What CFO (or CEO for that matter) doesn’t love hearing those four words? Vesta Corporation CMO Tom Byrnes tells PYMNTS that delivering on that proposition is possible when payments processing is turned into a revenue generating opportunity. And that, Byrnes says, starts with another phrase that is music to the ears of those sitting in the C-suite: payments guarantee.
What should be done by a company that’s spent the last 20 years powering the payments solutions and processes for the world’s largest telecommunications companies?
Export that expertise to the broader payments ecosystem.
“We do something that no bank on the planet would ever do — we effectively underwrite and guarantee $6 billion worth of payments to people we don’t know or have ever seen,” Byrnes said. “We are guaranteeing the payment but we are also insuring that we are going to increase acceptance and conversion. And that’s why we call our payments solutions, revenue generating solutions.”
Vesta has evolved from its early roots as the first to create and deploy electronic payment solutions for the telecommunications industry to the “only single source, zero-fraud” payments service for merchants large and small, across a variety of merchant categories.
“We have seen the overall topography of the payments and fraud universe start to really shift and we saw a very significant opportunity for us to go in, basically take best of breed of all of the solutions we’ve built on a customized basis and then organize them into a scalable solution set that could fit the needs of virtually any merchant out there,” Byrnes said.
That makes Vesta unique, as Byrnes puts it, giving Vesta “skin in the game” when processing transactions. More than just a processer of payments, Vesta takes on the risk associated with the transactions that cross its platform. That means if it approves a bad transaction, it eats those costs. That, says Byrnes, makes Vesta a true partner with the merchants it does business with.
Vesta’s “payments guarantee” is baked into the toolkit that it takes to market – one that helps merchants select the best solution for their business based on their channel structure and needs. The common thread through all of those solutions is the elimination of chargebacks, related fines and fees on the part of the merchant and reduction in PCI compliance issues – all with an eye to increasing acceptance, conversion and profitability.
Vesta’s toolkit has also been designed to meet the needs of the omnichannel merchant – a solution that Byrnes describes as the “first true omnichannel payment solution,” and a “game changer,” given its ability to offer the kind of visibility and control of information across channels. This solution provides insight on consumer behavior, transactions, histories and even which devices they are using regardless of the channels they are using to shop. That gives merchants the information they need to develop the promotions that reach the right customer at the right time in order to increase the odds of a sale.
“No one is talking about this. Everyone is talking about the channel and the cross-channel experience, but not how hard it is to follow the consumer across channels,” Byrnes explained.
While Vesta’s revenue-generating payments portfolio has the potential to be a disruptor, offering merchants the opportunity to also lower overhead and streamline operations seems particularly compelling to merchants that may be struggling with the challenges that come with running an in-house solution and managing an ongoing battle against dynamic and complex fraud threats.
“Let’s face it, the fraudsters are some of the most sophisticated people I have ever seen. Half the time I see some of their schemes and I think if they were working on our side we’d all be working for them,” Byrnes said.
But perhaps the greatest opportunity Vesta has, Byrnes says, is to invert the traditional value proposition of payments processing.
“Most importantly, we can give retailers the four words every CFO I’ve ever met wants to hear: ‘steady, predictable revenue stream,’” Byrnes added.
Chief Marketing Officer
Tom Byrnes directs Vesta’s brand development, corporate and product marketing strategies, and all marketing operations. Tom is also responsible for Vesta’s revenue and lead direct, channel, and partner sales operations. With more than 25 years of experience in developing integrated B2B branding systems, loyalty programs, digital retail and social platforms, and integrated multi-channel communications strategies, Tom brings a results-oriented approach to driving sales and revenue. Prior to joining Vesta, Tom served as the CMO at TGate Payments, Spectra Payments and Evanta. He was also VP of Marketing for Chockstone, a customer loyalty and payments innovator. As the founder of Spark Brand Marketing, Tom worked closely with C-level executives in providing counsel on a wide range of brand, business, and launch strategies in the payments and high technology industries. Tom holds degrees in Philosophy and History from Antioch College.