The merchants who want to use Leaf's tablet for payments, called LeafPresenter, often also need transaction services. Through the launch of its online marketplace, Leaf will now be ready to offer information from a host of merchant acquirers.
Leaf today began offering the Payment Apps marketplace on its website, where acquirers can display their names, logos and marketing messages. "We can guide our customers to Payment Apps, where they are empowered to make an educated decision based on the needs of their small business," says Leaf CEO Aron Schwarzkopf.
In the marketplace Leaf creates an app for each acquirer, giving the acquirer an opportunity to make its pitch to merchants. ISOs can also have branding in the Leaf product, so that the brand appears to the merchant with every card swipe, Schwarzkopf says.
The ISO submits content, and Leaf performs the technical task of setting up the app.
"We post that content on our website so that we can shoot leads to them, and at the same time we post all of that content directly into our product," he says.
The online marketplace will look somewhat like the Apple app store, Schwarzkopf notes.
The company is not limiting the number of acquirers participating in the app store. About a dozen companies ranging from small ISOs to large acquirers are in the launch group, he says.
In the past, Leaf emailed those merchants a list of acquirers, but the new online process should provide a more seamless experience, Schwarzkopf says. He declined to say how many come to Leaf's website and thus might use the marketplace.
Acquirers that participate in marketplace pay nothing until they sign up a merchant. ISOs should find that proposition "refreshing" because they usually pay for leads whether or not the prospects sign a contract, Schwarzkopf says.
"There's no risk for the ISO to join," he maintains.
The marketplace shows Leaf's dedication to embracing the acquiring industry's established players instead of displacing them, Schwarzkopf says.
"We are building reseller programs so that the ISO can enhance the relationship with their merchant portfolio as opposed to disintermediating them," he maintains.
Leaf enables ISOs to sell technology alongside payment services, Schwarzkopf says. But to sell new technology, ISOs have to understand it. So Leaf started a started a membership program last year to teach ISOs about emerging trends.
"There's a massive wave of mobile technology and cloud technology coming to the payments space," Schwarzkopf notes.
Heartland Payment Systems has invested in Leaf, bringing Heartland's 800-member sales force into the mix. But Leaf remains "payments agnostic" and is open to working with all acquirers, Schwarzkopf says.