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Taking the Pain Out of Merchant Onboarding

Ask any merchant how much they liked their onboarding process. It’s generally pretty cumbersome – but for a reason. Assessing the risk of a new merchant is nothing to be taken lightly. But Recombo has completely innovated that process, making it less costly, quicker, and more efficient. Recombo CEO Mike Gardner tells PYMNTS how Recombo is changing the way acquirers onboard without skipping over any of the important risk assessment steps.

Within the payments environment, technology in many ways signifies great opportunities. For Recombo, providers of a digital customer onboarding platform called Agreement Express, it means giving acquirers the ability to speed up and smooth out the onboarding process, yielding higher profitability and overall effectiveness.

“Our goal is to reduce the time it takes to board clients, cost associated with boarding, and ultimately enhance the process,” said Recombo CEO Mike Gardner in a recent podcast interview with PYMNTS. “We provide extraordinary levels of detail so organizations have better visibility in to how long it takes them to board, how much it might cost, and what they can do to improve the merchant experience.”

However, with new technologies come new entrants to the acquirer space – and, according to Gardner, this is a big challenge to traditional acquirers who lose market share to these new entrants.

New entrants are introducing “downward pricing pressure” and types of technology that make them more competitive, as well as changing the landscape, pressuring traditional acquirers to become technology companies.

Another challenge is the product technology landscape, said Gardner, which has become complex in regards to not only terminals but also hardware and software – it’s become about what you can connect with and the different services you can use to connect. On top of this, said Gardner, more strenuous guidelines and penalties from suppliers and the government introduce cost pressure.

The key for acquirers, however, is flexibility. The best are those that are “opening up their ecosystem in such a way that they can connect easily to products and services” that they previously had not thought about, said Gardner.

“It is important that acquirers build a framework around their organization and technology from a processing perspective to be able to easily add in additional hardware or software services,” said Gardner. That, he said, is how acquirers can adapt to the changing device landscape in a sustainable way.

“If you think about where acquirers came from, it has traditionally been a walled garden,” said Gardner. “It’s important for them to open up those walls, and create technology layers that allow them to get connectivity to those products and services that could enhance their communication abilities or allow them to reach out to different markets.”

In the world of onboarding, Recombo believes it is critical to also be flexible on their end to allow acquirers, as they are coming up with new products, to get their products out quickly and efficiently. And as new entrants come in, these acquirers should continue to focus on underwriting. The rule at Recombo, said Gardner, is “to ensure that organizations can underwrite with the same if not increased rigor to what they were doing prior to the new entrants” in the market, but faster and at a lower cost.

Technology provides an extraordinary opportunity to do many more things, from an underwriting perspective more quickly, while not removing elements of the adjudication process just to save time,” said Gardner.

For more on Recombo and its digital customer onboarding solution, listen to the full podcast here.


On Wednesday, April 30, 2014, Recombo will be hosting a webinar focusing on the “Big Three” competitors for acquirers, how they have moved upstream in the market, and how acquirers can use technology to protect their market share. To register for this webinar, CLICK HERE

Listen to the full podcast by clicking below.


*If you have trouble with the audio player above, click here.



Banks, corporates and even regulators now recognize the imperative to modernize — not just digitize —the infrastructures and workflows that move money and data between businesses domestically and cross-border.

Together with Visa, PYMNTS invites you to a month-long series of livestreamed programs on these issues as they reshape B2B payments. Masters of modernization share insights and answer questions during a mix of intimate fireside chats and vibrant virtual roundtables.

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