In a Nutshell: During the COVID-19 pandemic, many small-to-medium businesses, especially in traditional industries, changed the way they operate for good. Celero Commerce offers payment processing solutions that cater to those shifts without losing its core mission to help small and medium organizations grow their businesses. Celero focuses on offering those companies the benefits of the financial solutions that once were only available to the industry’s largest players.
Since its founding in 2018, payment processing company Celero Commerce has focused on providing high-tech, high-touch solutions that put smaller businesses and financial institutions on a level playing field with their big-name competitors.
Celero’s range of offerings coupled with its industry-specific solutions provide small to mid-size organizations with products, services, and benefits usually reserved for large companies. Among Celero’s strengths is its portfolio mix of payment services aimed at industries, ranging from restaurant, retail, and professional services to government, healthcare, and field services.
“Small businesses, community banks, and regional financial institutions are the lifeblood of their communities. Our mission is to help these organizations not only compete, but to win,” said Scott Farace, Celero’s Chief Marketing Officer.
Celero delivers products and services both directly to merchants and retailers as well as through their financial institutions.
The Financial Institution (FI) channel includes 250 to 300 bank partners with whom Celero works at varying degrees of partnership. Those partners range from banks that only send referrals to financial institutions that use its complete array of services.
In addition to offering products to businesses through their financial institutions, Celero has a sizeable direct-to-merchant sales channel. Celero’s sales reps go into the market looking for merchants needing payment processing services and business management solutions.
“Our sales teams treat every merchant the same way; they try to find the best solution for them. We can put them on multiple different platforms and technology solutions that we own. We create customizable programs to meet their needs, with the ultimate goal of helping them drive growth in their business” Farace told us.
Celero also provides and manages software that clients in certain industries use to run their business and process payments.
“We can meet emerging needs in any one of those areas and be there for our customers,” Farace said. “This allows us to serve the entire marketplace at their convenience.”
Celero growth, driven by nine acquisitions over the past three years, has been done with an intentional purpose of fitting each new company into the overall strategic plan, ensuring customers benefit from the added scale and services.
“We built the company to bring big company services to the small guy,” Farace said. “We care about helping our clients to grow their businesses and our offerings are aimed to do that. We also want to help our customers navigate the changing waters that the pandemic created in the payment world.”
Diverse Offerings for a Changing Payments Industry
The COVID-19 pandemic was a significant driver of change in the payments space.
“Think about high-end restaurants who offered only dine-in service, prior to the pandemic. You went to the restaurant, you dined in-house, they didn’t have a website, they didn’t have online ordering, they didn’t have curbside delivery,” Farace explained. “They also didn’t have contactless payments. The pandemic changed not only what merchants want, but how our sales teams approach them with the solutions they can provide.”
The Celero team creates customized solutions to meet business and financial institution needs.
Celero provides data analytics to help merchants run their businesses more effectively. If a pizza shop knew, for example, that when temperatures hit 95 degrees, their business would increase by 150 percent, they could prepare to have more workers that day.
Insights like those go beyond payments, gleaned from the rich data that processing yields.
Celero also provides partners with marketing support, which trickles down to merchants — depending on what they do with their in-house payments.
Celero: Service is a Distinguishing Factor
Celero’s CEO Kevin Jones often makes an observation at conferences he attends. He’ll look at a room full of payments people and say, “Every one of us in this room can process a transaction; what sets us apart is our people.”
That’s why Celero invests in its employees and the team that it has carefully put together.
“I think that’s a key part not only for our company but also because how we function internally ultimately affects our customers. Having that cultural fit is key. I think our merchants feel it, too,” Farace said.
That customer service-oriented mentality is also evident in Celero’s high-touch approach to service to merchants. Depending on the channel, the company has extra layers of help available either through bank partnerships, software, integrated software providers, or directly through offices across the United States.
“We truly believe that our people do whatever they can, whether that’s working overtime, working extra hours, working until the middle of the night to get an issue solved for a merchant. The technology piece is amazing but it’s the people and the level of care they bring to each relationship that makes the difference on a daily basis,” Farace said.