CardConnect, a King of Prussia, Penn.-based super ISO, has developed a “one-stop” merchant portal that combines authorization and settlement data to help retailers track and manage transactions.

Providing information on settlement and authorization in a single reporting system called the Merchant Center constitutes “the key differentiator for our Merchant Center, compared to some of the other ISOs’ and processors’ versions of this,” said CardConnect CEO Jeff Shanahan.

With competitors’ systems, merchants have to log on two or more times to retrieve that data, according to Rob Nathan, the company’s chief technology officer. He said competing systems supply too much unneeded detail, adding that “the ease of use is not there.”

The Merchant Center’s reporting and reconciliation includes detailed reports on deposits, authorizations, settlements, funding and chargebacks, plus the ability to view and download statements.

Transaction management features help merchants to control voids, refunds and receipts.

Account Alerts notify users of updates, such as when a chargeback occurs or a statement becomes available.

The platform accommodates businesses with single or multiple locations, and merchants can configure a different set of permissions for each user.

All merchants that process transactions through CardConnect can sign up for access to transaction and funding data, and all are eligible to use the virtual terminal that’s embedded in the Merchant Center and is part of the release. Merchants that use CardConnect’s gateway can access authorization information.

CardConnect doesn’t charge users for tapping into the Merchant Center, but they may charge for products distributed through the merchant center. Those products include access to the gateway via the merchant terminal, access to the gateway via API, point-to-point encryption, enterprise integration services, recurring billing and online invoicing.

“Anything and everything a merchant can do through us is now available through the Merchant Center,” said Shanahan.

Merchants can log onto the system and view the products, Nathan said.

Besides the Merchant Center, CardConnect also offers secure point-to-point encryption with the help of a relationship with terminal maker Ingenico, Nathan said. While other companies have concentrated on protecting card-present transactions, CardConnect is also safeguarding card-not-present payments, he said.

The super ISO’s gateway, developed in-house and with partners like Cardinal Commerce, optimizes interchange rates, adds security measures, facilitates business-to-business transactions and eases e-commerce authentication, he noted.  

Working with software partners, CardConnect spent a year testing the Merchant Center. About 300 merchants participated in the tests, and another 700 signed up in the first week after the portal’s release, bring the total to 1,000.

The company serves roughly 50,000 merchants, and many of those that don’t use the in-house gateway would have reason to switch because of the Merchant Center introduction, Shanahan said.

CardConnect’s 17-member in-house sales team and its more than 400 active ISOs and agents will introduce the Merchant Center to clients, Shanahan said.

The timing’s right for the company’s new offerings, he noted. The nation’s transition to EMV is creating a need for new merchant acceptance hardware like the Ingenico terminals with CardConnect software. Meanwhile heightened awareness of data fraud in the wake of the Target breach and other high-profile cybercrimes is expanding the market for the company’s point-to-point encryption, he said.

The Merchant Center “pulls those things together” and adds authorization and settlement in one place, Shanahan said.

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