TL; DR: PaymentCloud is a leading merchant services provider focused on continual innovation and superior customer service. The company helps SMBs and large enterprises alike thrive regardless of perceived risk with a tech-forward approach to credit card processing. Whether compiling comprehensive best-practice resources for merchants or assisting partners in converting lost accounts into meaningful revenue, PaymentCloud is passionate about providing top-notch user experiences.
The financial service industry may have bragging rights for being a substantial, high-growth sector with considerable economic activity, but that doesn’t mean it’s at the forefront of emerging technology.
In fact, financial institutions in the U.S. are notorious for lagging behind on tech adoption — a trend that is often blamed on heavy regulations but also attributable to widespread resistance to change.
Still, some fintech companies are managing to steer away from archaic modes of operation, using the latest innovations to reinvent the way businesses borrow, save, and grow.
PaymentCloud, for example, takes a tech-forward approach to merchant services that allows retail and ecommerce businesses to focus on their core competencies rather than payment processing solutions — which are critical unless a company is cash-only.
“We’re trying to lead with technology and our great customer service ability to give users the experience they expect,” said Neal Hamou, CTO of PaymentCloud. “The current merchant services environment is not what they expect — it’s about 10 years behind.”
Centered on continual innovation, PaymentCloud’s transparent and cost-effective credit card processing services help SMBs and large enterprises alike thrive. The payment processing merchant account provider specializes in serving high-risk merchants, including businesses in the firearm, CBD and hemp, debt consultation, and adult entertainment industries.
The company also offers a selection of affordable point-of-sales systems and shopping cart solutions, plus advanced virtual, Europay, Mastercard, Visa (EMV) and near-field communication (NFC) terminals.
In this highly complex industry, PaymentCloud’s commitment to efficiently handling challenges commonly faced by storefront retailers and ecommerce businesses makes for a simple and positive customer experience.
A Leading Merchant Services Provider with Humble Beginnings
Many startups in the tech world, including Apple, Amazon, and Windows, were started in a founder’s garage before finding global success. PaymentCloud has a similar origin story, albeit in the financial services space.
But Neal told us the Los Angeles-based company’s founding wasn’t entirely trial and error, as Founder Shawn Silver had a background in payment processing, including previous roles in high-risk merchant services.
“We were entirely bootstrapped and started in just a garage, but we knew exactly what marketing avenues were effective, where to spend our money, and how to hit the ground running because of his experience,” Neal said. “But we started slow so we could build up a proper infrastructure.”
The young company began by building partnerships with other independent sales organizations (ISOs) and referral partners in the industry who could provide quality leads on hard-to-place businesses.
“We created partnership agreements with these ISOs and essentially placed customers that they had to shut down due to poor credit, high charge-backs, or other reasons with new banking options,” Neal said. “We built our model around approving these declines and risk closures. Then, after we secured affordable processing for that company, we would pay our partner downstream residual.”
This arrangement served to benefit both high-risk retail and ecommerce businesses and the partners that couldn’t place them.
“Before PaymentCloud, we were throwing away quality leads because they were declined by our processor — we honestly didn’t know what to do with them and didn’t give it much thought,” said Jared M., one of the company’s partners. “We now submit this business to the PaymentCloud team, who are spinning them into gold. The revenue generated from these lost leads has allowed us to grow our spend and board more deals.”
Helping High-Risk SMBs Survive and Thrive
Today, PaymentCloud has become somewhat of a household name in high-risk payment processing. The company now works directly with brick-and-mortar and ecommerce businesses as well as with a large group of partners.
“About 80% of the top digital ISOs in the U.S. use PaymentCloud’s high-risk program, and we support everyone from startups to Fortune 500 enterprises,” Neal said.
PaymentCloud’s expertise helps businesses meet operational, service, and compliance requirements, empowering them to successfully maintain secure and scalable credit card processing.
On the ecommerce side, PaymentCloud customers receive a gateway ID and a secure virtual terminal for processing debit cards, credit cards, and card-not-present mail and telephone transactions. These services include seamless integration with popular CMS and ecommerce platforms such as WordPress, Wix, Shopify, and WooCommerce.
Neal told us that the company is often at the receiving end of businesses that signed up for a payment processing service like Stripe only to be suspended for various reasons.
“In many cases, we help take the heat out of a situation, saying, ‘We can fix this, we have offers for you,’” Neal said. “It’s a bit of handholding, a bit of teaching them about the industry, and taking the time to explain to them what should have been communicated from the get-go but wasn’t.”
A Unique, Relationship-Focused Customer Experience
Much like the hosting industry, attentive and consistent customer service is often a rarity in merchant services. But PaymentCloud prides itself on providing industry leading support.
“At PaymentCloud, you’re not just a number like you are at those electronic payment processing companies where there is zero customer service,’” Neal said. “Zero — like if you want to update your bank account, it will take a week to hear back because you’re just one of thousands of merchant accounts in their portfolio.”
The smaller banks PaymentCloud works with are more nimble and can often process same-day change orders.
“These banks also don’t view you as just a number,” he said. “They’re willing to negotiate, they’re willing to see a different side of the story and not shut you down. Overall, there’s a more relationship-based approach that you don’t see in big shops.”
Neal said PaymentCloud can not only land hard-to-secure approvals at low prices, but the company also offers solutions that exceed standard ratios for chargebacks (the process of refunding a buyer the credit used to make a purchase).
“So let’s just say Stripe or Square can only go to 1% in a chargeback ratio, and once you exceed that chargeback ratio, they shut you down,” he said. “We can do up to four times the national average. That means you have a gigantic buffer in which to get a lot of chargebacks if, God forbid, something happens like COVID-19.”
In the Works: Best-Practice Resources for Merchants
PaymentCloud’s customer experience efforts don’t stop with support. The company is also building a collection of helpful content and resources for businesses in need of payment processing services.
The articles will cover everything from QuickBooks integrations to step-by-step WooCommerce instructions.
“We’re coming out with what will be called LaunchPad — basically a resource section of our site on steroids; thousands of pages,” Neal said. “We’re going to provide how-tos and address questions that I don’t think any other processors are issuing guidance on.”