Originally published on LinkedIn
President, CEO at Parallel Software
Think of the cafeteria style where you build in the features that you need (and no more) similar to the food you select for your plate. To my friends:
Being the champion for the "little guy" for almost 30 years of my life, I ask, as the payments industry forces it's collective will and passes on expenses onto the small merchant—what's in it for them?
In my opinion, our industry's message to them is quite simple: "You must comply and you must pay to keep yourself current. For a fee, we will get you new technology that is compliant. " Fee-itis!
The little guy is fed up. He is tired, and wants some value and this industry really does not care about him or her.
From the SMB merchant's point of view—his/her rates always change <up>, they are subject to many schemes, daily calls from rate chiselers, free this or free that....and they get boxed into a corner, where they just take the punching....they have no champion. No referee between them and the industry.
When was the last time someone sat down and found out what his/her business really needs? Well, there is no profit in the one-seys and two-seys and who really has the time. .....hmmm.
The economic engine in this country is not large corporations. It is small businesses. They create most of the employment, do most of the hiring and are responsible for the largest part of our GNP. They are not exporting jobs, out-sourcing, but rather hiring the local high school graduate and teaching them things that are valuable. You get his/her face time. He is brick and mortar and he is highly creative. But he is boxed in.
What does our industry offer them—packages! Volume is king. This package or that, and for this privilege, we will charge you higher fees than corporate America pays. ...hmmm
We are offering a bridge to EMV for the small guy. But not the manner in which you gut everything in your POS System and start over; but rather add only those aspects to your new system that you need. Our features are specialized around what your neighborhood or town needs.
Think of the cafeteria style, just like in selecting the foods that you like, you can build in the EMV features that you need (and no more).
You keep your old POS system....but use the new parts that you need—but no more.
This is like the old-time mechanic who wants to take care of your car— so it lasts longer. In town, we say "you know Joe, don't you? He is a straight-shooter. He will only fix what is needed but no more." Bit by bit, repair by repair......
We want to keep the little guy's POS investment intact and only change out what is necessary to keep him operational and profitable. If we can put a man on the moon, we can extend the POS system's life a few years longer.
Ask any farmer, why he tears down his tractor's transmission (when it needs overhauling) and rebuilds it. It is his pride, and the work that he does that makes things last. He not only works but it is personal to him. He/she is the business. It motivates him to learn about transmissions so that he can farm. We have forgotten this about the little guy. He surpasses all odds to succeed. He doesn't ask for much.
I think of Jimmy Stewart who played George Bailey in Its a Wonderful Life. He played a small businessman, who struggled with a greedy old man named "Henry Potter." (See photo above.) The payment industry to these small organizations (above) who only make a few hundred dollars a day— see us as a "Potter!"
George Bailey has a scene when he is to leave for his honeymoon, where he tells off Potter and with this diatribe reaches detente where Potter's greed and influence is abated. Rent the movie and hear his speech about the little guy some time. It is worth it. You feel the struggle. This struggle goes on today.
Right now, the little guy needs a break. Lets get him the (EMV) parts that he needs to let him thrive, and no more. He will do the rest with his/her innovation as only America can.
For the little guy.......