Executive Spotlight Series with Brandon Allard Executive Vice President Of Business Development at Tidal Commerce

by Brandon Allard 0

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Thank you for taking the time to talk with us today. Can you tell our readers a little bit more about yourself and your new role at Tidal Commerce ?

Thank you Ryan for taking the time to speak with me. Well, I have been a payments professional for the past fifteen years and have held executive positions at companies like JPMorgan Chase, Century Payments and Pivotal Payments. During my tenure I have focused on building and managing strong sales teams across multiple channel types. In my new role as Executive Vice President of Business Development at Tidal Commerce, my goal is to bring awareness to the market of the great payment solutions and innovation Tidal Commerce has to offer.

Tidal Commerce says that it provides what it calls “ smart payment terminals” can you give us a better understanding by what your team means when it says that?

Sure, our all-in-one Tidal Smart Terminal is powered by Poynt, and provides merchants with an accessible and easy way to process payments for a quarter of the price of traditional POS systems. The smart terminal features one screen for merchants and one for customers, is EMV ready with a single slot for mag stripe and chip cards, has an NFC reader for Apple Pay, Android Pay and more. It features a built-in printer and scanner, the ability to review reports, refunds and even settle from your phone, not to mention 3G and WiFi to take your business anywhere you want it to go. Merchants also have the ability to offer paper or SMS receipts to their customers as well. Merchants may also use it to offer paper or SMS receipts to customers.

 In your opinion when it comes to payment solutions what are some of the top things a merchant launching an online business should be aware of?

Compatibility and serviceability are big factors with online payment solutions. Online businesses should look for someone who can provide support and documentation for gateways, that are cross-compatible with several platforms like Magento, Drupal, and WordPress.

Pricing is also another factor to consider. Monthly fees, chargeback fees, and per transaction fees should be examined. Online businesses receive a higher rate of chargebacks and finding a provider that will offer services like chargeback dispute management and low chargeback fees is a must. There’s also per-authroization fees which add up for ecommerce merchants as the typical online business does on average 1.3 authorizations per transaction processed. Online retailers face higher fees due to the increased risk of payments online, and finding a rate that’s competitive is a must. Most online transactions can cost anywhere from 1.5% + $.30 to a 2.75% flat rate. You’ll also want to watch out for gateway fees that could be added on top of per-transaction fees!

What are your thoughts on the future of mobile wallets?

Mobile wallets are increasing the usage of mobile payments at the checkout line. Many customers are expecting more and more retailers to accept these new types of payments (Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay), while the retailers that don’t, make for a frustrating experience. This is pushing many retailers to upgrade systems to support mobile payments. Not only are mobile wallets contained to retail locations, Apple bringing Apple Pay to the web and in-app purchases are making it simple for customers to complete orders and check out seamlessly on e-commerce websites. Just simply fill out your shipping address, press “Pay with Apple Pay,” authenticate and your package is on the way. Mobile wallets are making it easy for customers to manage cards, keep track of spending, and ensure security of their transaction as they no longer have to worry about a stolen credit card number.

I think in the future we’ll see mobile wallets expand to several online retailers as in-store adoption levels off.

From your vantage point what are some things that you are excited to see in the next five years in the payments industry?

I’m excited to see new technology make it easier for business owners to get up and running, with a single unified dashboard that brings together reports, analytics, single sign-on and more. The payments industry is also pivoting from old tech to new tech, making transactions more secure and faster than ever. We’ve seen some cool new tech like mobile wallets and biometric payments, and expect to see more new tech in the coming years.

Over the next few years we’ll see tons of small ISOs consolidate resources, and sell off portfolios to make room for the tech companies who will reinvent credit card processing and implement brand new ways to pay.