Steve Ciabattoni started his career in payment processing right out of college where he was recruited (by his current partner) to work for a very large payment processing company. In 2011, he and jumped ship and created 360 Payment Solutions. Now, 360 Payment Solutions serves nearly 3000 merchants and employs 28 people. They label themselves as a Payment Processing provider, meaning that they help companies accept all types of payments including: checks, gift cards, electronic payments online (paypal), as well as credit card processing
In this interview, Steve discusses the new chip card technology (known in the industry as EMV - Europay MasterCard Visa), Apple pay, pay with phone, and integration with business software.
Back on Oct 1, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express shifted their liability statement and said you are going to be responsible for any chargebacks that come through if you don’t have the ability to accept the chip cards. And you cannot fight it. This is a shift in responsibility and something that you should consider.
Steve advises business to NOT lease your machine. Often times, this contract cannot be canceled and you will spend $40/month for a $300 machine. So over the life of the contract, you will be paying hundreds more than just buying the machine outright.
If you are in the market for a merchant provider, you want “interchange plus” pricing. This is the best fee structure for business and will give you the lowest rates for all types of transactions. And you will sound smart to the salesman!
For automotive businesses, you should have an “effective rate” below 3%. Your effective rate is calculated by dividing Total Fees by Total Sales.
Jim McIlvaine used to play professional basketball but now he runs the social media and web-presence for Optima Batteries. While playing basketball, Jim would do freelance work for magazines where he would meet people and attend events across the country. After Jim left the NBA, he eventually joined Optima Batteries as their “E-care Manager” where he created the Facebook page and began answering questions or comments on web forums (You may be familiar with his forum handle OptimaJim on almost every forum in existence). Today, you will see him at many automotive events taking pictures, streaming videos, and answering questions from customers about Optima’s products.
Jim says it is extremely important to gathering as much information about your potential customers as possible. The most important thing is to obtain an email address which can be used in Facebook to target an audience similar to this specific person (likes, location, age, sex).
Peter started TX2K back in 2000 after he went to a Supra event in Las Vegas. From the humble beginning of 40 Supras banding together to go to the drag strip, the TX2K franchise has transformed into the premier Supra, GTR, Roll Racing, and Drag Racing event in the country!
TX2K16 is improving this year by showing the roll racing speeds up on the large display boards at the end of the track. This betters the experience for the attendees by allowing them to easily see the winner and how fast they were going.
Back in early 2000, Chris Raymond was building websites and forums for other people. He saw a void in the market for a DSM forum and set out to make one himself. This is what spawned DSMTuners.com
He also runs Garage 40 which focusses on automotive businesses to help them with social media, email marketing, web design, and reputation management. Brand management is tough because you have to be in every place when your shop or product is talked about by your audience.
In this interview, Chris explains the ever-changing atmosphere of online marketing and what you need to be doing to succeed.