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Posted April 17, 2019 by FreedomPay

The Advanced Payment Platform for the Entire Commerce System [Q&A]

The modern world of commerce places the consumer first. Today, there are unified commerce platforms that serve in all major sectors of the economy. A commerce platform is basically a single, centralized platform that offers customer engagement in real-time. We have with us FreedomPay- a leading global commerce platform serving leaders in retail, hospitality, gaming, education, healthcare, financial services, and the US government, serving over 20 federal agencies.
Let’s hear more about the success of FreedomPay from the founder and CEO, Tom Durovsik.

What motivated you to start FreedomPay?

In 1995, I was a very successful business executive driving global growth across consumer products and direct marketing. I was intrigued by the new medium “internet” and all forms of emerging technology. I felt a strong desire to get involved in technologies that had the potential to change the world. I founded my first internet startup in 1996 and since then have been involved in SaaS, Cloud Computing, Big Data, Security, Mobility and other technologies that are powering global business and commerce.
How do your products and services contribute to your company’s excellence?

FreedomPay is unmatched across the world as a Unified Commerce Platform providing payment, loyalty and security solutions that enable customers to have a “frictionless” experience. We built the FreedomPay Commerce Platform from the ground up to meet the demands of consumers and merchants on a global scale. The industry is struggling with how to merge legacy technologies that are not prepared to support global commerce- and new emerging Fintech services including technologies outside mainstream commerce. FreedomPay is the platform that unites a growing array of technologies across the world to deliver a single seamless experience.

Commerce is the lifeline for all of our customers. The ability to transact and fulfill the customers’ expectations is job #1. Our Platform must be bulletproof and requires we invest in the finest Software Development and Network Infrastructure assets to support rapidly growing business globally.

What distinguishes you from your competitors and how do you utilize this to your advantage?

Our technology stack is what separates FreedomPay. We employ a continual reinvestment strategy into technology and as a result, our solutions keep getting better. Our technology is disruptive to the status quo; what banks, processors and legacy point-of-sales providers can deliver is simply inadequate. Our global customers are using the FreedomPay Commerce Platform as a competitive advantage and we deliver our solution to companies like MGM Resorts International, Citibank, and HMS Host, who are leaders in commerce technology.

Tell us about your corporate culture. What role does it play in interactions with your clients?

Our team is not taught to “sell” but to “solve.” We bring solutions to our customers that will fuel their business, on a global scale. There is no other company in the world who can deliver on this promise. As a result, we become trusted partners with our customers and it’s ingrained in our corporate culture. Did I mention we have not had an Enterprise Customer leave our platform in over a decade? This is unheard of in the industry and something our entire team acknowledges with pride!

How do you bring in a strong workplace culture?

Every employee shares in the company’s success and profitability. Our culture values customers and winning! We invest in our team members with events, celebrations and a strong focus on community service. We empower team members to do their jobs. We hire people that bring knowledge, experience and who can drive innovation and continually add to our capabilities and subject matter expertise.

What are your goals for improving customer experience?

Continued innovation and reinvestment in emerging technologies. We see Mobility, Shared Networks and Platforms, Big Data and Identity as areas to focus in the future.

How do you motivate your employees to enhance productivity?

As a hyper-growth company growing +70% CAGR for the past 5 years, it is important to 1) hire the right people and be selective; 2) train the team and build skill sets essential for growing careers and customer successes; and 3) keep the workplace an exciting environment with constant innovation and technical prowess. We do not rest on our past successes.

What is your memorable moment in business career?

In the 1990’s I ran a global conglomerate with 5,000 employees across 70 countries. Thinking back, we did not have the benefit of the internet or mobile phones. Imagine the changes in productivity, efficiency and communication these technologies have brought! This was the pivot that’s most memorable in my business career and informs my view and vision of the FreedomPay Commerce Platform “to have a similar transformational effect on the future of commerce.”

What developments or changes do you see having the biggest impact on your business and industry over the coming year?

Stay tuned, we will be announcing developments later in 2019 that will change commerce as we know it today!

This article first appeared in CIO Bulletin.

Tom Durovsik, Founder & CEO
A marketing and new product development executive, Tom has held leadership positions with some of the world’s most recognized consumer brands, followed by a string of highly successful startups focused on emerging technologies including; Internet, SaaS, Cloud Computing, Big Data, Security and Mobility. Tom has built a strong reputation in the business community as a focused leader, a strong hands-on operator, new products visionary and a successful entrepreneur capable of scaling growth globally.
In 1995 Tom founded Intelihealth in partnership with US Healthcare and Johns Hopkins University becoming the first company to provide branded healthcare information to all forms of electronic media globally. Aetna, Inc. acquired Intelihealth in 1999. Tom and his wife are founding members of the Cancer Support Community, a global nonprofit that provides emotional support, education and hope to cancer patients and their families.
“FreedomPay is the engine inside the world’s expanding yet interconnected ecosystem of commerce.”
“We make payments smarter. And utopian commerce possible.”

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Posted April 17, 2019 by FreedomPay

Where Has it Gone Wrong for the Brick and Mortar Retailers?

It is always sad to see an iconic British high street name like Debenhams fall by the wayside as several have done in the last few years. While there could still be hope for Debenhams, the latest in this sorry roll call, with a number of players vying to take control and turn it around, it has sent yet another warning message to other high street stores hoping to ride out brick and mortar’s decline.

It is abundantly clear that the brick and mortar model has been struggling for a number of years. Shrewd merchants have been adapting their strategy to compete with e-commerce and align with the ever-changing retail landscape, and those who haven’t adapted fast enough have felt the hit.
The convenience and speed at which online purchases can be made have been key factors in the migration of large chunks of market share from high street to online. Enormous overheads from rising rents (£4.3bn in operating lease commitments in Debenhams’ case) and the need for high numbers of staff, equates to high (and rising) costs with decreasing sales – a formula that even the best chief executives might struggle to work with.

While it would be foolish to say that all brick and mortar businesses are doomed, it is imperative for decision makers to review their strategy even if, so far, it has been working for the last 50 years; consumer needs and wants are rapidly evolving and loyalty programs need to keep pace with their expectations.
FreedomPay believes that connected commerce and customer centricity are the pillars of retail and loyalty programs today and tomorrow.

The importance of personalization and digital data

In order to entice the customer, one has to understand the identity of each person. For example, a vegan may not buy into 50% off sausage rolls. This can be done by analyzing the spending habits on an individual basis, for example, using your systems data to identify who your top-spending customers are and rewarding them. Not only that but by crunching the data to see what they buy from you and when, you can reward them in a way that they will actually value highly, perhaps by offering discounts on the products they buy most often and not the ones they aren’t buying, i.e. the sausage rolls.

The megalithic online retailers understand the mantra and place the customer at the centre of their business operations. For brick and mortars, the ‘shopping experience’ is an asset they will always have to trump online retailers and should be utilized to assert an advantage. Aesthetically pleasing interiors and helpful employees are simple but effective examples. The experience is complemented by the ability to earn discounts, free samples, exclusive treatment and VIP access to entertainment. A loyalty card can drive repeat purchases and incentivize shoppers to come to stores and the website alike. Loyalty programs have proven to be a powerful experience for customers but it should be evolving to better please customers and retailers need to invest in modern data architecture that helps build a new personalized, customer centric loyalty model.

Find out more about customer centric models, by downloading the whitepaper: Personalization and Digital Identity: The Keys To Unlock Loyalty.

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Posted April 01, 2019 by FreedomPay

How to Keep and Grow Your ‘Happy’ Customer

We all know the importance of loyal customers.

However, loyal customers can be hard to earn in a noisy world where every business is trying to tempt them with new and exciting deals and offers. We often see a first flush of success and high sign-ups for rewards programs, then low usage, poor return on investment and questionable viability.

However, brands shouldn’t want to ditch loyalty as an asset because it’s far easier and cheaper to retain and grow existing customers than to acquire new ones. So, what’s the answer? It surely must be making loyalty easier to access, more relevant and easier to use; such as creating value that follows the customer across various points of sale.

One of the most effective ways of doing this is something called an analytical token. This is where tech comes in to create, via an algorithm, an identifier code or ‘token’ which is safely and securely linked to the customers payment details, or app, or card, etc.

Analytic Tokens in an omni-channel world

Analytic tokens work across all channels – physical, digital and mobile. With the right architecture, they can also be linked to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and loyalty systems, to provide a 360-degree view of the customer – what they are buying, in which channels, when and how frequently.

Being able to link identity with transaction flow, opens the door to deeper richer and more valuable insight, allowing organisations to ‘follow’ customer journeys and deliver more personal loyalty experiences.

Businesses can track, monitor and remember tokens without compromising payment security. Effectively turning points and rewards into digital types of near money currencies that can be linked to a customer’s ID. This makes them transportable across platforms, channels and even between businesses and brands.

A token-based digital near-money currency

Loyalty schemes often fall flat because consumers find them too restrictive. In most cases they can only be used with an individual or small collective group of retailers with numerous conditions attached to their use. In addition, traditional voucher, code and coupon systems often have a poor shelf-life, with many users failing to redeem them before they run out.
Analytic token-based digital currency doesn’t have any of these limitations or customer pain points. It can be bought, sold, transferred, gifted, or turned into an ubiquitous currency. It can follow the user across a wider ecosystem, and it retains, and can even increase in value as the popularity of the loyalty scheme grows.

Virtual currencies combined with extended retail partner networks and new customer centric loyalty design schemes will redefine the way we all buy goods and services – breaking down usability barriers and making loyalty even more valuable to a merchant’s bottom line.

Find out how to build liquidity into your loyalty architecture by downloading the FreedomPay Report: Personalization and Digital Identity; the Keys to Unlock Loyalty.

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