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The Story Behind the Launch of

by David Goodale

Since this is the inaugural blog post for the official launch of, I thought it would be appropriate to share the story that led to the launch of a new online payments service in Canada.

A little bit over 12 years ago I launched Merchant, which was Canada's first merchant services provider to specialize in the field of multi-currency e-commerce.

The world of the internet was fairly different back then. Mainstream acceptance of e-commerce was a huge issue, because buying something online was a brand new concept. Traditional brick-and-mortar banks tended to shy away from e-commerce (especially Canadian banks), and there was no company that specialized in helping small and mid-sized Canadian businesses that wanted to take payments on the web. There was clearly a void, and it needed to be filled. Hence, the launch of Merchant (which today is one of Canada's most reputable providers of e-commerce based merchant accounts for Canadian businesses).

The industry has changed tremendously over the past 12 years. Buying something online in 2013 is about as exotic as riding the bus. It's a part of our everyday lives. However, in the past year or two, I've realized that a new void has developed, primarily as a result of two things I've noticed:

Observation 1
Despite the fact that e-commerce payments are obviously an established standard, business owners are often still sold point of sale machines that they don't need. As a result of this, many business owners are keying credit card transactions manually into their POS machine, and are being penalized (charged extra fees) because the card is not physically present.

Observation 2
Whereas there was relatively little e-commerce based software to choose from in 2001, today there are many feature rich software platforms to choose from. These platforms include everything a business could possibly need: integration into warehouse inventory, accounting software, tracking customer correspondence, etc. However, this "growing up" of e-commerce software also has a downside: it can sometimes be complicated to setup and operate.

When I added these two thoughts together I realized there are a lot of times when you have already spoken to a customer, you have both agreed on a price, and you just need to get the payment as quickly and painlessly as possible. Sometimes, in some situations, you don't need automation. Don't get me wrong, because I love automation. It's what we help our clients do at Merchant But in some situations you might have a customer on the phone, or you might be sending an email to them, and you just way to say: "Hey, you owe me $500", and make it really easy for them to pay. There was just no way that was quite 'easy enough' to make me happy. I'm not referring to waiting for cheques in the mail either. There are a ton of great e-commerce systems out there, but almost all of them have some level of complication. What if you stripped everything down, you pulled everything away, until you had the simplest, easiest transaction that it is possible to facilitate. That is the goal we have tried to accomplish at

I further realized that if I took the technology that made this possible, (facilitate the easiest transaction possible) and included the credit card processing service with it, I'd make life a heck of a lot easier for a lot of small and mid-sized businesses when it comes to collecting payments. Thus, the idea behind the concept of was born.

Of course, our sponsor bank didn't like the idea of us giving away merchant accounts for free. We're not an aggregator, we really provide merchant accounts to each business (and telephone based support). In other words, this was fairly unprecedented in the payments industry. Regardless, the vision was quite clear, and we managed to forge ahead. So, with the technology, and the support of our sponsor bank, was born.

With such an exciting new service it will be a very exciting year for us. One thing I can promise, for certain, is that we will do our best to make it easy for business owners to send an email, and collect a simple invoice payment online. It's not a lofty goal, it's not a complicated service. What it is though, is the application of common sense to how online payments should work.

As a final note, I'd like to encourage anyone with comments or thoughts on how we can improve the service to contact us. This will be an exciting year, and on behalf of myself, and my team, we're looking forward to working with you!

David Goodale
January 18, 2013

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