September 4, 2012

Exceeding Expectations: Townsend Building Supply

Many customer success stories follow the pattern of “problem, solution.” If this was one of those testimonials, we could wrap it up in two sentences: Townsend Building Supply needed a payment gateway solution that interfaced with bisTrack, their industry-specific POS solution. Shift4’s SaaS-based DOLLARS ON THE NET® gateway has that integration and our pricing met Townsend’s budget, so they inked a deal.

Almost immediately after bringing the solution online, Shift4’s transaction processing speed advantage was made apparent. According to Townsend’s records, average transaction time dropped from 10 seconds before Shift4 to less than 3 seconds with Shift4. The difference was so drastic that frequent customers noticed and complimented them on the speed increase.

Having a solution that worked and that drastically reduced their transaction time was great, but it was not until their first merchant statement came in after the implementation of DOLLARS ON THE NET that the management at Townsend Building Supply realized just how great a deal they had made.

The first thing they noticed was an overall payment processing cost reduction on their merchant statement. Not only was the investment they made in adding DOLLARS ON THE NET paying for itself but, even after paying Shift4, they were netting a $150 monthly savings over their last solution. The greatest cost reductions – 81 percent month over month – came from the prevention of downgrades and fines.

“With DOLLARS ON THE NET we have more control and it’s a lot easier to fix or adjust anything so that we nail our batches – and they’re absolutely accurate.”
— Bernadette Baxter, Administrative Assistant, Townsend Building Supply

In addition to increased accuracy in settlement, Townsend has been able to capitalize on Shift4’s Bank Identification Number (BIN) management technology to eliminate their interchange fees. When customers pay with a card that is capable of being processed as either PIN debit or signature, BIN management allows the POS to determine the most cost-effective way to process the transaction (rather than the clerk asking, “Credit or debit?”).

In the month after Townsend enabled BIN management, the percentage of transactions processed as PIN debit jumped from 8 to 56 percent. This resulted in major cost savings for two reasons. Number one, PIN debit is charged at a flat rate – it doesn’t go through interchange, so large tickets are not more costly to process than smaller ones. Two, it cannot downgrade and doesn’t have to qualify as any specific merchant type, so there is significantly less risk of fees and fines.

Despite what many merchant banks and their representatives are telling merchants, Townsend is a real-world example of just how much money an organization can save by employing PIN debit properly – even in these post-Durbin days. (Merchant Services Providers would certainly never advertise that, because they make much more money on interchange and downgrades when merchants process as credit.)

Of course, the benefits Townsend realized by partnering with Shift4 were not limited to their accounting ledgers. Shift4’s merchant advocacy and the flexibility that our complete bank and processor neutrality affords our merchants was also a noted benefit.

“It is good to know we are saving. Also, knowing I have flexibility to use almost any merchant services provider is comforting to me.”
— Michael Townsend, President, Townsend Building Supply

Additionally, DOLLARS ON THE NET’s enhanced control over user account permissions has allowed Townsend to empower their employees to serve their customers without the risk of giving them too much access or control. Finally, corporate officers now have much more time to focus on the overall needs of the business because front line employees can research and resolve their own issues.

“Our front line employees can help their customers right there in the store. They’re so pleased with how very user-friendly DOLLARS ON THE NET is. And, they don’t have to call me for assistance nearly as much as they used to, so that’s great, too!”
— Bernadette Baxter, Administrative Assistant, Townsend Building Supply

Townsend Building Supply came to Shift4 with a specific need. Not only was Shift4 able to meet that need, but it is safe to say that thanks to DOLLARS ON THE NET’s host of merchant-centric features, Townsend’s expectations were far exceeded. From price savings and time savings to world-class customer support, Shift4 has delivered a solution to Townsend that is unmatched in the industry.