Using President Teddy Roosevelt’s famous “Square Deal” policy as inspiration, API Software Inc. has created an application ISOs can use to help merchants tabulate the best payment services deals.

The Square Deal Pro app for the merchant services industry enables sales reps to compare their company’s rates to those of Square, PayPal, Stripe and other payments aggregators.

Essentially, the application takes the mathematics burden off of the merchant and helps an ISO or agent compare bundled pricing with interchange-plus pricing, says Frank Haggar, president of Boca Raton, Fla.-based API Software.

“I’m a software developer more than a salesperson, but I started asking merchants why they chose a certain provider, and they just said the pricing was simpler,” Haggar says. “It might be more expensive, but it was easier for them to understand.”

That moved Haggar to develop Square Deal Pro. “It’s a software that salespeople can have right on their phones and it makes a comparison and is easy to understand,” Haggar says.

Square Deal Pro, which operates on iPhones, Android devices and Windows phones, was established as a vendor-neutral tool that is also available for merchants to download if they were inclined to want to crunch numbers themselves. Service providers pay $15 for the application and all of its sales features, but a free version for price comparisons only is available to merchants.

“Merchants are experts in what they know how to do, and they may not want something that includes math distracting them from that,” Haggar says. “But the sales rep can do it for them and use it along the lines of a calculator helping someone figure out mortgage rates.”

ISOs have various tools at their disposal and lock in key information in their brains to prepare for sales presentations, but most will likely find Square Deal Pro a valuable addition, says industry analyst Todd Ablowitz, president of Centennial, Colo.-based Double Diamond Group LLC.

“Something that takes complicated pricing schemes and factors it all into an easy interface that puts out a clear comparison—that is valuable, certainly out in the field,” Ablowitz says.

API Software has to deliver something difficult or impossible to copy because that “would set this permanently apart as opposed to being a lead to other [similar] products in the market,” he says.

An ISO can change rates or make adjustments for a client if the numbers show that another provider is offering a less expensive option, Haggar says. But the numbers in the app don’t lie, Ablowitz notes.

“The app will show how a bundled rate can work in your favor, such as if you are selling Girl Scouts cookies at $3 a box. Then use Square all day long,” Haggar says. “But an ISO can compare how his product works compared to others and the app can show, that at a certain time, it might be beneficial to switch over.”

Square Deal Pro takes into account factors other than interchange rates, including merchant volume, average ticket price and whether transactions are keyed or swiped, or both.

“All of those things determine where you fit in on the diagram of how your rate should be structured,” Haggar says. “There is a lot of analysis on minimal focal points.”

The application may also help defuse potential problems with merchants who sometimes feel their sales rep was not providing a fair assessment of pricing structure or comparisons, he says.

As for the application’s name, Haggar doesn’t want any confusion over whether this might be a new Square product.

“Teddy Roosevelt wanted to give everyone a fair shake and a fair deal, and we based our product on his quote, more so than with anything to do with Square as a payments company,” he maintains.

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