Welcome to PYMNTS.com’s Midyear Review: a look into what the leaders of the payments industry have seen and accomplished this calendar year, and how they see trends playing out for the rest of 2013. We ask a top executive from each payments player the same six questions about how the industry has improved, what it still needs, and how his or her company plans to stay ahead of the competition in a complex and dynamic payments world.
In this installment, we speak to Keith Stone, CEO of CSI Enterprise: a company focused on creating innovative financial solutions for businesses. What does Stone have to say about the growth of mobile payments so far in 2013? Find out below.
PYMNTS.com: What are some of CSI’s key accomplishments this year?
Keith Stone: Key accomplishments for CSI have included triple-digit growth in our existing verticals where we have a good, strong foothold, as well as entrance into several new verticals this year.
We’ve been fortunate to hire good strong talent with depth and experience focused on the payables business.
We also must credit our outstanding customer advisory board in the role it plays in enabling us to separate ourselves in the AP space with leading technology. It is through their direction and openness in allowing us visibility into their businesses that we’re able to learn firsthand what our clients’ challenges are, which in turn helps us to create a better product.
What have you seen this year so far in payments that has surprised you?
We’ve seen a lack of uniformity in the mobile payment space – a space that’s moving far slower than we anticipated. There’s a lot of talk and hype around mobile payments, but with new and unique hardware and software requirements for merchants, mass adoption is going to be slow going. From our perspective, we see MasterCard as a leader here in offering innovative and creative solutions to not only their issuers but to the market in general.
What do you think is still missing?
Earlier this year, we identified a void of a strong vendor experience. We feel we’ve met that void with our latest product enhancements that are focused on just that. That release will be forthcoming during the third quarter of this year.
The enhancement of our vendor portal gives them the ability to receive payments from multiple businesses; they can receive all their payments from one location. Combined with many other enhancements that will soon be released, the vendor experience will be far better moving forward.
What do you think is in store for the rest of the year?
There’s been a focus on offering larger enterprises a full AP solution with electronic payments. We will be expanding this to include online bill payment options for the smaller micro businesses, enabling them to utilize virtual card payments. This will be a focus of ours through the end of the year.
We will also see a significant release of our virtual card mobile technology, enhancing the experience from card controls and security.
What can we expect to see from CSI (that you can disclose)?
An innovative mobile application that not only enables the end user to generate virtual cards, but also control the plastic card in your wallet. While mobile payments promise to be a more rewarding user experience than using your plastic, it’s unlikely that it will ever be easier than whipping out your plastic card. With our new mobile application, you’ll have granular control over your plastic card, from your mobile phone. And as admin, you’ll have complete control over all your employees spending, all from the palm of your hand.
Keith James Stone
Founder, CEO CSI Enterprises, Inc
Founder, President & CEO globalVCard paysystems
Keith J. Stone currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of CSI Enterprises, Inc. with a twenty-four year history. Mr. Stone resigned his dual role as President and Managing Director of GE Capital Fleet Services Brazil/Latin American Operations in late 2000, residing in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
GE Capital Services in early 1997 purchased CSI’s South American operations CSI Fleet Services do Brasil/Latin America. LTDA . Then ten years prior to the South American acquisition he was, as is today, the President and CEO of CSI Enterprises, Inc., globalVCard paysystems Inc. and globalVCard Inc. Canada.
Proven innovator, entrepreneur, strategist, pioneer, and inventor, Mr. Stone has founded and guided numerous U.S. and international companies to successful outcomes all with zero venture capital funding or outside investment. Mr. Stone’s zero debt strategy allows true independence without negative outside influence. This allows the companies to stay true to their core values, fostering true innovation without debt influences.