IP Commerce Launches SMB Channel Program For Payment Solutions


The Commerce Link Reseller Program aims to help solution providers sell online payment solutions into small businesses through third-party ISV applications, with sales and technical support from IP Commerce, said Peter Osberg, director of business development at IP Commerce.

The program is completing a beta phase with a handful of VARs now and will be launched at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference in Denver on Wednesday.

Microsoft is one of IP Commerce's biggest partners, Osberg said, as two of the four applications thus far revolve around the software giant.

The first, PASS Commerce Center, provides notification of financial transactions, system security information, payment processing tasks and a cash-flow presentation on a Windows Vista desktop.

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The PASS Consortium includes services from PayPal, AmbironTrustWave, BankServ, Chase Paymentech, CIT Group and Internet Commerce Corp.

Other applications in IP Commerce's IP Payments Framework (IPPF). are Quick Payment for Microsoft Office Accounting from BIG Software, a credit-card processing and accounting application, ChargeLink for QuickBooks, credit-card processing software from Synergration, and Desktop Remote Deposit from Vault Software, which allows users to virtually deposit checks without having to visit a bank.

IP Commerce expects to add more ISV applications in coming months, Osberg said. "For the VARs, they get to sell more core services, offer more solutions, deepen their relationship with their customers, who can collect money faster, more securely and with more visibility to it," he said.

IP Commerce, Denver, believes that the small-business market is drastically underserved in credit-card and other payment authorization solutions. It's a complete solution that resellers can take to their existing customer base, Osberg said.

"Through our research, only 25 percent of small businesses [can process credit cards]. The other 75 percent are untapped. They still send an invoice and wait for payment. Our target is around that 19 million small businesses," Osberg said.

One solution provider taking the IP Commerce message to his customers is Jack Coursey, president and CEO at Sarco LAN Systems, Tulsa, Okla. He previously did not offer a payment solution and when a customer inquired about such a project, he had to say he'd get back to them. The next day, he heard about IP Commerce.

"One of our customers we're pursuing with the remote check deposit [is a] trucking company that gets 100 checks a day and this will cut down on their trips to the bank. It's what they are hoping for, and it allows them more time in the office," Coursey said.

"I envision being able to move a lot of customers to the system for taking credit cards," Coursey added. "It opens new avenues for me. This is one that will spur business. The software is reasonable, has some minimum requirements such as Vista, but it shouldn't be a bottleneck for any customers we deal with. I only see it as a win-win at this point."

Coursey also said the solutions could spur customers to upgrade to Vista, which is a requirement for the PASS solution. To date, many solution providers have said Vista sales have been sluggish.

"It's the platform minimum [for PASS]. Vista is not being embraced wholeheartedly by the SMB or the corporate market yet. SP1 comes out later. We're running Vista in house in our shop. So customers will know that when we bless the move, they know their apps will run the way they need to," Coursey said. He noted that you only need one machine running Vista for the PASS solution. "Everyone else can run XP Professional," he said.

The company will offer free sales training seminars twice a month to help solution providers position the solutions properly to customers.