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May 22, 2018
David Johnson, FIS | Senior Vice President, Emerging Commerce Products
Small business owners have enough on their plates. From reconciling the books, paying bills, paying employees, servicing business loans and recruiting staff to manage social media presence and other marketing efforts, owners already face a seemingly endless list of tasks. Further complicating things is dealing with external partners – banks, HR firms, accounting services, POS terminal vendors, etc. – and the various websites, IDs, and passwords each one requires, it’s a wonder how work is ever done.
Fortunately, some technology partners have recognized the need to greatly simplify interfaces for small businesses, offering them a single portal that can manage all external relationships in one place. These one-stop merchant hubs offer a unified ecosystem for business owners and allow a vast array of merchant services to be managed and serviced through a single partner relationship.
New businesses joining the merchant hub provide data points on their business that translate into suggestions of the typical set of services that match their status and size. For example, a restaurant with over 30 employees will likely need an employee recruitment service, while a small IT consultancy would probably benefit from expense management services. A business owner simply selects the service(s) he or she requires, manage those needs through a single portal, then pays a single invoice to a single vendor. As a business grows, new services can be added to an owner’s portfolio through the portal. As operations grow (or shrink) for a business, the number of services they take from the portal also can adapt accordingly.
As with all aspects of business, a critical success factor for merchant service hubs is knowing your customer. The secret is to demonstrate to clients that the hub technology partner understands their specific business needs; small businesses really want to be heard, understood and managed for who they are – not facing a “one size fits all” mentality.
To strengthen the value proposition to merchants using the hub and deepen the mutually beneficial relationship, merchant hubs recommend additional services that other operations of their size and type also find useful. This way, the business owner can easily access their current products and view a list of available options that could benefit and grow business. For example, a gift card program will improve brand exposure and increase online sales capabilities, and offering promotions and marketing via a loyalty program will attract new customers and build on the current customer base.
The marketplace demands more innovative solutions that improve security, increase stability and simplify use for business owners – while doing so at an affordable price. Merchant hubs can help business owners keep up with these demands by providing innovative products and services that enhance revenue, and minimize risk and cost. Most importantly, the merchant hub will allow the business owner to save time and focus on what really matters – growing their business!
Senior Vice President, Emerging Commerce Products
DJ is the Product Division Lead over Loyalty, Prepaid, EBT – Government and Merchant Products. DJ joined FIS in 2007 and has over 20 years of payment industry experience with roles in product development, strategy, consulting and business development. Before FIS, DJ managed Online Banking and Bill Pay for a Top 15 US bank. DJ earned his MBA from Emory University and a degree in Finance from the University of Florida.
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