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Fintech in Atlanta #7 - Improve Customer Experience by Streamlining Your Payments Processes

Fintech in Atlanta #7 - Improve Customer Experience by Streamlining Your Payments Processes

“Fintech in Atlanta” interviews C-level executives and entrepreneurs in Atlanta to talk about the growth of the industry, and how they contribute to the rapid development in the region. This interview is with Mike Rouse, CEO of Merchant e-Solutions.
Q&A Interview Between Mike Rouse, CEO, Merchant e-Solutions and Payments & Cards  

Please share a bit about your professional background and what led you to become CEO of Merchant e-Solutions?

After spending the past 25 years building and transforming fintech organizations to achieve greater results, I joined Merchant e-Solutions, a company that enables business-to-business (B2B) merchants to securely accept, process and manage payments within one unified platform – whether online, mobile or in-person.

I’m leading the company as we move from being known as a payments processor in a commodity-driven industry to becoming an end-to-end resource for empowering small businesses to transform the way cash management operations are performed.


What challenges are businesses facing in managing their payments processes?

Cash flow management is a pressing concern for many businesses. In fact, the State of Small Business Cash Flow, published earlier this year, shows that 69 percent of small business owners have been kept up at night by cash flow concerns. Among those with cash flow challenges, nearly a third (32 percent) have been unable to either pay vendors, loans, themselves or employees. The results of not paying any of these groups in a timely manner can be disastrous.    

Perfectly balancing money in and money out (cash flow) is a challenge for many small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), and issues occur for several reasons. It takes too much time for money to process after payments are received, or customers fail to pay SMBs within terms of the payment system. Often, merchants use various, incongruent platforms and lack full-picture visibility in one place. This can lead to confusion around costs associated with each payment type or even choosing the best payment to use.


Why is cash flow such a prevalent challenge for business owners?

Without the right technology, business owners lack transparency into their cashflow, which prohibits them from making critical decisions. With greater transparency, businesses gain visibility into cash flow and the ability to forecast and plan in advance.


And by streamlining payment processing on a single, channel-agnostic platform, merchants could more easily conduct business, whether online, mobile or in-person.

Something to consider, too, is that most SMBs are unable to offer services that larger companies provide to employees. Think about all the press that earned wage access gets these days. The right platform could allow smaller companies to provide this benefit to help ease employees’ financial situations.  


How does Merchant e-Solutions help SMBs streamline payment processes today and what do you see ahead?

We know merchants need more than one way to streamline their business processes, and payments are just one consideration. Further, we understand small businesses, their pain points, the fact they wear many hats and have to toggle each day between employees, customers, inventory and more. We help them unify and simplify all areas of cash flow management securely – from processing credit cards to enhanced funding options to handling payroll – so they can spend less time in the office and more time serving customers.

While the big players continue to merge and purge, we’re nimble. And we can help make SMBs more nimble too, as we’ll offer one powerful platform with a thoughtful approach to real life business management. 

Although it’s too early for me to get into specifics, look in the coming months for Merchant e-Solutions to introduce new products designed specifically with SMBs in mind.


How does cash flow – the lifeblood of small businesses – play a role in streamlining processes?

Beyond basic profitability, having enough cash on hand can sometimes make or break a small business. In fact, more than half of U.S. small business owners report that their companies have lost a minimum of $10,000 by foregoing a project because of inefficient cash flow. Well-managed cash flow allows merchants to more easily weather financial challenges, such as a slow sales month or unexpected expenses.

However, successfully running a business requires more than cash flow or expenses – it’s about better managing a business on a day-to-day basis. Better end-to-end technology enables SMBs to spend less time in the office and more time growing their business.


How can SMBs manage payment processing more efficiently?

Moving money faster and easier allows merchants to take better control of their business. Consolidating and centralizing all payments processes into one end-to-end digital commerce platform is a start. This enables businesses to spend less time on administrative tasks and more time engaging with customers and doing other core business functions, such as keeping up on inventory and marketing.


About Merchant e-Solutions

Merchant e-Solutions is the leader in simplifying payments. Merchant e-Solutions helps merchants accept payments anywhere and easily manage all on one platform. Merchant e-Solutions provides a global network and enables merchants to securely do business in multiple channels including online, mobile, and in-person. Our industry-leading technology platform, flexible and customized reporting, and world-class service provide customers, banks, partners and developers with the most comprehensive payment services in the market. Merchant e-Solutions is a U.S.-based company that was founded in 1999, in the heart of Silicon Valley. With headquarters located in Atlanta, GA and registered in the state of Delaware, Merchant e-Solutions is both a merchant acquirer and global processor, processing over $14 billion in annual transaction volume and supporting 150 global currencies including all major credit cards, debit, and alternative payment solutions.

MES Mike Rouse Headshot 12-05-19