In the case of payments gateways, sometimes it's a story of here today, gone tomorrow.
That's what Ben Goretsky, CEO of USAePay, thinks — an opinion honed over the last 18 years. USAePay is a payments gateway company that's been around since 1998 — back when the online realm wasn't even old enough to be described as "nascent" and well before the advent of the modern smartphone — yet is still going strong.
In a recent conversation with MPD CEO Karen Webster, Goretsky spoke of how USAePay’s tenet to adopt and evolve with new technologies over nearly two decades has been central to the company’s continued success.
“Back in 1998,” he observes, “computers and the Internet itself were just a lot slower and bulkier. Things are faster now; people are used to doing things on their smartphones that they couldn't on a computer then.”
In expanding its capabilities over the years, USAePay has developed elements that “allow merchants just to do more,” says Goretsky. In facilitating the ability for merchants to run better reports, process more quickly, affect stronger fraud prevention, as well as connect into phones and online stores, the platform is “changing not just the interface that merchants are using, but also what they can do.”
Central to a payments gateway’s effectiveness in the modern era is, of course, its capabilities in the realm of omnichannel — something which USAePay has put a lot of its resources toward, recognizing that any given merchant is, as Goretsky puts it, “no longer just a retail merchant or just an eCommerce merchant,” but rather one that lives on both channels and others, including selling on platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
The interface that USAePay provides for omnichannel merchants, Goretsky tells Webster, “allows them to connect all their different environments into one easy-use account,” providing reporting that separates where transactions are coming from, what devices are processing them, and so on.
It’s a method that works for merchants of all types and sizes, observes Goretsky, “from the small mom-and-pop merchants, all the way to enterprise merchants that process thousands of transactions every hour.”
The USAePay CEO has found that what unifies this wide range of retailers is a common goal: They want easy-to-use solutions.
Beyond that, adds Goretsky, merchants “want to know that, if they need something more — whether it’s within a week, a month, or a couple of years — the solution that they’re using to process credit cards is scalable.”
This scalability is another characteristic that Goretsky says has contributed to USAePay’s longevity.
“We've seen [merchants] that come to us that start off with a very basic account,” shares Goretsky, “but in a couple of years they've got retail locations, they're doing trade shows, they're doing all kinds of things -- and they're still very happy to use our system because we are able to grow with them.”
What has sustained Goretsky and the merchants he counts as customers, he believes, is doing things that other payment gateways were not even at the start in 1998.
Goretsky mentions that the company’s price structure has always been “completely different” from its competitors’ offerings, as has the fact that USAePay doesn’t sell the gateway directly (instead working through a channel sales division for those purposes).
Another factor that he feels has kept the company viable to merchants today has been its long-standing focus on security. In fact, Goretsky describes USAePay as being “one of the first gateways to become PCI compliant.” That focus remains a priority for the company, which is especially beneficial for merchants that perhaps don’t even realize how essential security is.
“Because a lot of [security] is happening in the background and they don’t see it,” explains Goretsky, merchants can tend to lose focus on its importance. That tendency has unwittingly opened the doors for payment gateways with more lax antifraud measures — companies that, as a result, have come and gone throughout USAePay’s existence.
Looking ahead, Goretsky remarks that “It's interesting to see where payments are going because it seems that payments are getting involved in everything — not just simple commerce or simple transactions for goods.” Goretsky noted that since even an application like Snapchat, for example, now facilitates P2P payments, and he observes that “the exchange of funds is becoming easily available because of digital payments [like those].”
While USAePay continues to work toward doing more in regard to mobile payments, Goretsky tells Webster that security is going to remain a major aspect of the company in that regard.
“We always say that the easier it is to make a payment, the less secure it is,” he remarks. “It's going to be one of those things where we're going to keep adding payments to mobile devices and mobile applications, and we're going to be able to do more with our watches and our phones, etc. — but we still have to keep an aspect of security in place.”
Goretsky attests that while “the general market hasn’t really accepted” things like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay, they will continue to grow in adoption and “as time goes by” will become more common forms of payment.
“Every year, eCommerce itself is at a constant growth,” he remarks. “People are more comfortable buying things online; people are more comfortable buying things from their smartphones.”
As the omnichannel experience continues to expand, so, too, will USAePay’s offerings, says the CEO.
“We have a complete solution for developers in multiple languages,” Goretsky tells Webster. “We always focus on improving the functionality of the gateway and being up-to-date with the latest specs and guidelines, as well as adding multiple industries to it.”
Especially important, Goretsky says, as “more and more people continue to buy things online rather than go into an actual store.”
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