Open strategies thrive in a digital economy

By Matt Downs, SVP Channel, Integrated Payments

Vantiv Integrated Payments Model Is Successful Because It Promotes Open Ecosystem in POS Market

Vantiv Integrated Payments business is built on the idea that merchants need open access to POS technology and that, through open-market driven competition, the value chain improves and the overall industry gets better. We believe so much in these fundamental principles that we have made it our business to work with 2,000 partners in the software developer or distribution industry. Each of those partners delivers a unique value through their technology offering or sales/service model – different verticals, geography, size or targeted business for the ever expanding set of use cases.

We do not develop or sell POS software, rather we believe in enabling our partners to innovate, deliver and service businesses utilizing our platform to simplify, and scale, their offerings. We favor open market competition and open ecosystems because it promotes improvement for small- and medium-sized businesses. It really is the backbone that enables innovation to thrive, which helps these small business owners use the right technology to grow and protect their business. The Vantiv Integrated Payments model, based on using a platform approach to serve open ecosystems, has worked extremely well for us for the past 14 years and helped tens of thousands of SMBs to thrive.

After recent acquisitions of POS companies by payments companies, people are asking if Vantiv Integrated Payments will change its model. No, is the simple answer. Because we have and still believe that an open ecosystem with open platforms and strategies, is the best landscape to ignite innovation, which always trumps a single companies’ ability to innovate.

When a payment processing company buys a POS company, it closes out an important constituent from the open marketplace; and in turn, instantly competes with the ecosystem. Unless the acquisition is both the best AND widest standard platform, the payment provider is left with a solution that underserves the market and generally only solves for a very limited set of use-cases. In addition, the payment provider now takes on four new very real risks; product/technology risk, product innovation-DNA risk, ability to properly distribute Business Applications, and serve as the IT support/integrator to the SMB.

Payment processors are services companies, not POS product companies, and it’s very difficult to sustainably excel at both. It’s incredibly important to stay focused on *who* you want to be as a company, and it’s our view that payments services and technology companies should not get mixed up with its partners, nor control or limit its merchants choices in POS solutions.

The battle is on between the closed and open strategies in the payments industry and only time and growth will tell which path is ultimately right. At Vantiv Integrated Payments we will continue to partner with developers and resellers to help them get their solutions to market, via a jointly crafted payments strategy with a dedicated focus on simplifying payments and innovation for our partners and merchants.