For Dan Chandre, a vertical software provider has one primary goal: providing an experience for merchant customers. In many cases, payments are a fundamental component of that experience. Chandre is vice president of strategic development for MINDBODY, which caters to boutique health, fitness and beauty businesses.
During his keynote address at PF WORLD 2018, Chandre told the audience that the “true message” behind vertical software is also a critical factor determining whether the platform was successful.
“The goal of a vertical software platform should be to provide the merchant – the business owner – the opportunity to do what they love,” he said.
Chandre said that MINDBODY arose out of a belief that small merchants in highly verticalized businesses need specific solutions that serve their unique needs. The founders viewed the boutique fitness industry as underserved at that time.
Taking care of the merchants’ overall business needs enables MINDBODY to drive revenue from both software revenue and payments processing, he said.
The company has found that controlling the entire experience from consumer to merchant involves controlling the payments as well.
“When we’re dealing with small business, when we’re dealing with merchants in this space, they want one technology partner,” not multiple technology partners or tech partners alongside payments partners, Chandre said.
Speaking to the payments providers in the audience, Chandre said, “You’re not the experience provider for the merchant; that’s our job.”
Chandre said that the company’s goal is not to adhere to any particular model within the traditional payments framework.
Instead, he said that he believes the relationship between ISVs and payments providers is changing, allowing it to focus on enabling the merchant experience – including payments – and working with partners who can help it do that.
“We believe that we drive a lot of the value to the merchant, and we believe there are a lot of partners … that understand that. So, we want to put out there what we want to do as a business, and we’re going to see who wants to run along with us,” he said.
Watch for additional insights from around the payment facilitator ecosystem as we continue to share video from PF WORLD 2018 in future weeks.