Mobile Marketing and Technology - Money2020 2013 Interview with Greg Cohen

Merchant Warehouse |

November 5, 2013

Mobile Marketing and Technology

At this years Money2020 conference Marla Ellerman sat down with Greg Cohen for an update on what's new with the Genius Customer Engagement Platform.

 

Video Transcription

Marla Ellerman, Mobile Marketing and Technology Online

Hi I'm Marla Ellerman I'm publisher of Mobile Marketing and Technology Online and we're here with Greg Cohen, with Merchant Warehouse and he is going to talk to us a little bit about where the Genius product is at today.  The last time we met were at ETA about six months ago. 

 

Greg Cohen, Merchant Warehouse, Chief Revenue & Strategy Officer

That’s right.

 

Marla Ellerman

 And you were just launching that product and so where are you guys at with that?

 

Greg Cohen

 Well it's been an interesting ride so far.  So we launched it right before the ETA.  We've spent most of the time with point-of-sale developers and dealers and things and with the Genius platform obviously bringing them out of scope for data security reasons and obviously adding a platform for them to continue to bring in all this new technology.  Whether it's a QR code reader, whether it's EMV, whether it's the wallet of the day, one integration to get to all of them.  Since then we've integrated with over 30 point-of-sale developers, many of them we sent out press releases for everything from Retail Pro, to our most recent Rebel, which is actually sitting right here in front of us, to integrate onto the Genius platform and really use that as their launch pad to kind of take the payments pain out of really what they see as their value is really making the best POS solution that they possibly can.  So we're helping partners, we're growing, our queue today we've got about 20 in the pipeline currently that we're working through integrations with, and we're deploying about 100 of these things a month right now, so, looking forward to really ramping things up.

 

Marla Ellerman

 So, I would say with the Genius product it doesn't really matter if it's EMV, NFC or Bluetooth, it's still going to be sort of an open source platform that everyone can use.

 

Greg Cohen

 That's correct.  I wish I had a crystal ball and could tell you which technology is going to play out in the end.  But we could have taken a technology neutral approach, a wallet neutral approach to who the winners or loser's are going to be.  It's going to be up to the merchants and the consumers to eventually decide so when we deploy a Genius solution we can take NFC, EMV, QR codes, whatever the next pin entry solution like PayPal mentioned today.  We're kind of technology neutral and I think that's a great place to be enabling our merchants and our consumers. 

 

Marla Ellerman

 That's great, so with the 30 partners out there that are utilizing this product in service right now, they haven't of course gone with one different type of technology.  Now when the technology, let's just say, NFC.  Do you have to upgrade the software, is that something that's going to be done or is this still just a plug and play ready to go?

 

Greg Cohen

 This is a cloud based solution, so from their standpoint it's plug and play.  We may be downloading updates to our Genius consumer facing devices, the consumer engagement devices, on a regular basis; but from a merchant standpoint it really is plug and play.  It comes out of the box, plug it in, connects to us in the cloud, goes for all the tender types all the offers, whatever loyalty, whatever wallet they want to take, nothing new has to be done other than going to a control panel and saying I now want to be able to accept whatever the tender type happens to be.

 

Marla Ellerman

 Now with the Genius product do you give data analytics back to the merchant?  Is there any kind of analytics that are offered back reporting, really drilling down onto what's going on at that merchant's shop?

 

Greg Cohen

 So today we are providing basic transactional based reporting.  Part of what, obviously we're continuing to evolve the product and the solutions around that product.  So not only are we planning on developing basic analytics ourselves, but we're partnered with three or four other companies to basically allow them, their specialty is analytics and providing greater detail and rich data, so we can open up our back end APIs for other analytics company so a merchant doesn't have to be just using our solution.  So it's not just merchant solutions, it's also opening up for different wallet providers, different analytics providers, different solutions to really surround the merchant with whatever they want to use to benefit and develop their business.

 

Marla Ellerman

 So what about couponing, deal of the day, all of the marketing elements that come from back office?  What happens there, is it the same situation?

 

Greg Cohen

 Same situation, we're opening that up. Today we're doing  a lot of work with LevelUp and a few other players like that, that we are allowing, they come right into our platform, they do redemption directly off of the engagement device.  And we really put it out there so as new offers and players come into the market, the merchant says I want to use offer player X or loyalty program Y, all they need to do is connect into our, we call them platform partner API for that part of our ecosystem, and they can have it instantaneously on at their point of interaction. 

 

Marla Ellerman

 Well, are you guys on track with Genius, are you exactly where you should be today?

 

Greg Cohen

 Well, you know.  You can never be as far enough along as you want to be.  But I'd say compared to where we wanted to be at this time we're actually slightly ahead of the plan on units engaged in the field and number of developers we've integrated to.  There's some other areas we'd like to be further along on, but given all the change that's going on in the marketplace I think that we're doing an extremely good job and we are ahead of where we'd like to be in many of the platforms.

 

Marla Ellerman

 Well that's great, is there anything else you'd like to talk about here at at Money 2020, we're here at the show, has it been a good turnout for you guys...

 

Greg Cohen

 Yeah and you know, Neil's done a great job with this event, this has literally come out of nowhere, 4500 people from all different facets and it's great to see everybody together.  You know, it'll be interesting to see who's here two or three years from now; lots of money being flown into the system, and into different technologies.  That's one of the reasons that we've kind of taken a technology neutral solution to say look, I don't want to bet on any one company out here or any two companies.  Let's open it up to whatever the merchant wants and at the end of the x whatever the consumer wants we'll deliver back out there. 

 

Marla Ellerman

 That's great.  Well, thank you so much for your time, is there anything else you'd like to share with us today. 

 

Greg Cohen

 Got to get ourselves some more Genius users.  Thanks, Marla.

 

Marla Ellerman

 Thanks. Good talking to you.