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The combination of payments with business-management tools can be powerful, says Todd Ablowitz, president of Double Diamond Group, a payments consulting firm, and one payment companies should strive to emulate.

“Clearly, they feel their customers building Web sites need a way to manage their small businesses,” Ablowitz says, relying on software-as-a-service models to deliver them. “It’s a really good horizontal application because so many businesses can take care of invoicing.” It’s a relatively straightforward service to offer, he adds.

Offering services in conjunction with payment processing is a well-known tactic to enticing and retaining merchants, and demonstrates that “it’s not just about payments anymore,” Ablowitz says. “The value is in the capabilities, and payment is the secondary concern. If you’re an acquirer, processor, or independent sales organization, you should be thinking about what you’re doing with services.”

Digital Transactions, July 1, 2014