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The payments industry has made massive strides in connecting people to commerce over recent years. New technology is transforming the way we pay for everyday goods, adding extra layers of security at the same time. Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Connected.co provides global banking solutions, advanced gateway technology and proprietary risk management services to online merchants worldwide. Leveraging its vast network of domestic and international banking relationships, the company specializes in placing merchant accounts for cutting-edge merchants.
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Founded in 2014, The Company was set up to take advantage of the niche high risk merchant market. Since many of the founding members of the company had over two decades of experience in this arena, it was a natural transition. As Connected.co grew both internally as well as based on market factors it had to react to influences of each. Both its technology and banking offerings continue to require growth and improvements to keep up with ever expanding market needs.
Connected.co's state-of-the-art gateway platform enables merchants to route transactions strategically, submit authorizations quickly and process payments reliably. Having provided anti-fraud services to high-risk industries for over 15 years, the firm has developed proprietary methods and automated technology that enable merchants to minimize fraud and maximize revenue.
Touching Base with JW Epply, CEO
Brief us about your first product that was launched.
Our first product was our gateway processing system. It started off as a simple pass through gateway with very few bells and whistles. However, now it’s grown into a fully customizable platform with lush feature rich reporting and layered fraud detection algorithms. Our goal is to help our merchants control their fraud and ensure only the most credible transactions are processed.
How has the customers’ feedback aided you in growing the company?
When our gateway product was initially offered, the user interface was very basic and simple. Over the years, our merchants have helped us to shape and mold it to where it is now. We added the ability to customize our layered fraud protection algorithms to fit the needs of almost any industry and created dynamic reporting features to enable our merchants to stay abreast of all their key statistical business drivers.
Discuss about the challenges you faced in your initial years.
We faced many of the same challenges any true startup company would face. Trying to grow the products and services we wholeheartedly believed in while doing it in the face of mounting financial debt. Fortunately, our investors had the foresight to see we were on the cusp of something great and supported us even when times were rough. Without their belief in us and our services, we would not be here.
What were the trigger factors that have played key roles in shaping your organization’s road map?
Finding banking and technology partners who trusted our experience and insights in the high risk marketplace to help emerging cutting edge industries find business solutions. Without their faith in us, we would not be able to provide the services and products we currently offer.
What are the greatest assets of Connected.co?
Experience, vision, leadership, our commitment and service to our merchants; The first three assets got us through the growing pains of our company’s early development by limiting the number of setbacks and enabled us to grow a strong core team. The last two assets is the cornerstone of our success. Partnering with merchants and helping them grow their business has helped us in turn grow ours.
What is the future course of action for your company?
We are setting up a new payment service provider account with an international bank. This should allow us to give a merchant banking solutions to high risk industries that have never been able to find willing banking partners. Additionally we are rolling new gateway features including 2nd Generation 3D Secure, proprietary and less expensive mitigation tools, and expanded high performance reporting. As we continue to grow as a team by growing both our banking relationships domestically and internationally, we will continue to do our diligence on banking partners and register with new acquiring entities as we find those that meet our clients’ needs. Furthermore we want to expand our technology to assist our merchants in continuing to combat fraud and retain more revenue than ever before.
The Commendable Leader
JW Epply, CEO: JW has been in merchant processing and processing technology for the past ten years with roles beginning in sales and business development and culminating in executive management. Epply is recognized as an efficient, dynamic leader with a strong background in sales and sales process, management, and organizational strategy. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Management from the University of Wyoming, and is an accredited Certified Payments Professional (CPP) from the Electronic Transactions Association (ETA).