MM&T Interviews Greg Cohen on the Genius Customer Engagement Platform

Merchant Warehouse |

June 20, 2013

Genius Customer Engagement Platform

Mobile Marketing & Technology's Marla Ellerman sits with Merchant Warehouse's Greg Cohen to learn more about the Genius Customer Engagement platform and what it means for the future of point of sale.

Video Transcript

Marla Ellerman, Mobile Marketing & Technology                    

Good morning. I'm Marla Ellerman, and I'm here today with Greg Cohen from Merchant Warehouse, and he's going to tell us a little bit about their new product, Genius.

 

Greg Cohen, Chief Revenue & Strategy Officer, Merchant Warehouse                       

So about three months ago we launched into general availability our new Genius platform. Genius platform is really a solution for not just merchants, but the platform providers of POS solutions to merchants today. Many of the largest POS systems have been invested in by merchants for years and years, and a lot of the new solutions trying to bring new mobile technology to market are saying throw out the systems that you had in place that do more than just payments. They run your enterprise, they do your accounting system, they do your time and attendance, they manage your inventory. And they're saying throw that out, put new systems in place so you can accept the new mobile wallets, the new offers, the new loyalty systems. 

What the Genius platform is, it really, there's two components to it. There's a cloud-based component, where all of the new payment tender types, whether that's Google Wallet, whether that's Isis, whether it's LevelUp, whether it's many of the new ones that are coming to market, they connect to us in the cloud, from that standpoint. And we have a consumer engagement device that integrates with the existing point of sale infrastructure so they can accept all the new payment types. It's also EMV compatible, NFC compatible, available with many of the new cloud-based POS solutions as well, so that we can enable all of the new commerce that's coming. And it's not just payments anymore. It's loyalty, the offers, it's discounts, it's coupons, it's analytics, into the point of sale infrastructure, without throwing away systems that had been embedded in an organization for years and years and years and years.

 

Marla Ellerman                   

Well, how much is the cost of this new Genius product?

 

Greg Cohen

So the Genius product, for a merchant, there's actually no upfront cost as all. As long as their technology platform is integrated on Genius platform, they can migrate onto Genius for no upfront cost. And then there's a monthly subscription fee to the solution. It's all SAS-based, and it's all based on what services the merchant wants. So if they just want basic payment types, it's fairly inexpensive. As they add offers, as they add loyalty, as they add deeper analytics, couponing capabilities, there's different packages as it migrates up. At the lowest end, it's $20 a month for access to all of this value and service.

 

Marla Ellerman   

 Wow, that's great. And how many merchants would you say are on the Genius platform today?

 

Greg Cohen

 Today, let's see. We've only been in general availability now for about three months.

 

Marla Ellerman   

 Okay.

 

Greg Cohen

 We have just about 400 merchants currently live.

 

Marla Ellerman   

 Okay.

 

Greg Cohen

 In numerous markets. Some are integrated. Some are stand-alone. But we have a laundry list of very, very large POS developers that are integrating on top of this platform and then bringing it out to not only their existing customer base, so they don't have to do all the work for EMV and NFC. They're offloading that to us so they can focus on their point of sale things, so they can bring it to both new customers that they add and to their existing customer base. So we're looking for a huge ramp-up towards the end of this year, as well as going into 2014, especially with all the EMV mandates and the new wallets and the new payment tenders, such as PayPal, LevelUp, Isis, Google, things of that sort that are coming around.

 

Marla Ellerman   

 So it's interoperable with any type of POS out there, any type of offer, QR code. It doesn't matter how the merchant is bringing in their customer. They can still utilize this service on top of their existing platform.

 

Greg Cohen

 Our job, look, we're not in a position to bet on which technology or which offer or which wallet is going to win in the long run.

 

Marla Ellerman   

 Right.

 

Greg Cohen

 Our job is to enable all of them . .

 

Marla Ellerman   

 Right.

 

Greg Cohen

 And really give the merchant the choice to choose what type of tender they want to use, what type of offer program or numerous offer programs they want to use, how they want to really face off against the customer.

 

Marla Ellerman   

 Oh, that's great. That's great. Is there anything else that you'd like to add about the product? Or how are you distributing it? Are you going through the channel? Are you using the ISOs to distribute it? Or are you using direct salespeople?

 

Greg Cohen

 So we've got multiple channels today. We've got integrated technology platform providers. So your traditional point of sale developers, who have their own systems, both tablet-based and what I would call traditional, you know, land-based POS systems that are integrating it and distributing it through their markets. We've got ISOs. We've got a large quantity of ISOs that we do business with today. They're selling it directly. And we actually do have some other channels that we drive business directly to ourselves. So we've got multiple channels marketing the product. And it's really based around where it adds the greatest value, because different channels face off against different merchant segments, and different merchant segments see value in different areas. And it's really been amazing to watch them all kind of come together around it.

 

Marla Ellerman   

 Well, that's great. Have you been getting a great response here at ETA?

 

Greg Cohen

 We have. I mean, the concept of future proofing the point of interaction is what makes it exciting. So whether it's in the ecommerce world, whether it's the physical world, you put this layer of technology in place and it's pretty much, you're open for whatever the future happens to bring. Because one of the things people are nervous about here is where do I place my bet? Which technology?

 

Marla Ellerman   

 Is it going to be NFC? Is it going to be EMV? Is it going to be, you know, what is it going to be?

 

Greg Cohen

 Right, and so we've said, look, for us, we're going to play neutral on that, but we're going to enable you to take it to whatever you want to be able to take and face off against the market.

 

Marla Ellerman   

 Well, that's it. That's Genius here from ETA and Merchant Warehouse. Thanks for watching.

 

Greg Cohen

 Thank you.