New software called Pegasus, like the winged horse of Greek mythology, helps ISOs manage just about every aspect of their relationships with merchants.
Its a cradle to grave tool for merchant account management, says Rick Jernigan, the ISO who invented and refined the customer relationship management (CRM) package. It starts the moment you get a lead, and it goes all the way through the boarding process.
But the system doesnt stop there, adds Jernigan, who serves a couple thousand merchants at Decatur-Ga.-based A-AAccess OnLine Payment Systems, Inc.
After the merchant has signed up for transaction services, the software tracks the clients incoming and outgoing phone calls, notes Andres Jimenez, Pegasus product manager. It notifies the account manager when a merchant calls, so the account manager can ensure the merchant has a good customer experience.
When a merchant rings an ISO, a pop-up box with the callers name and basic information appears on the computer screen of the person fielding the call. That way, the person answering the phone can greet the merchant by name.
The system automatically logs all calls and email messages so that ISOs can review a clients entire history.
When moving from one step to another in the clients life cycle, the system uses the information it obtains to populate subsequent forms and thus reduce duplication of effort. That can include integration with processors electronic forms.
Electronic signatures used in the system have helped ISOs improve their close rates by up to 30% because they no longer have merchants falling out of the boarding process because they fail to print out and fax agreements, Jimenez says.
In a sense Pegasus goes beyond the grave and continues to send marketing messages to former clients that may have left to do business with another merchant services provider.
Pegasus works especially well for ISOs, Jimenez says, because the system was designed specifically for the industry. General systems with acquiring industry add-ons dont work as well, he claims.
The difference becomes especially clear when computing residual payments that sometimes reflect a complex network of ISOs and agents intertwined in a merchant agreement, Jimenez maintains.
One agent told me he used to spend three days figuring residuals, and now it takes him 15 minutes, he says.
It as the most robust residuals calculation of any tool in the industry, Jimenez says. Its the core of our industry. Everyone wants to get paid properly.
To use the system ISOs pay $20 to $85 monthly for each seat, with the price per seat varying depending upon the number of seats. Most ISOs are using 10 to 300 seats.
The cloud-based system can update itself automatically with no effort by users, Jimenez says.
Jernigan says he began working on the system 15 years ago and recently finished a rewrite that took two years. The revisions came because CoCard, a cooperative for sub-ISOs, was looking for a CRM system.
Between 70 and 80 ISOs have been using the system, most hearing about it by word-of-mouth, he says.
That began to change when Jimenez began introducing the system to a broader audience by promoting it at the recent Southeast Acquirers Association trade show. Since then, another seven ISOs have signed up for the system.
Bringing a new ISO onto the system usually requires some customization because every acquirer operates differently, Jimenez says.
The system can handle large ISOs and processors but also makes sense for small and medium-sized acquirers, he maintains.
Pegasus faces competition. For example, IRIS, which stands for Integrated Reporting is Simple, also offers a CRM tools that ISOs say has cut their costs while helping them close more deals.