What is your start-up story?
In 2003 I was the leading European Key Account Manager at risk assessment company Dun & Bradstreet. Early in 2004 I’d been looking for an opportunity to launch a business venture of my own when I had a chance conversation with a colleague who had been very successful in a day-trade with a company called Datacash. I had no idea what kind of business it was but this was my first introduction to the world of Chip and PIN. I was intrigued and could immediately see the potential because if merchants were not Chip and PIN compliant then the banks would not pay out for any fraudulent transaction. I identified a gap in the market and in 2004 Chip & PIN Solutions was born along with our company ethos; opportunities don’t come to you, a successful business is about identifying a gap in the market and working hard to achieve your goals.
What products or services do you provide?
We are one of the UK’s leading supplier of card payment machines including mobile GPRS/GSMs, portable Bluetooth, fixed line countertop and contactless ‘wave and pay’ terminals.
We also offer second-to-none customer support, merchant services and e-commerce packages. We truly believe we can supply a bespoke service to our customers, combining all the key elements of the card payment industry under one roof.
Our in-house merchant services team works in partnership with First Data – the largest card-processing provider in the world – and we take pride in the fact that 75% of all merchant accounts are opened within two days. Chip & PIN Solutions is also officially licensed by MasterCard and Visa as well as being fully PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliant and certified.
We’ve also just launched our new product Merchant Fund, offering suitable financing solutions to businesses that already accept card payments. It’s a unique product as it offers solutions based on the businesses’ average card takings, and unlike other financing products, Merchant Fund requires no security.
What Type of businesses do you work with?
We work with SME’s to large blue chip companies mainly operating within the hospitality, transportation, retail and service industries.
What problem does your company solve?
Working closely with our clients we ensure that an effective, secure payment solution can be achieved. We are committed to supplying those solutions with the latest, most reliable technological features, providing a reliable service whilst ensuring that our clients are PCI DSS compliant at all times.
What is your USP?
We have a number of USPs however the main one is that unlike the merchant banks we are acquirer agnostic. This means we can log on and supply Chip and PIN terminals to any merchant with any merchant bank. If the merchant then wants to change acquirer in the future because they can get more competitive card processing rates then we can point and redeploy their Chip and PIN machines remotely. We also believe going the extra mile for our customers is key to the ongoing success of our business which is why trusted blue-chip companies such as Flybe, Virgin Trains and WeightWatchers have chosen us for their card payment needs.
Any thoughts on the future of your company?
Chip & PIN Solutions is actually celebrating our 10th anniversary this year, and we hope during that time we have maintained our core value to always provide an outstanding level of care and support to our customers.
As a business, we also hope to be recognised as an ethical and forward-thinking company, driven by a highly experienced team of people, expert in flexible and adaptable payment solutions.
Any tips for managing suppliers and customers effectively?
When it comes to managing suppliers, you need to ensure the relationship is healthy. The last thing you want to be dealing with on a daily basis are unhappy suppliers. Always ensure that invoices are paid on time, maintain regular contact, and ensure there is a clear contract in place with each supplier from the start to avoid disputes if issues arise further down the line.
With customers, you need to have a company ethos and then back it up. We always put customers first and deliver exceptional service, going that extra mile when required. We also recognize that each customer has specific needs, so we treat each customer as an individual, offering them the best solution for their needs.