Payment Processing Provider eMerchant Plans to Introduce an E-commerce Shopping Cart and Launch an Association to Benefit E-Commerce Merchants
By Eve Gumpel, California Business Journal
Bill Dumont’s company, eMerchant, can boast of $7 billion worth of processing since he started the payment processing firm in 2002.
Now he’s ready to go big.
”We’re that sleeping giant right now,” he says. “We’re gearing up to really grow again. Over the next 24 months, I anticipate that we could easily double, triple, quadruple in size.”
In June, eMerchant will introduce the company’s own shopping cart, eCommerce Cart.com.
And before the end of the year, Dumont plans to launch eMerchantAssociation.com. He predicts it will become “one of the largest online e-commerce communities in the nation.”
The company already has its own eMerchant Gateway – which processes credit card payments – built on the third-largest gateway platform in the world. With the addition of eCommerceCart.com, “They can get it all from us, a one-stop shop,” he says.
It’s a convenience for merchants, who otherwise have to gather each piece themselves – the shopping cart, the gateway, and the merchant provider. And then make sure each provider’s service can connect with the others.
Frustration is often the result when a problem arises, Dumont notes. “They call the merchant provider, and the merchant provider says, ‘It’s not us, call them.’ And then the gateway provider says, ‘It’s not us, call them.’ And the shopping cart provider says, ‘It’s not us, call them.’ ”
Customers who use eMerchant “have the peace of mind of knowing they can call me or my staff. We’re their concierge, their liaison, their quarterback for all of the systems they use.
“That’s the biggest value that we bring,” he says.
Dumont’s eMerchantAssociation.com will offer a variety of member services, including:
- Education – classes, webinars, lunch and learns.
- Calendar of Events – trade shows, conferences, events. Says Dumont, “Members will be able to see what’s going on around the U.S. Maybe they want to learn online something about the e-commerce business or want to go to a conference they wouldn’t otherwise know about. And maybe right in their backyard someone’s holding a luncheon that can provide some good education for them.”
- Community Forum – discussions with like-minded individuals.
- Group Discounts – software, trade shows, events, products, ecommerce vendors. “We want to be able to negotiate some discounts on shipping, office supplies and things like that,” he says.
In addition, the association will vet recommended vendors and providers. Dumont emphasizes that no one can buy a recommendation: “My conscience won’t permit me to get paid and then recommend maybe a vendor that’s not credible or providing good service to the merchant. So we have that integrity to make sure that, to the best of our ability, we have credible providers for the merchants.
In 2002, Dumont saw the payment processing industry as a new and exciting business opportunity. But pounding the pavement for brick-and-mortar customers proved slow-going. He began reaching out to e-commerce merchants, an industry still in its infancy at the time. That was the key to eMerchant’s success.
“To this day, about 92 to 95 percent of our clients are e-commerce merchants,” he says.
EMerchant prides itself on fair pricing – and the ability to integrate with nearly every system in the industry, including add-ons such as order management systems, which automate the ordering process as companies grow.
With regard to pricing, Dumont says, “I’d rather make less money on the merchant and have them for a long time – and have them very happy – instead of gouging them and making more money, and then lose them in a year.”
As for integration, it’s crucial as a company grows, he says. “Some of the banks and providers in the industry – if the company doesn’t integrate with everybody, and even if the merchant likes them, as they grow their business they’re going to have to switch away.”
By contrast, as his customers grow their business, “We can seamlessly help transition them to their new system, with no down time,” he says.
Dumont is justifiably proud of eMerchant’s record on Yahoo’s Ystore Forums. “To this day we are the most recommended vendor in the history of Yahoo shopping in the Ystore forums.com.” In addition, he says, “We have 86 out of 86 great reviews.”
Dumont walks his talk. He recalls one client who called him with a customer service problem while Dumont was in the hospital shortly after coming out of surgery. “I answered my cell phone to help him with his problem,” he says.
In another instance, one of his larger customers contacted Dumont to report a longtime billing mistake that totaled $5,000 in overcharges.
“I reached out to my accounting department and, within about two minutes, I responded back to him, ‘We’re going to send you a check back for every penny.’ He’s still a loyal customer to this day.”
Dumont sums up his philosophy in a single sentence: “If you do right in this world, good things come your way.”
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