In a Nutshell: Qualpay is successful as a payment solutions provider because it manages every aspect of the process. And that takes a team effort. As a pioneer in offering an entirely cloud-based solution that combines a merchant account with a payment gateway, the Qualpay technology team solves intricate problems to save money and time for customers. But because payment processing is complex, service is also crucial. In the highly competitive markets in which it operates, Qualpay earns lasting customer loyalty by clearly communicating its value proposition and addressing customer bottom-line concerns.
In 2023, consumers are long accustomed to anytime-anywhere payment services. Whether it’s check, card, or digital payments, they may not notice when the process is seamless. But if there’s friction, they’ll remember.
That holds true in B2B as it does in consumer contexts. There’s never been a better time for businesses to adopt a payment provider that can impart the advantages of a fully integrated platform, best-in-industry products, and reporting and analytics for transparency.
Qualpay ticks those boxes for businesses in various verticals because it pays attention to the details. But it didn’t get there by chance. CEO Craig Gass said the company emerged in 2014 after a group of eight co-founders with deep expertise in the industry saw a need for a technology-first provider that could meet future payment needs.
The problem was the industry, controlled as it was and continues to be by the four major card brands, operated at the time with technology that had originated in the 1970s.
“We wanted to be a technology company that took payments processing and moved it fully into a cloud environment,” Gass said. “We thought we could — and as it turned out, our engineers were able to do that.”
That was half the challenge. The other half — even more critical from Gass’ perspective — was engendering an ironclad commitment to customer service.
The founding team understood the challenge presented by the industry’s size, competitiveness, and diversity. But they knew that, if they innovated with technology and respected the consumer drive for more convenience and faster service with less cost, they could establish a lasting presence in a market where players tend to come and go. That was more than eight years ago.
“We felt we could carve out some niches in that big market that would allow us to be competitive, and that’s what we’ve focused on,” Gass said.
Flexible Technology to Address Market Needs
The result is a fully integrated cloud payment solution built on Amazon Web Services, Qualpay’s platform of choice. Qualpay can manage the entire process, providing a merchant account and a payment gateway and supporting invoicing and recurring payments.
The merchant account functions as a backbone to support additional Qualpay products and integrations or plug into third-party gateways and existing platforms, including shopping carts and accounting software. Easy-to-integrate APIs, SDKs, and prebuilt plugins are available to ease the process.
When Qualpay customers go all the way with the company, they reduce the number of vendors they have to work with and the complexity of their payment system. It’s easier for them to achieve a global understanding of what works and what doesn’t and stay compliant.
A complete product suite allows customers to set up in-person and online payments, deal with ACH and e-checks, and deploy virtual terminals. Features run the gamut from acceptance through processing and operations, all built on a solid foundation of industry experience.
Ease of integration means maximum customer flexibility. Customers working closely with Qualpay professionals may use those APIs and plugins to build a system that fits their unique business and customer service needs.
Gass remembers one early innovation was reconciliation so the customer would know exactly where their money was during the process.
“The payment process is not instantaneous — cards run really quickly, but it takes days for the money to settle back to the merchant,” he said. “There’s a need to reconcile and account for that, and that was one of the key drivers behind firing up the product set for Qualpay.”
Support Personnel Provide One-on-One Assistance
In theory, this technology and flexibility are industry-agnostic, but the devil is in the details. Gass said Qualpay’s not-so-secret to success is looking for industry verticals where its technology can have the greatest effect.
“The platform can fundamentally process any kind of transaction, but we carve out niches where we can make a difference and get our name known,” he said.
Qualpay’s most prominent vertical — utility and energy — amounts to about $30 billion. In a total payment space that transacts about $5 trillion to $6 trillion, that offers plenty of opportunity. How Qualpay serves the utility and energy vertical is a microcosm for its approach to customer service.
“The card brands are really good about creating different kinds of cards and therefore different kinds of fees, and we’re really good at deciphering that and figuring out how to minimize those fees,” Gass said. “Where we focus is on home delivery of heating oil and propane, where there are all kinds of issues that we’re able to solve with our technology.”
But Gass doesn’t just credit technology but the sales folks at Qualpay who explain the firm’s value proposition and back it up with results.
Another prime vertical for Qualpay is waste management. Companies in these verticals that are good fits are generally family-owned for generations and in a position to accept innovation that can give them a new lease on life. Qualpay puts salespeople in positions to work, sometimes over years, to bring these businesses into the fold and serve them in a way that makes them glad they decided to transition to a new provider.
“One of our great advantages is our fully integrated platform,” Gass said. “Not all of our merchants choose that, but when they do, we service them from soup to nuts.”
Producing Consistent Bottom-Line Results for Customers
A commitment to service is a double-edged sword. Gass said Qualpay salespeople can talk until they’re blue in the face about the availability of support personnel with accurate answers and the company’s boutique approach to service.
Qualpay customizes each integration based on business needs and provides one-on-one assistance during onboarding.
“We make it as efficient as possible to get them on board, but we help them through it, and that’s one of the keys,” Gass said.
But when it’s time for questions, merchants usually ask how much they will save if they go with Qualpay.
That’s when the sales guy rolls out a free statement cost analysis demonstrating how Qualpay’s advanced technology ensures they never pay more than they have to in interchange fees.
“Often, we end up starting the sales process by explaining how we can save them money because we are really good at deciphering interchange and making sure their transactions qualify at the most favorable rate,” Gass said.
The company even provides a savings challenge on its website where companies can upload a statement from their current payment processor, and Qualpay will run the numbers.
Meanwhile, besides human support and service, Qualpay offers copious resources on its website to assist and support vendors as they navigate payment complexities. The company prides itself on simplicity and transparency, but in an industry that has evolved as much as payments has, there’s still a need for solid documentation.
With more than 30 years in the industry, Gass has a sense that, although change is constant, certain fundamentals stand the test of time. Card payments are expensive for merchants, and the trick is to make them as efficient as possible. Founded by industry veterans, Qualpay is a veteran in the space that can stay the course while anticipating the future.
“Laws change, and consumer demand changes,” Gass said. “We just need to be prepared to respond.”