Total-Apps Executive Director, Rey Pasinli, recently had the opportunity to discuss the ins and outs of merchant services and how Total-Apps distinguishes itself from other competitors. We want to thank Eric Dye from eCommerce Radio for the opportunity. We hope to talk with him again soon!
Check out the interview below.
Eric Dye: This is Eric Dye, and welcome to eCommerce Radio, your EPN channel, where you can get in on the inside track and find out what others are doing to experience great results with their online stores – whether it’s the latest tools, eCommerce platforms, or marketing techniques, this is where we talk about how to have a successful eCommerce experience.
Today, once again, we’re joined by Rey Pasinli, Executive Director with Total‑Apps – a source for advanced payment processing solutions. Rey, welcome to eCommerce Radio.
Rey Pasinli: Thanks, Eric. I appreciate the opportunity.
Eric: Good to have you back too. First of all, for the benefit of our listeners not yet familiar with our past conversation, if you could give us an overview about Total‑Apps.
Rey: Sure, no problem. To give a little insight of me personally, I used to literally be a rocket scientist, worked in aerospace, mechanical engineering, space station stuff, but I did my MBA during the dot bomb era, fell in love with eCommerce, and I entered into the credit card payment space in the late 1990s.
We provide advanced payment processing solutions, and we really focus on helping our clients to get their websites and their sales to basically double through optimization of our credit card payment services.
Eric: Total‑Apps has a proven track record of success concerning merchant accounts and other services. What distinguishes your brand from the competition?
Rey: There are thousands of people out there who are hawking and offering merchant account services. The traditional way of doing the business is by asking “How much volume are you going to do? Here’s an application. Go ahead and fill this out. I’ll get you set up right away.”
At the end of the day, they pat you on the back and wish you good luck. I think that is a travesty. We’ve been in the business for 15 years. We’ve handled over 20,000 clients over the years, and we’ve found what works and what doesn’t work with websites.
More importantly, we are an actual merchant. We have an online store. We have 951 SKUs. We are totally integrated with 15 market places like Amazon, Buy.com, eBay, and all these major power houses.
We deal like a merchant. We deal with customer service, inventory control, supply chain management, and most important of all because we have our own web store, we get to try and test out the 700 different vendors that we work with – different shopping carts, different checkout systems, live chat tools, and this gives us hands‑on experience of what it’s like to be a merchant.
THAT is the big difference when a client comes to us. I can look at their website and say, “You know what, your checkout page isn’t optimized. You should add video blogs to increase your search engine optimization. You should offer this coupon loyalty rewards program to basically double your sales in the next year.”
That difference is what separates us from the competition. While they try and save a penny per transaction, we’re trying to figure out how to increase a dollar per sale. It’s a much different way of looking at the credit card business.
Eric: I understand Total‑Apps recently established a major partnership or agreement with Brother. Tell us more about that if you would.
Rey: Like I said, we currently sell almost 1,000 different products and brands through our web store. Because we do so much volume, we were actually contacted by Brother and requested to sign up under their VAR program – or value‑added reseller.
It’s pretty interesting because at the end of the day, it gave us the opportunity to go through their training and certification program, and understand all the unique features and functions that are available under the wonderful product line offered by Brother.
More importantly, when we talk to our clients about what products they are looking for, whether it’s a Brother printer or something like that, we know exactly what that client is looking for and which product is going to best meet their need.
Now, the irony is that most of our competitors in the credit card space are not merchants and don’t have that kind of relevant experience. The fact that a major Fortune 100 company would reach out to us to partner with us is, I think, a strong testament of the kind of business that we are providing in this industry.
Eric: Total‑Apps also places an emphasis on customer service, which is obviously important in your field of business. Please elaborate about that commitment.
Rey: Absolutely. The irony is that most of our competitors try and hold their merchants hostage. We have a different philosophy. We feel we have to earn your business every single day. In doing so, we’re very lenient with regards to contracts. If somebody is not happy, we just let them out of the contract. That forces us to have exceptional customer service. We are absolutely fanatical about finding out what works for our customers, sharing that information, and being proactive instead of reactive.
The difference is that if you’re having a major sale on something like a Black Friday, you need to be able to get a hold of somebody if there’s a problem because that could seriously disrupt your business.
My busiest day of the year is “Black Friday,” because I’m there supporting all my clients on their busiest day of the year. That difference is what enables our clients to really substantially grow their monthly revenues rather than trying to fix their problems. I’m glad to be in the driver’s seat of that side of the business.
Eric: What are some of the new areas of growth where Total‑Apps has a clear lead of offers and genuine innovation?
Rey: The luxury is, having been a former rocket scientist and an engineer by my former profession, my eyes look at problems. My engineering brain clicks in, and I go into overdrive trying to solve the problem.
Just in terms of innovation on our own side, we are launching our own PayPal‑type service called Mojo Pay. The biggest difference is that we do offer live customer service, and live chat opportunities for our clients. That area can be a big frustration for customers using PayPal.
In terms of pure innovation, we are doing some phenomenal things with regards to social payments.
We’re about to launch a peer‑to‑peer payment platform called Twt2Pay, which enables people to receive offers on their Twitter account and one-click off their mobile phone to make a purchase using their Twitter account.
This is going to revolutionize things in terms of accelerating social payment solutions. Ultimately we’re looking at “OK, where’s the future going?” We started out with static web pages, then we had social pages, but I think the future is social commerce and we better be able to present those solutions to our customers. Otherwise, we’re not going to meet their needs in the next 6 to 18 months.
Eric: That is absolutely phenomenal. Finally, share with us some of your success stories about industries that Total‑Apps serves?
Rey: We work in a variety of services and organizations. On one side, we’re just in the process of signing up a very major national organization. They represent about 15,000 retail stores that handle lighting for custom homes and stuff like that.
We are now being presented as the preferred solution and vendor for the entire Lighting Association of America. Those kind of opportunities are exciting for us from the standpoint that we can provide an ultra‑competitive low‑cost solution, but they also all have a standard point of contact for any sort of customer service‑related issues.
Ultimately, in terms of success, we’ve had clients who have started with us with zero dollars in sales and today are in the 300 to 500 million dollar annual sales range.
Obviously, for us to be able to handle the client as an infant all the way into a mature enterprise class solution is simply a testament of the amount of dedication and work that we’re willing to commit to ensure the success of our clients.