DRMA Spotlight: Perfecting the Process1 Mar, 2016 By: Thomas Haire Response
Swipe Payment Solutions’ Curtis Kleinman says the company’s growing expertise, banking relationships, and committed staff provide clients with top-notch service.
It’s been one year since we turned the DRMA Spotlight on Los Angeles-based Swipe Payment Solutions. In that time, Curtis Kleinman, chief operating officer, has overseen a major expansion of the client base in the company’s direct response division, while also pushing an increase in staffing and technology to serve this growing client base. Recently, Response caught up with Kleinman for this Spotlight Update.
Q: How did the past year unfold for Swipe Payment Solutions in the performance-based marketing space?
Curtis Kleinman: For Swipe, 2015 was a great year on many levels. Many new marketers are coming to Swipe because of our banking choices and great customer service. Referred business comes from fulfillment houses, Web developers, call centers, media buyers, consultants, campaign managers, and affiliate marketers.
This past year, Swipe’s direct response division saw a growth of 589 percent in new customer accounts signed and 1,479 percent in monthly processing volume. Fortune 500s and large, privately held companies use Swipe and have been extremely satisfied with the level of guidance they’ve received.
Some products and billing models are more challenging to underwrite, so merchants need the guidance of an agent. We know the environment and will save our clients’ money. Swipe’s staff has grown to 53 employees — and more additions are being sought immediately. Our newest hires include three experienced, personable relationship managers to guide our clients. For instance, and as a convenience for our clients, they’ll populate paperwork like merchant applications and questionnaires.
Q: How do this past year’s events fit into Swipe Payment Solutions’ overall track record? Have they changed how you do business?
Kleinman: Many who provided payment-processing services have exited the industry. The stability of Swipe’s team is a major advantage, we believe — key support staff have been with Swipe for more than a decade.
Many of our merchant-friendly programs have been popular. By offering low rates and no startup or termination fees, marketers understand we’re working in their best interests. We offer low monthly minimums and minimal monthly fees on all of our services, so clients basically pay only for what they process in customer orders.
Q: How is Swipe Payment Solutions seeking to expand its offerings to current and new clients?
Kleinman: Swipe offers many choices for marketers, including 14 domestic — and several international — banking options. We’ve acquired two new banking relationships that underwrite trial accounts quickly — and at competitive rates. We support Authorize.net, NMI, and other popular gateways. And all of Swipe’s solutions are fully PCI complaint.
Q: How is Swipe Payment Solutions developing its own technology to better serve its clients?
Kleinman: Swipe’s homegrown client tracking systems assure all client calls and e-mails are answered immediately. Swipe offers reserve funding, which means purchasing your payment processing reserve immediately after merchants terminate their accounts. Reserve funding has helped many merchants finance their second and third campaigns.
Kleinman: Several large coin and collectibles companies use Swipe for merchant services and e-checking. Bullion accounts are very challenging due to regulations, but Swipe put together a collection of top-notch financial vendors. The choices we made helped us to underwrite those merchant accounts. We also made sure they met the technical and reporting needs of the merchants.
Woof Washer 360, one of the DR industry’s largest viral campaigns ever, used Swipe’s services. Arline Kramer of Remarkable Products Intl. was thrilled with our service. She says, “Swipe was able to assure all payments were collected. Swipe support staff was extremely helpful and fast to respond to each twist and turn, contributing to Woof Washer’s success.”
Q: What do you see as the hottest topics facing marketers in this space?
Kleinman: Keeping chargebacks lower than 1 percent is the biggest obstacle for performance-based marketers. Many marketers often don’t do everything possible to keep their chargebacks down. Not using a proper billing descriptor, not giving refunds immediately, offering upsell products, poor customer service, or product performance — all of these things can quickly push a merchant’s chargeback rate higher than 1 percent. Also, trial offers or reoccurring billing can quickly lead to chargeback trouble if a campaign isn’t managed properly.
Every day, I see people with trial offers or reoccurring billing not being able to grow their accounts. This can be due to a few reasons, including: chargebacks higher than 1 percent; banks being unwilling to take their product type; or applying to the wrong banks — those that will not underwrite their accounts. At Swipe, we know which banks will accept which products and billing types. ■