Business Plus, a small business management software and hardware technology provider, recently launched a payment processing solution that, it says, gives small businesses a “competitive edge.”
The payment service represents the first of more than 50 tools the company plans to launch throughout the remainder of 2016, designed with small business management and marketing in mind. They cover such categories as CRM, accounting, sales, customer support, HR, telecom, marketing and website development.
Payment Processing Service Features
What does Business Plus payment processing have to offer that other services such as PayPal, Dwolla, Square and Apple Pay don’t?
The company touts features such as affordable pricing, elimination of unnecessary payment fees (cancellation, monthly statement, monthly minimums, and PCI compliance), and services such as debit and ACH processing, dynamic currency conversion, point of sale and “pass-through” pricing, all of which, it says, makes smaller businesses more competitive with their larger counterparts.
The payment processing service is available on most commonly-used platforms, including mobile devices, terminals, online, ecommerce, point-of-sale systems and even pay-at-the-pump locations.
Integrated Product Platform
Although feature-rich, what makes Business Plus worth considering isn’t just the payment processing service but the more than 50 different products that will be rolled out during 2016, all of which are built on an integrated, SaaS-based framework.
Other products scheduled for release include:
- VoIP-based Telecom – includes hosted PBX with payment integration, custom music and messaging and multiple call profiles;
- Sales & Accounting – an online bookkeeping system that lets businesses budget and manage all aspects of accounting, convert records from other bookkeeping software platforms and get help from professional accountants. The integrated sales tool provides customer invoices and quotes, automatically calculates sales tax and manages shipping and logistics to customers;
- Service/Customer Relationship Management – allows businesses to manage contacts and view team engagement activities. The platform includes Google Apps for Work (Gmail, Calendar, Drive) task, lead, project, contract and device management, as well as team collaboration, live meetings, esignature and a password vault.
- Marketing – a program that enables businesses to survey customers, conduct A/B tests, manage integrated campaigns across multiple channels, track referrals and publish reports.
- Human Resources – manages compensation disbursement with digital pay stubs for employees and contractors, employee benefits, charitable contributions, on and offboarding, performance management and other human resource activities.
Business Plus users will no longer have to manage or set up connections between disparate tools across a range of vendors and platforms, hoping they can communicate. The platform stores all data in a central location and is accessible by all the products.
Consider the following as examples of the platform’s interoperability:
- The payment processing product connects with the phone service, accounting and website products;
- The phone product connects directly to accounting, so members can offer their clients a way to pay through the automated pay-by-phone feature without having to setup, maintain or pay for a separate phone system;
- Members who operate an online store no longer need to pay extra gateway monthly or per transaction fees to accept payments through their website.
Another distinctive of Business Plus that small businesses may find attractive is its membership-based pricing model, which the company developed with the needs of small business in mind.
“Every dollar counts when you’re operating a business,” said Jonathan Cooper, co-founder and CEO of Business Plus in a prepared statement. “SMBs are forced to compete with larger businesses that have greater resources and deeper pockets every day. We wanted to change that with our member-based platform.”
The membership cost-sharing approach allows Business Plus to offer a simplified pricing structure that takes the volume equation out of the picture.
“Since we are membership-based, the larger we grow, the less our members pay,” said Cooper in an email to Small Business Trends. “We are able to pass our savings on to our members.”
Cooper cited as an example the fact that business phone services such as RingCentral, Nextiva and Vonage take a volume approach to pricing. The more users a business has, the more affordable it is per line. Business Plus members pay a flat monthly fee to access all its products at wholesale rates.
The company offers four membership levels: Entrepreneur, Startup, Venture and Business. Pricing ranges from $25 per month to $95 per month.
Each comes with slightly different per transaction fee and credits, which, according to the company, are internal monies used for per transaction items such as toll-free minutes, mass text messaging, direct mailings and more.
Base membership includes payment processing, electronic invoicing, contacts manager and reporting. From there, members can choose which products they would like. All products are offered a la carte so members only pay for those they need.
Another way the company’s membership model saves customers is with credit card rates. Members don’t have to worry about negotiating credit card processing rates. Instead, the company passes all of the costs through to the member with no markup on its part.
“In credit card processing, interchange rates are set by the card brands (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express) and are the same for all merchants,” Cooper said. “In order for most processors to make a profit, they add a markup percentage and monthly fees to the interchange rates. Business Plus takes the membership-based model and passes all fees and assessments directly to the members with zero markup.”
Visit the Business Plus website for more information on payment processing, the other products and membership pricing.
Image: Business Plus