason you blast instead of worm is that people don’t like to change their minds.
  4. The Law of Perception: Marketing is not a battle of products, it’s a battle of perceptions. All that exists in the world of marketing are perceptions in the minds of the customer or prospect. The perception is the reality. Everything else is an illusion.
  5. The Law of Focus: The most powerful concept in marketing is owning a word in the prospect’s mind. The essence of marketing is narrowing the focus. You become stronger when you reduce the scope of your operations. You can’t stand for something if you chase after everything.
  6. The Law of Exclusivity: Two companies cannot own the same word in the prospect’s mind.
  7. The Law of the Ladder: The strategy to use depends on which rung you occupy on the ladder. While being first into the prospect’s mind ought to be your primary marketing objective, the battle isn’t lost if you fail in this endeavor. There are strategies to use for No. 2 and No. 3 brands.
  8. The Law of Duality: In the long run, every market becomes a two-horse race. The customer believes that marketing is a battle of products. It’s this kind of thinking that keeps the two brands on top: “They must be the best, they’re the leaders.”
  9. The Law of Opposite: If you’re shooting for second place, your strategy is determined by the leader. A good No. 2 can’t afford to be timid. When you give up focusing on No. 1, you make yourself vulnerable not only to the leader but to the rest of the pack.
  10. The Law of Division: Over time, a category will divide and become two or more categories.
  11. The Law of Perspective: Marketing effects take place over an extended period of time.
  12. The Law of Line Extension: There’s an irresistible pressure to extend the equity of the brand. One day a company is tightly focused on a single product that is highly profitable. The next day the same company is thinly spread over many products and is losing money. When you try to be all things to all people, you inevitably wind up in trouble.
  13. The Law of Sacrifice: You have to give up something in order to get something. The world of business is populated by big, highly diversified generalists and small, narrowly focused specialists. Typically, the generalist is weak.
  14. The Law of Attributes: For every attribute, there is an opposite, effective attribute. If you are to succeed, you must have an idea or attribute of your own to focus your efforts around.
  15. The Law of Candor: When you admit a negative, the prospect will give you a positive. This law only proves the old maxim: Honesty is the best policy.
  16. The Law of Singularity: In each situation, only one move will produce substantial results. Most often there is only one place where a competitor is vulnerable. And that place should be the focus of the entire invading force. It’s hard to find that single move if you’re hanging around headquarters and not involved in the process.
  17. The Law of Unpredictability: Unless you write your competitors’ plans, you can’t predict the future. As changes come sweeping through your category, you have to be willing to change and change quickly if you are to survive in the long term.
  18. The Law of Success: Success often leads to arrogance, and arrogance to failure. Ego is the enemy of successful marketing. Objectivity is what’s needed.
  19. The Law of Failure: Failure is to be expected and accepted. Too many companies try to fix things rather than drop things. If a company is going to operate in an ideal way, it will take teamwork and a self-sacrificing leader.
  20. The Law of Hype: The situation is often the opposite of the way it appears in the press. Real revolutions don’t arrive at high noon with marching bands and coverage on the 6 o’clock news. Real revolutions arrive unannounced in the middle of the night and kind of sneak up on you.
  21. The Law of Acceleration: Successful programs are not built on fads, they’re built on trends. Forget fads. The best, most profitable thing to ride in marketing is a long-term trend. Fad = Ninja Turtle. Trend = Barbie Doll.
  22. The Law of Resources: Without adequate funding, an idea won’t get off the ground. You’ll get further with a mediocre idea and a million dollars than a great idea alone. Spend enough; you can’t save your way to success.

 

For more On the Edge content, please visit the Vantiv Partner Advantage website.

 

Jim Roddy is a Reseller & ISV Business Advisor for Vantiv’s PaymentsEdge Advisory Services. He has been active in the POS channel since 1998, including 11 years as the President of Business Solutions Magazine, six years as a Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA) board member, and one term as RSPA Chairman of the Board. Jim is regularly requested to speak at industry conferences and he is the author of the book Hire Like You Just Beat Cancer.

Whenever the founder a thriving software company tells me that a book lifted his business, I make sure to add that title to my reading list. This happened to me again recently when a Vantiv, now Worldpay, software developer partner said Built To Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You was key to his success. He’s not sure if he’s going to sell his ISV business in the near future, but he’s going to be ready if opportunity knocks.

 

The lessons from Built To Sell can be applied to most SMBs, but the advice is especially germane for software companies. Here are some of my favorite passages and concepts from the book:

 

  1. Smart businesspeople believe that you should build a company to be sold even if you have no intention of cashing out or stepping back anytime soon. This approach is having an “options strategy” as opposed to an “exit strategy.”             Have an options strategy instead of an exit strategy.
  2. There are approximately 23,000,000 businesses in the United States, and yet only a few hundred thousand are able to be sold each year.
  3. Don’t generalize; specialize. If you focus on doing one thing well and hire specialists in that area, the quality of your work will improve and you will stand out among your competitors.         Specialize; don't generalize.
  4. “In each business I’ve sold, we created a standard service offering, a consistent process for delivering our product or service. We made sure the product or service was something clients would need on a regular basis so we could count on recurring revenue.”
  5. Owning a process makes it easier to pitch and puts you in control. Be clear about what you’re selling, and potential customers will be more likely to buy your product. You need to train people to handle all the steps of your process so you don’t have to be the guy piecing every project together from scratch.
  6. Don’t become synonymous with your company. If buyers aren’t confident that your business can run without you in charge, they won’t make their best offer.
  7. Once you’ve standardized your service, charge up front or use progress billing to create a positive cash flow cycle.
  8. To sell your business, you need to demonstrate to a buyer that you have the sales engine that will produce predictable, recurring revenue.
  9. Take some time to figure out how many pipeline prospects will likely lead to sales. This number will become essential when you go to sell because it allows the buyer to estimate the size of the market opportunity.
  10. Two sales reps are always better than one. Often competitive types, sales reps will try to outdo each other. And having two on staff will prove to a buyer that you have a scalable sales model, not just one good sales rep.
  11. Ignore your profit-and-loss statement in the year you make the switch to a standardized offering even if it means you and your employees will have to forgo a bonus that year. As long as your cash flow remains consistent and strong, you’ll be back in the black in no time.
  12. You need at least two years of financial statements reflecting your use of the standardized offering model before you sell your company.
  13. Build a management team and offer them a long-term incentive plan that rewards their personal performance and loyalty.
  14. Think big. Write a three-year business plan that paints a picture of what is possible for your business. Remember, the company that acquires you will have more resources for you to accelerate your growth.
  15. If you want to be a sellable, product-oriented business, you need to use the language of one. Change words like “clients” to “customers” and “firm” to “business.” Rid your website and customer-facing communications of any references that reveal you used to be a generic service business.
  16. A business reliant on its owner is unsellable, so the owner becomes trapped in the business.
  17. Before you start this process, engage a good accountant experienced in helping business owners with succession planning.
  18. Six forms of recurring revenue, presented from least to most valuable:       recurring revenue forms from most to least valuable The only thing more valuable than an automatic renewal subscription is a hard contract for a defined term.    
  19. As you ascend the recurring revenue hierarchy, expect the value of your business to go up in lockstep.
  20. Hire a sales team. Once you have created and packaged your offering and started to charge up front, you need to remove yourself from selling it.
  21. Stop selling everything else. Stopping yourself from accepting projects outside of your scalable product or service is the toughest part of creating a business that can thrive without you.
  22. Launch a long-term incentive plan for managers. You need to prove to a buyer you have a management team who can run the business after you’re gone. You need to show that the management team is locked into staying with your company after acquisition.

 

There’s plenty more great advice in the book and on author John Warrillow’s Built To Sell website. The resources page includes links to white papers, videos, cheat sheets, and webinars that can help you create a business that’s built to sell.

 

 

For more On the Edge content, please visit the Vantiv Partner Advantage website.

 

Jim Roddy is a Reseller & ISV Business Advisor for Vantiv’s PaymentsEdge Advisory Services. He has been active in the POS channel since 1998, including 11 years as the President of Business Solutions Magazine, six years as a Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA) board member, and one term as RSPA Chairman of the Board. Jim is regularly requested to speak at industry conferences and he is author of the book Hire Like You Just Beat Cancer.

Why develop an Apple Pay mobile wallet?

Help unlock more conversions for your customers by understanding the statistics behind the Apple Pay mobile wallet.  While mobile wallet adoption has lagged in the US when compared to global trends, the room for growth in digital wallet use are undeniable.  For Apple Pay developers,  here are just a few statistics every developer should know when making a case for integrating to Apple Pay.

  • Eighty percent of Americans have never used a contactless payment system, compared to approximately 80% of Australians and Brits who do.
  • By 2020, over 60 million users are expected to use mobile wallets in the United States.
  • Mobile payment activity in China was nearly 50 times greater than in the U.S. in 2016, and the number of Chinese mobile payments is expected to multiply by 7.4 times by 2019.
  • Europeans ages 55-64 comprise the group with the fastest growth rate for mobile banking adoption.
  • Nearly 30% of iPhone users have setup and used Apple Pay at least once.

 

iphone-30-percent-installed-applepay

 

The reasons for implementing with Apple Pay

For Apple Pay development, how you implement an Apple Pay mobile wallet is critical to building a robust payment process. Reducing friction in the payments funnel  helps customer satisfaction, which increases customer engagement and reduces cart abandonment by  shoppers. Proper development work translates into higher revenue potential and lifetime customer value. So code wisely for your customer needs.

 

For users, Apple Pay provides an easy and secure way to buy goods, services, and make donations in an iOS app or on a website. Users can authorize payments using Face ID or Touch ID to release tokenized credit and debit card payment credentials that are securely stored on their device.

 

eCommerce and mobile commerce are the fastest growing segments in payments, but 68% of visitors abandon a site or app because there are too many steps. Digital wallets are a key component in helping simplify the transmission of payment and customer credentials and securely transacting in a digital commerce environment. Mobile wallets like Apple Pay help optimize your experience for in-app, web and mobile web environments.

 

digital wallet drivers shopping cart abandonment

 

Developer’s playbook to getting started with Apple Pay

 The video provides a primer every developer should understand when beginning the process of coding an Apple Pay mobile wallet.  Get your development team set-up for success by following these easy steps...

 

 

 

Get started with Apple Pay:  mobile wallet first steps for all Apple Pay Developers

Apple offers resources to help you get started quickly.

 

Getting started with Worldpay:  mobile wallet next steps

If you are already integrated to Worldpay, work with your Relationship Manager to get set up with a Worldpay Integration Consultant.

  1. The consultant will be able to provide you with test credentials for Worldpay’s test environments and provide additional insight and requirements for the integration.
  2. Worldpay offers different test environments including a sandbox, pre-live and post-live environment.
  3. You can learn more about these environments in Certification and Testing Environments.
  4. To get started with testing - Apple provides test cards you can load into an Apple Pay Wallet for testing. 
  5. Please see this page for reference: - Apple Pay Sandbox Testing - Support - Apple Developer
  6. Gather your Test Credentials in order to test your digital wallet in a pre-live environment.
  7. Decide on your decrypt.
    • Worldpay offers multiple integration approaches which can help simplify your integration and meet your business needs. A Worldpay expert can help you decide on the most logical solution. Learn more about the integrations listed below on Vantiv ONE’s Apple Pay Community Page.

      • Vantiv eProtect – helps simplify integrations and reduces PCI scope.
      • LitleXML – Vantiv, now Worldpay responsible for token and processing.
      • Merchant Decrypt—Merchant decrypts token and processes payment.
  8. Download this Vantiv eCommerce Apple Pay solution document for review.
  9. Engage with the Experts, and feel free to ask any questions in the Vantiv ONE Q&A.

 

Download our digital wallet infographic

Whichever solution you choose in your Apple Pay mobile wallet implementation, make sure your digital wallet is primed for engagement, integration flexibility and future evolution.

 

digital wallet values 

 

For more information on Apple Pay:

Apple Pay integration matrix - Find your Apple Pay integration method with our mobile wallet matrix.

Apple Pay on Vantiv - Why one-size does not fit all developer needs.

Mobile & Digital Wallets - A primer for non-developers.

BoC StadiumBefore we officially announced the Vantiv purchase of Worldpay and intent to rebrand, back in the third quarter of last year, we got the privilege to begin working with Banc of California to be the sole payments provider for the Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) at the new Banc of California stadium in downtown Los Angeles at the former location of the Los Angeles Sports Arena. The intent for the stadium is to be the first cash-less stadium in the United States.

 

For those that don't follow Major League Soccer (MLS) or soccer in general, a little background may be in order. The "beautiful game" as it is called, has been on a tremendous growth path in the United States. Attendance in MLS has grown from 1.8 million in 2008 to 3.5 million in 2017. This is higher than both NBA and NHL average game attendance and given the rise and popularity, star-studded teams have begun to pop up and LAFC is no exception.

 

From the start, the intent appears to be to create a Los Angeles community inclusive soccer club, improving local infrastructure, pushing forward sustainability and providing the community with jobs, event space and year-round dining options. The stadium has a seating capacity of 22,000 and has 130,000 square feet of public open space. Did we mention the intention to be the first cash-less stadium in the United States?

 

WorldPay Process

On a large transactional venue like this, there are many pieces that have to come together to get the payment processing operational before first kick-off. At Worldpay, we have many teams and processes that work together to make all systems go. When complex solutions enter our landscape, our business development teams, along with our solution teams, work hand-in-hand with our partners, LAFC, and the vendors to ensure a smooth payment processing experience.

 

We got the privilege to work with these fine vendors, facilitating payments:

 

  • SeatGeek - SeatGeek integrated to us for both card not present and card present transactions on our Express platform utilizing triPOS cloud for the card present piece (To the right you can see one of our triPOS terminals in the LAFC ticket office. If you purchase tickets for LAFC, you are working with Worldpay.
  • SkiData - SkiData integrated to our Express platform and provided mobile capabilities to LAFC and its vendors.
  • Appetize - Appetize provides the vending POS services for LAFC and the stadium.
  • Fanatics - Fanatics provides the merchandising POS services for LAFC and the stadium
  • Venuetize - Venuetize provides the mobile application experience and touched many parts of our Express platform, along with many of the vendors listed here.
  • EverPark - EverPark provides parking services for the stadium.

 

With the appropriate solution identified and road-mapped into the system for the vendor, the next step, if it is necessary (sometimes vendors are already integrated to the specified solution), is to begin the integration process.

 

The integration process involves working with our developer integrations team. This team of platforms experts is highly technical on both the hardware and software side. The developer integrations team works intimately with the vendor to ensure their integration is completed, certified and ready to process. Once the certification is complete, the vendor works with us to ensure operational readiness before our first install team walks our partners through go-live, providing valuable services, tools, and resources to streamline this critical step in the process.

 

 

The stadium go-live

The teamwork involved for a large event like this is enormous. Worldpay only plays one role, albeit a critical role, and that critical role gave rise to an amazing event and a beautiful stadium.

 

 

We got to witness a lot of exciting events at the stadium, including a few celebrity spottings. Here is Will Ferrell, pulling his Tesla into the stadium parking:

 

To top it all off, LAFC got the win in the closing minutes of the game. The fans were ecstatic, and so was team Worldpay.

 

 

Conclusion

These are dream projects and LAFC is helping make dreams a reality for so many organizations and individuals. Right out of the gate, LAFC has one of the most supported clubs in North America. We look forward to continued partnership with LAFC and BoC and thank everyone that was involved At Worldpay, we take modern money to a new level.

Mark Fraker, the Vice President of Marketing at POS distributor BlueStar and the current Chairman of the Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA), told me his father shared this pearl of wisdom with him way-back-when: “God gave you two ears and one mouth, and you should use them in that proportion.”

 

I’m glad I was listening to Mark when he said that because I picked up a valuable tip last fall at BlueStar’s VARTECH Conference in Orlando. I was participating as a panelist for a discussion on recurring revenue when an audience member mentioned the book The Automatic Customer by John Warrillow. The book proved to be full of specific details about subscription model best practices you can apply to your business. Warrillow calls out software companies in particular and provides them with resources that will help ISVs generate more recurring revenue.

 

Here are 18 of my favorite passages and concepts from the book plus those software-focused resources that I mentioned:

 

  1. This book will show you how to apply the subscription business model to your own business no matter what your size or industry.
  2. The very act of sinking money into a subscription triggers the desire for the consumer to want to “get his money’s worth.”
  3. Data has become an asset, and nobody has more customer information than a subscription business.          Data has become an asset and nobody has more customer information than a subscription business.
  4. Whether you like it or not, you are now competing in the new subscription economy, and it’s up to you to decide if you’re playing defense or offense.                                                                                                   Whether you like it or not, you are now competing in the new subscription economy, and it’s up to you to decide if you’re playing defense or offense.
  5. Subscribers are better than customers.
  6. The challenges of adopting the subscription model: The biggest risk is spreading the cash you receive from a customer over the life of the subscription. The second-biggest challenge is getting your employees on board.                                                                                                                                                 The second-biggest challenge to the subscription model is getting your employees on board.
  7. In a subscription business, understanding your financial performance requires a new set of operating statistics: monthly recurring revenue (MRR), lifetime value of a subscriber (LTV), customer acquisition cost (CAC), churn rate, and more.
  8. Sales approaches ranked from most expensive to least: Field sales people, telesales, self-serve.
  9. Most successful subscription businesses also need to invest heavily in systems and branding up front, which is why a lot of them go outside to raise capital.
  10. “Outside capital is risk capital, and it’s a great opportunity to become misaligned.”
  11. After studying 50 deals, they found only one case in which the founders got more than their venture backers. In more than half of the venture-backed exits, the founders got nothing.  
  12. Shifting from selling a one-shot product or service to selling a subscription is like the difference between a one-night stand and getting married.
  13. Convincing your own staff to build a recurring revenue stream can be one of the hardest sales of all.
  14. Your first step to reducing churn is to understand why people leave and to do what you can to improve your offering.                                                                                                                                                           Your first step to reducing churn is to understand why people leave and to do what you can to improve your offering.
  15. One of the biggest reasons people stop subscribing to any service is the perception that they are paying for something they are not using. Therefore, your biggest competitor for your subscription business is your customer’s inertia in not using your service.
  16. Charging up front actually reduces churn at the one-year point. The customer invests more time to get to know your service, which makes them stickier in the long term.
  17. Using data about your subscribers to surprise them from time to time can go a long way to keeping the relationship alive and well.
  18. No matter the size, product, or service, subscribers are better for your business than customers.
  19. Recommended resources

 

If you’d like to talk more about how to transition your ISV organization to the recurring revenue business model, please reach out to me. My job as a Reseller & ISV Business Advisor for Vantiv’s (now Worldpay's) PaymentsEdge Advisory Services is to work with our partners to help them clarify their vision, hire the best team, develop staff, establish best practice systems, improve customer service, and more.

 

 

For more On the Edge content, please visit the Vantiv Partner Advantage website.

 

Jim Roddy is a Reseller & ISV Business Advisor for Vantiv’s PaymentsEdge Advisory Services. He has been active in the POS channel since 1998, including 11 years as the President of Business Solutions Magazine, six years as a Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA) board member, and one term as RSPA Chairman of the Board. Jim is regularly requested to speak at industry conferences and he is author of the book Hire Like You Just Beat Cancer.

Even before I met him at the RSPA Inspire Conference in 2015, I was a huge fan of Chip Heath, his brother Dan, and their excellent writing. When I heard earlier this year the Heath brothers published a new book – The Power of Moments – I was quick to order it. The lessons in this book should be valuable to ISVs who want to generate positive, memorable (dare I say “glorious”?) experiences for both their customers and their staff. The Power of Moments helped me better understand several important concepts that I plan to implement into my work going forward.

 

Here are 26 of my favorite passages and concepts from the book:

 

  1. Defining moments shape our lives, but we don’t have to wait for them to happen. We can be the authors of them.
  2. This is a book about the power of moments and the wisdom of shaping them.
  3. When we assess our experiences, we don’t average our minute-by-minute sensations. Rather, we tend to remember flagship moments: the peaks, the pits, and the transitions.
  4. A defining moment is a short experience that is both memorable and meaningful. Defining moments are created from one or more of the following four elements:
    • Elevation: Rise above the everyday, boost sensory pleasures, add an element of surprise (e.g. a love letter, a ticket stub)
    • Insight: We realize something that might influence our lives for decades (e.g. quotes or articles that moved you, books that changed your view of the world)
    • Pride: Us at our best — moments of achievement, moments of courage (e.g. notes of recognition, certificates, thanks-yous, awards)
    • Connection: These moments are strengthened because we share them with others (e.g. wedding photos, family photos)
  5. We must learn to think in moments, to spot the occasions that are worthy of investment, to recognize where the prose of life needs punctuation.
  6. Every great service company is a master of service recovery. They transform a negative moment to a positive one. Every great service company is a master of service recovery
  7. “Mostly forgettable” is actually a desirable state in many businesses. It means nothing went wrong. You got what you expected. Think of “mostly forgettable” as only the first stage of a successful customer experience.
  8. There’s nine times more to gain by elevating positive customers than by eliminating negative ones. There's 9 times more to gain by elevating positive customers than by eliminating negative ones.
  9. To create fans, you need the remarkable, and that requires peaks. Peaks don’t emerge naturally. They must be built.
  10. Breaking the Script: Defying people’s expectations of how an experience will unfold. Breaking the script isn’t just surprise, it’s strategic surprise.
  11. In the service business, a good surprise is one that delights employees as well as customers.
  12. We feel most comfortable when things are certain, but we feel most alive when they’re not.
  13. Dramatize the problems. Once the problems become vivid in the minds of the audience members, their thoughts will immediately turn to … solutions.
  14. Stretch for Insight: Place ourselves in situations that expose us to the risk of failure.
  15. Reflecting or ruminating on our thoughts and feelings is an ineffective way to achieve true understanding. Studying our own behavior is more fruitful. Action leads to insight more often than insight leads to action.
  16. Most employee recognition should be personal, not programmatic. What’s important is authenticity. And frequency: closer to weekly than yearly. And of course what’s most important is the message: “I saw what you did and I appreciate it.”
  17. Success comes from pushing to the finish line. Milestones compel us to make that push, because [a] they’re within our grasp, and [b] we’ve chosen them precisely because they’re worth reaching for.
  18. You can’t deliver a great customer experience without first delivering a great employee experience.
  19. Remote contact is perfectly suitable for day-to-day communication and collaboration. But a big moment needs to be shared in person.
  20. If you want to be part of a group that bonds like cement, take on a really demanding task that’s deeply meaningful.                         Be part of a bonded group.
  21. When you understand the ultimate contribution you’re making, it allows you to transcend the task list. Who is the beneficiary of your work, and how are you contributing to them? Understanding the purpose of the work allows for innovation and improvisation.
  22. Relationships don’t proceed in steady, predictable increments.
  23. If we can create the right kind of moment, relationships can change in an instant.
  24. Relationships don’t deepen naturally. In the absence of action, they will stall.
  25. This is what we hope you take away from this book: Stay alert to the promise that moments hold.
  26. The charge for all of us: To defy the forgettable flatness of everyday work and life by creating a few precious moments.

 

If you’d like to talk about how you can enhance your customer experience and your workplace culture, please reach out to me. My job as a Reseller & ISV Business Advisor for Vantiv’s PaymentsEdge Advisory Services is to work with Vantiv, now Worldpay partners to help them clarify their vision, hire the best team, develop staff, establish best practice systems, improve customer service, and more.

 

 

For more On the Edge content, please visit the Vantiv Partner Advantage website.

 

Jim Roddy is a Reseller & ISV Business Advisor for Vantiv’s PaymentsEdge Advisory Services. He has been active in the POS channel since 1998, including 11 years as the President of Business Solutions Magazine, six years as a Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA) board member, and one term as RSPA Chairman of the Board. Jim is regularly requested to speak at industry conferences and he is author of the book Hire Like You Just Beat Cancer.

5 Key IoT Trends for Developers

In 2017, IoT devices outnumbered people in the world for the first time, with around 300,000 developers supporting IoT technology. In 2020, the IoT industry will need 1,400 times that amount, or 4.5 million developers to support global growth, when over 30 billion IoT connected devices are expected to be installed worldwide.

 

But what does it mean for developers today? What are the biggest IoT trends and how will they impact your work?

 

While there’s nothing completely new and shiny on the IoT horizon, plenty of improvements are being made. Here are five emerging trends to keep an eye on.

 

Python and Java will dominate.

 

Learn python and java to code for IoT technology.

 

If you want to ride the IoT wave, make sure you know the dominant programming languages, namely Java and Python. A 2017 IoT Developer Survey conducted by the Eclipse Foundation lists Java as the top programming language for IoT development, particularly for gateways and the cloud. Python has gained traction for data-intensive applications and works well with small devices.

 

Research is paving the way for the launch of 5G.

 

Research is paving the way for the launch of 5G.

 

Looking toward the 2020 rollout, loads of research is being dedicated to 5G, including how the technology will be used, how companies will invest in infrastructure, and how network providers will maintain profitability. The speed of 5G provides an opportunity for more devices to constantly gather and interpret data, from wearable tech that tracks geolocation and biometrics, to home technology that monitors house temperature and lighting along with external weather reports, allowing for predictive actions.

 

Location, location, location.

 

Enterprises are continuing to adopt IoT for location-based businesses.

 

Enterprises are continuing to adopt IoT for location-based services, with lighting and temperature control systems being a key use case. This means that formerly low-maintenance appliances like your thermostat or floor lamp will now require management and monitoring, including firmware and software updates.

 

Healthcare and retail top the list of IoT use cases.

 

Healthcare and retail top the list of IoT use cases.

 

Use cases for IoT are growing fast, and the healthcare and retail industries are expected to see greater adoption of the technology in the coming year. The healthcare IoT market alone is forecast to reach $117 billion by 2020. Encrypting data transmission will be a priority, particularly for healthcare IoT devices.   

 

Developers will need to solve the security issues of IoT devices that power everyday technology.

 

Security remains a top concern.

One of the most important concerns is the need for solving the security issues of IoT devices that power everyday technology. Experts cite the prolific implementation of unsecured IoT devices as well as the growing availability of DDoS-for-hire services as root causes for DDoS attacks, which increased 91 percent in 2017. Developers will need to be vigilant about product security, including requiring https, and adding credential changes for secure devices.

It seems everywhere you turn technology is reshaping the way we do business. The FinTech ecosystem is encroaching on traditional banking norms and payment businesses are reeling to catch up. As merchant card services become more of a commodity, automated, client-focused onboarding has become a strategic differentiator for continued growth.

 

Know your customer to balance risk with reward

Traditional merchant onboarding is incredibly complex, but for good reasons. It helps to build business credibility and consumer confidence in an era of fraudulent activity and data theft. The acquirer or payment service provider must ensure the merchant is compliant with Know Your Customer (KYC) and other governmental/industry regulations.

 

KYC PayFac instant onboarding

 

With automated onboarding tools and APIs, Payment Facilitators can successfully balance demand for almost instant-onboarding while the Acquirer ensures compliance, reduced business risk and controlled costs.

      

 

More importantly to merchants is ensuring fast payment processing approval for electronic payments. Acquirers must collect, analyze and manage extensive amounts of data before allowing a merchant to start transacting payments. Even though this process is tedious, manual and extremely long, it eliminates the practice implemented by some companies to limit transaction volumes, hold funds or cancel accounts without notice.

 

Faster onboarding Can Double Your Sales Output

At the likes of payment disruptors (software companies), innovation around merchant onboarding is becoming feaverish. As a result, merchants now expect a similar experience just like consumers who can apply for a credit card and get instant approval. The ability to digitize procedures that are historically paper driven and to analyze and assess risk using advanced data analysis tools provides opportunities to dramatically improve the merchant onboarding process.

Consider the potential sales growth if your workforce had to deal with less administration, waiting, and back-office bureaucracy, and if merchant defection in the onboarding process was slashed in half.

With near real-time MID-generation and processing, Payment Facilitators can generate MIDs for sub-merchants seamlessly and instantly. Newly boarded merchants can start processing within a few minutes of the MID creation, just as soon as automated underwriting is successfully completed.

 

More control and flexibility

The greatest benefit is the ability to simplify and streamline the merchant account enrollment and onboarding process by offering a complete, white-label payment processing solution. This leads to more control over the processing experience, higher merchant conversion rates, and the opportunity to earn more revenue from credit card processing. Integrating to an onboarding API creates the potential for greater control and flexibility to efficiently update and manage important information (complex types) about sub-merchants.

 

Instant Merchant Onboarding Process

 

Automated merchant onboarding can be a valuable selling point for Payment Facilitators, delivering a unique opportunity to showcase their value to sub-merchants. Explore the power of modern technology that automates and digitizes processes to help reduce the complexities, enable rapid, highly accurate risk decisions for both e-commerce and physical store merchants.

 

PayFac APIs