Staying Ahead Of The Payments Curve

Vantiv Extends triPOS

Today, at the point of sale, it’s not enough to just have a solution in place that works — merchants are in need of smarter, faster and more valuable offerings that enable them to keep up with the speed of payments innovation. Coy Christensen, VP of product management for Vantiv, joined Karen Webster to discuss how the addition of mobile and cloud solutions to the triPOS product line is doing just that.

Time is money — especially when a business needs a point-of-sale (POS) solution up and running.

For many independent software vendors (ISVs), the pressure is on to deliver solutions that not only work but can facilitate various merchant industries operating in-store or on-the-go.

While fast installation and a simplified payment experience, all within a single installation, may sound too good to be true, Vantiv is out to prove otherwise.

By removing the complexities around device integrations, EMV certifications and PCI compliance, Vantiv introduced mobile and cloud solutions to its existing triPOS product line to help developers deliver on more robust offerings to developers.

Coy Christensen, VP of product management for Vantiv, explained that triPOS is truly three POS offerings in one — representing three components that are created in a way that allows Vantiv to change one piece without affecting the others, if needed. Those three pieces are the developer interface, device drivers and the integration into the processors.

“One integration gets you all the security, all the certifications, as well as access to most processors through our gateway,” Christensen noted. “The benefit of that is having four weeks’ worth of work that saves the years’ worth of effort that normally all of this would take.”

Vantiv unveiled the triPOS Mobile and triPOS Cloud products last month at Money20/20 and demonstrated how the new triPOS extensions will enable software developers to create POS solutions that are equipped for every use case and can be integrated via the cloud or a native application.


Taking triPOS Further

“The unique thing about this solution and all of its aspects and various versions is that we’ve been able to push it out to pretty much all industries,” Christensen said.

In order to do this, he explained that Vantiv had to go through various industry types and think about the interactions that take place with a customer when a payment experience takes place.

The support of multiple industry types — ranging from health care to lodging, auto rental and B2B — ensures that even industries that have historically been difficult to get into and support can be serviced.

For what Christensen described as the next generation of developers — as in those that prefer to not put any solutions in the store and instead support everything remotely — the triPOS cloud can support many additional services and value additions related to omnichannel shopping experiences.

“You link this up with the eCommerce piece, and now, you have the capability to drive the interaction across both platforms,” he said. “In fact, we have a capability to create tokens off an in-store transaction that can then can be used online for recurring billing or even for the aspect of doing a future purchase for card-on-file type offerings.”


Overcoming Channel Conflict

However, it can be difficult navigating the murky waters of the payments ecosystem — where, from Vantiv’s perspective, it supports a variety of hardware environments, while also being an acquirer that supports other devices that aren’t part of triPOS.

It’s inevitable that channel conflict will arise, but managing that to the satisfaction of a partner without taking away from their business is the challenge.

“In the industry as a whole, there are a lot of times where you have a love-hate relationship, so to speak, where, in some ways, you’re competing, and at the same time, you are partners. But with the actual developers that come to us, we are very careful not to compete with them from any aspect when it comes to actually offering up a solution,” Christensen said.

For this reason, Vantiv’s integrated payments business focuses exclusively on going to market through developers.


What’s Next?

In an industry that moves as fast as payments, a decade can feel like too long of a window to make any predictions about what things will look like.

But Christensen said he knows for sure that the POS devices the industry has become accustomed to today will look nothing like the new set of devices that consumers can expect to see in the future, which may not even require any interaction from them whatsoever for payments to be initiated.

“The whole payment is becoming an experience,” he explained, adding that more value will be added to this experience based off the omnichannel type of information that will be able to be collected and analyzed about a customer. This information includes what they purchased online, how long they browsed an aisle or even how often they shopped at a website versus going to the store.

“All those things are starting to be evaluated to create a unique customer experience each time they come into the store,” Christensen said. “I do believe that there will be a whole different aspect to this that really changes the whole consumer-merchant experience to a point that [payment] becomes almost an exciting type of function, something that you look forward to.”

As a growing number of payments players continue to emerge — each taking its own approach as to how to build intelligence into the payment experience — it’s clear that the lines that used to define the roles of who does what have become blurred.

“I don’t think there is an end to it at this point. Technology is growing fast enough that, for the next decade or two, we are going to be in a completely transitional period where things change on a year-to-year basis for the better, and those different pieces will come together,” Christensen said.

“No matter where you sit within the chain, you can’t lock yourself into one solution,” he added, noting that, by doing so, a company could effectively destroy itself.