Sometimes merchants contact Leaf directly to learn more about the LeafPresenter, the electronic point of sale tablet the company designed specifically for commerce.

And if those merchants also need transaction services, Leaf will now be ready to offer information from a host of merchant acquirers, says Leaf CEO Aron Schwarzkopf.

Leaf is offering the Payment Apps marketplace on its website, where acquirers can display their names, logos and marketing messages, Schwarzkopf says.

“Our merchant customers often ask for our advice when choosing a payment provider, and their need for more insight into the market and its offerings is what inspired us to create the Payment Apps marketplace,” he notes. “Now 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.”

The marketplace will change the way merchants perceive their transaction-services providers by introducing branding, Schwarzkopf maintains.

In the marketplace Leaf creates an app for each acquirer, providing an opportunity to explain to merchants why they should pick that particular transaction-services provider.

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.

On the site, the marketplace will look somewhat like the Apple app store, Schwarzkopf notes.

He doesn’t envision limiting the number of acquirers participating in the app store. About a dozen companies ranging from small ISOs to large acquirers have joined the launch group, he says.

Merchants find their way to the Leaf site through the company’s efforts to attract online traffic and through referrals by distribution partners, Schwarzkopf says.

In the first case, when Leaf’s online team has brought merchants to the site, the visitors reach a point in the registration process for Leaf when they’re asked for a transaction services provider. If they don’t have one, Leaf can point them to the marketplace.

In the past, Leaf emailed those merchants a list of acquirers, but the new process should provide a more seamless experience, Schwarzkopf says.

He declines to say how many merchants visit the Leaf site 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.

The LeafPresenter costs $250, and Leaf charges $50 a month for its LeafBusiness product regardless of the number of tablets, the company says.

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