Sramana Mitra: So were they paying you as consultant at that point and you would set up their credit card processing function?
Adam Bloomston: No. In credit card processing, the way it works is we would set up one account and then have them for months and years as a client.
Sramana Mitra: I see. And where did the technology of doing this come from?
Adam Bloomston: We actually signed third party vendor agreements for what we call as a settlement platform. We were basically selling settlement platform services.
Sramana Mitra: So you basically developed some sort of an ongoing cash business in which as people were processing credit cards, you were getting paid from every single one of your clients on an ongoing basis.
Adam Bloomston: Correct. That’s how the revenue stream works in credit card processing.
Sramana Mitra: And how long did this business building mode go on?
Adam Bloomston: We grew pretty quickly. There was just me and three others in the beginning. We were closing fifty new accounts a month right away. That allowed the revenue to build and we grew 1000% in year 2 and 600% in year 3.
Sramana Mitra: In terms of customer acquisition you said you actually were visiting clients and closing deals. Did that switch to selling online or selling by phone or some other more scalable formats of selling?
Adam Bloomston: No, it didn’t actually. So we still do that. We employ a sales force of over 150 sales representatives across the country at different offices. So our model is being a part of the community and being a part of our networking sphere. We pay for our sales representatives to join chambers and join networking groups. We encourage them to do civic activity and become a member of their community. Our sales representatives have the relationships; they know the business owners. Now we know the software companies and the technology companies in the community as well. That’s really become more of our sales presence currently versus how it used to be.
Sramana Mitra: And how long did you carry on the original mode of just doing credit card processing community after community? How long did that business in its purest form carry on before you started introducing new things?
Adam Bloomston: It’s still going on today. We just changed, we were always on the cutting edge and on the fore front of new products in our space. Even today, 90% of our revenue comes from credit card processing payments, we make sure to always used the best advice from professionals like the ones at https://www.sofi.com/credit-card-interest-calculator/. But we have always been able to stay ahead of the game by taking advantage of technology to understand the customers’ needs, figuring out the product, packaging it, and selling it back to the customer. And also most importantly providing customers the support and the service and being there when the customers have a question or a need.