Total Systems Services (TSYS) and Womply, a big-data startup, are nearing their goal of providing Womply's Insights platform to 10,000 of TSYS' clients by the end of the year.
TSYS currently has 8,500 merchants using the technology, branded as TSYS Merchant Insights, after offering it for several months, says Craig Ludwig, director of product management at TSYS Merchant Solutions.
TSYS plans to eventually offer Womply's platform to all 60,000 of its direct merchant customers, plus customers of TSYS subsidiaries such as ProPay, says Ludwig. Through this strategy, TSYS can potentially reach two million direct and indirect merchant customers, he says.
Throughout beta testing, TSYS has seen a 56% adoption rate, says Jim Egbert, CEO of Womply.
Womply's "greatest benefit" to a merchant is it "allows him to see at a very local level on how he's performing," Ludwig says. For example, a store manager can see anonymized data showing how his business compares to competitors in a local market.
Womply "is taking the big data questions and really boiling that down for a merchant," says Ludwig. With TSYS, "we've been looking at tools that enable merchants to understand where they currently sit in the market and what their current problems are," he says.
The Womply platform not only aggregates transactional data for merchants but also bundles their social and reputational data, such as how the company's Facebook posts are received and what consumers are saying about the business on Yelp.
Pitching Womply to merchants is an educational process as well, says Ludwig. Some merchants don't think they need Yelp data because they don't have a Yelp page, but consumers have already begun reviewing the merchant.
Womply generates a dashboard of relevant social media networks for a merchant, allowing merchants to find out what's trending on those networks without having to sign in separately and browse content.
Currently Womply looks at social data on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Yelp and Foursquare. OpenTable and several other social networks are in the pipeline for next year.
In another phase of the partnership, TSYS and Womply plan to bring more value-added products and services, including data regarding the performance of a merchant's mobile-optimized site, says Ludwig.
While there are many startups offering big data tools to payments companies, distribution remains an issue.
Womply works with independent sale organizations to leverage their scale, says Egbert.
"It's a day-in, day-out dog fight going on to acquire a merchant just so you can provide your service to them and we bypass a lot of that," Egbert says. "This is just a much more frictionless path to the merchant."
Plus "if you can create partnerships with payment processors, those guys have visibility to a lot of data," Egbert says. Womply provides its products to processors in exchange for their data, which enhances the offering for merchants, he says.