Below is our interview with James Buttino, President of Systems East, Inc. & Xpress-pay:
Q: James, tell us something more about Systems East, and Xpress-pay?
A: We launched Xpress-pay.com in 2005 as a way for government offices to accept payments online. It has since grown into one of the most flexible commercial and government eBill and payment solutions available, and has processed billions of dollars on behalf of our clients.
Unlike most organizations in the payments industry who focus on retail, we work with a wide variety of organizations. This includes insurance & finance, utilities, towing, property management, non-profits, and virtually every other sector imaginable. The numbers tell the story. We’ve experienced double-digit growth year-over-year for more than a decade now, and the pace is accelerating.
Our Site Fee and exclusive Merchant Rewards Programs are among the services we offer. Site Fees give certain businesses that otherwise can’t assume the costs of accepting credit cards, the ability to reduce or eliminate them. This means they can finally accept credit cards and grow their operations. Our exclusive Merchant Rewards Program allows any other type of business to earn cash rewards for every transaction they process through Xpress-pay. Both solutions are revolutionary in the industry, and have helped us penetrate verticals that were previously unapproachable.
The outlook is very encouraging as we continue to add staff to accommodate the growing demand. It’s a great time for our clients, staff, and our partners.
Q: You’ve recently announced that you are in the process of releasing additional enhancements to your online bill payment and digital wallet solution; tell us something more?
A: The most recent improvements include a unified design for web and mobile, and our universal digital wallet feature. While we’ve traditionally focused on payments of bills, deposits, and fees, we’re now expanding this service into the retail and restaurant sectors. I’m always surprised that when dining out, I still have to hand my card over to a stranger to pay my restaurant check. We’re changing that.
We’re also seeing a colossal shift in the retail sector where consumers want to combine in-store product interaction with the ease of the online purchasing and home delivery. That’s why we offer a simple, unified payment experience for consumers no matter what store, website, or app they’re buying from. As long as that business accepts Xpress-pay, checkout is a breeze, there’s no line, and there’s nothing to carry home.
That’s really how our unified payment solution differs. Not only will consumers be able to pay their electric bill, but order a pizza, and pay for those new shoes they like. All with one solution: the Xpress-pay digital wallet, which can integrate with almost any 3rd party solution to make the entire process seamless.
We have plans to add a number of other features as well, but we can’t reveal all of our secrets just yet.
Q: What is unique about Xpress-pay and how does it stand out from competition?
A: In one word: Flexibility. Whether it’s how a business uses it to present bills online and accept payments; to who provides the merchant account on the backend; or how they handle the funds and fees, the possibilities are almost endless. We focus on the consumer experience as well. This is the one digital wallet that will help them better manage their finances and perform regular daily transactions with ease..
We’re extremely proud of all the benefits we provide to our clients and patrons. More importantly though, we’re humbled by the Xpress-pay Family as a whole. From the business owners that rely on this solution for revenue, to the consumers trusting us with their sensitive information, and everyone on staff. It really is a growing community more so than a company.
Q: What are your plans for the next 12 months?
A: Our main objective right now is to release the remaining features of our newest version of Xpress-pay, and migrating all of our users to it within the next three months.
While that’s happening, we’ve increased our marketing efforts about five-fold. We’ll be exhibiting at over forty different trade shows around the country this year, so be sure to look for us.
We’re also working to advance the relationships we’ve developed with our partners. We want to make sure they’re realizing as much ROI from the relationship as possible. Our statistics show that they’re experiencing extraordinary customer retention rates that smash the industry standards. Retention translates into growth, and we love helping our partners grow.
We’re also working on some exciting, new alliances with some household names that will expand our presence in our target markets. I can’t release the details just yet, but we will be issuing press releases when the integrations are finalized.
Q: More generally, how do you see the ePayment landscape developing, and where do you place yourself in the industry?
A: This is probably the most exciting time in the payment landscape as a whole. Back in the day consumers’ wallets were loaded with individual store cards from retail outlets and many others. Then there was the introduction of the major card brands, and the industry rallied around a few, simplifying life for everyone. As a universally applicable digital wallet, Xpress-pay is pushing forward that centralized solution opportunity, and we’re are extremely proud to witness our vision coming to fruition with the constant expansion of the Xpress-pay Network. Thank you for the opportunity to provide this insight.