Q&A with Greg Cohen at FORTIS
Seamless Omni-Commerce remains elusive and difficult. Companies developing low-code integrations with embedded payment solutions will win share and overtake non-integrated solutions. Fortis understands the evolution of our industry.
Greg Cohen, Chairman and CEO of Fortis, is a seasoned executive who understands the differing partners who are provisioning end merchants. In this interview with Ken Musante, Commercial Director at Payments Consulting Network, he discusses how Fortis is building tools to fully support their clients’ payments needs and by doing so will provide the breadth of solutions to support a myriad of payment methods and merchant types.
KM: Please provide a brief high-level overview of your business
GC: Fortis delivers comprehensive payment solutions and commerce enablement to software partners and developers, processing billions of dollars annually. The company’s mission is to forge a holistic commerce experience, guiding businesses to reach uncharted growth and scale. From enabling commerce to creating seamless transactions and data exchanges providing enriched expandable experiences, the Fortis platform strengthens the important relationship between software and user. Fortis’ proprietary platform helps merchants and software partners future-proof their payment capabilities and move commerce closer to invisible.
Fortis was founded in 2010. In 2019 the company partnered with Lovell Minnick Partners, a mid-market private equity firm, to expand their technology and market offerings. Since that investment, the business has grown 6X.
KM: What payments services do you offer merchants and not-for-profit organisations in US?
GC: Fortis offers tailored payment solutions for merchants so they can accept any type of such no matter where your business takes you – in-store, online, or on the go. Accept all types of payments including credit, debit, ACH/EFT, gift and loyalty, HSA/FSA, and alternative payment methods such ApplePay and GooglePay
KM: Are there any industry sectors or client types that you focus on for merchant services?
GC: Fortis platform is horizontal in nature supporting numerous segments but has enhanced functionality in the sectors listed below:
- Hospitality including Lodging as well as Food and Beverage
- Specialty Retail specifically Recreational Activities and Events
- Healthcare specifically Chiropractic, Alternative Health and Medical Billing
- Platforms and Marketplaces including eCommerce, Retail, ISV, and ERP
KM: What do you see as your key strengths with respect to merchant services?
GC: Fortis offers a wide variety of commerce and payment tools, resources and advice to better connect software platforms to their clients and in turn to their customers and provide growth opportunities for everyone. With thorough knowledge of our payments platform and vertical expertise, our Guides work with businesses to develop an experience roadmap showing how them to create tailored experiences for their customers.
KM: What do you see as your key differentiators with respect to merchant services?
GC: With Fortis’ proprietary platform and simple APIs, businesses can quickly add payments to their software and offer multiple types of acceptance so their customers can pay how and where they want at any time. Our exceptional service and support ensure that our software partners and their clients have quick access to the answers they need as well as experts who can guide them through the best payment options for their unique business.
KM: What were your key achievements over the last 12 months in merchant services?
GC: The expansion of offerings and enhancement of APIs to allow businesses to more seamlessly embed payments into their commerce experiences. Our award-winning APIs are feature rich and make life simple for our software partners. We have massively expanded our distribution organically and inorganically into our core segments allowed us to scale as we have grown 600% in 3 years. Lastly, we continue to expand our value-added feature set with the likes of inventory, text-to-pay and invoicing options that helped round out the offerings across the portfolio.
KM: What merchant services innovations do you have on your product/service roadmap for the next 12 months?
GC: Over the next 12 months look to see the international expansion of the Fortis offerings as well as updated Partner and Business tools. As we expand geographically and vertically we are only as good as the offerings and technologies we bring our software partners to make them better.
KM: What industry changes or trends to do you see occurring over the next 2-3 years that will have a major impact on your business and/or your clients?
GC: Embedded commerce will continue to impact the industry over the next few years. The uber experience will be demanded from every platform partner and include new and evolving tender types such as Buy Now, Pay Later and Crypto, which are hot topics, but we will see other “alternative” payments be demanded. In addition, expansion of the point of sale will be a journey as more and more businesses sell in numerous ways looking for a unified experience not only at check-out but through a client’s journey in numerous mediums.
KM: What key criteria or features should a business consider when evaluating payments service providers?
GC: Platforms and merchants should look for providers that offer a solution that not only works for today’s use case but that can morph for the future. A great provider will understand your industry sector and provide a guided journey with dedicated service and support options. Lastly, a great provider will make APIs available for quick and easy integrations and ensure that as new features and solutions are released so there are easy ways to incorporate them into your offerings.
Author: Ken Musante, Commercial Director, San Francisco, Payments Consulting Network
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