“No one says success and building something from nothing was easy or without challenges, but some simply must experience to overcome,” says Derrick Hess (Founder and CEO at Processing Solutions). Leveraging his avid experience in the merchant services industry, Derrick has transformed Processing Solutions into one of the fastest-growing payment companies in the U.S. He is passionate about the evolving payments industry and has made it a mission to assist ISO/Agents in the minefield of the payments business.
Breaking the Norm
Derrick began his professional journey in 2002, where he started selling advertising for the largest Yellow Page directory in the South East United States. While working there, he used to meet potential advertisers, learn about their business, and recommend advertising based on specific metrics. One of those advertisers was a small ISO that had a phone room selling merchant services. Intrigued by the business of merchant services, Derrick started researching about the payment processing business.
A year later, he signed his first deal with a small uniform business that sold scrubs, etc. Since then, tens of thousands of accounts have been boarded under his direction. After selling for a few years, Derrick became a recruiter to help recruit and train agents to better serve merchants and do his part to remove the stigma some merchants had about payment professionals. In 2015, he incepted Processing Solutions—a fully debt-free, no venture capitalist, home for experienced Payment Professionals to place their merchants with. PSI takes pride in refraining from the typical industry norms such as increasing merchant rates, adding disingenuous fees, and grossly overcharging items that have little to no cost.
Full Spectrum of Electronic Payments
Processing Solutions provides a full spectrum of electronic payments for almost every industry from Retail and Restaurants to Non-branded Gas Stations, Government Agencies, E-Commerce, B2B, and even Mobile Apps. As the name suggests, the company has a solution for every scenario. Since it is a fully-registered and branded ISO/MSP, it can provide the lowest rates directly from Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express. The company has no middlemen to interrupt its pricing process and it is the major reason behind its success.
Being the Founder and CEO, Derrick is intimately involved in the company’s daily operations. He rotates different departments from the moment a new account comes in until a terminal is deployed. He enjoys being a part of each department as he can influence and make the tweaks whenever required. Derrick believes that the sales process is the most enjoyable and challenging dynamic of the payments industry. “I still find myself selling when I am out and about. Every business I patronize will know who I am and what I do by the time I leave,” he adds.
Shifting the Focus
The COVID-19 pandemic brought several new challenges and made business reassess their strategies. Derrick believes that staying on the growth trajectory has been the biggest challenge for him and his company during this pandemic. PSI had seen extensive growth almost every year before the pandemic. However, the pandemic impositions made the growth stop abruptly. As states started shutting down, businesses stopped processing. Moreover, people stopped ordering from small and medium local businesses. “Our sales force is mainly business to business sales. Once you shut down the ability to conduct businesses things change. They changed rapidly!” says Derrick.
Heeding to the changing circumstances, Derrick devised a task force within PSI to review EVERY MID and ensure they are PCI compliant, IRS TIN matched, and to look at the statements for any anomalies that may be costing Merchants money. All of PSI’s merchants were introduced to options for online ordering, website links for payments, curbside mobile devices, gift cards, and other methods of keeping their business flowing. Derrick adds that payments is a crucial part of SMBs and can be the difference of staying open or closing during COVID-19. He believes being able to focus at a moment’s notice is a key for the company’s long term success.
The “Anything is Possible” Mentality
Alongside the challenges faced by PSI, Derrick also comes across several challenges as a leader. He asserts that one of the biggest challenges for him is ‘saying no’. “I always want to do everything for everyone that asks, but sometimes the only logical and business answer is no,” he adds. Derrick believes that people tend to take advantage of generosity very quickly if one doesn’t recognize it.
Bracing generosity, Derrick is always looking to bring new blood into the industry. When he sees someone with potential, he pursues that person and inculcates ability in him/her to go from a 9-5 mentality to the ‘anything is possible’ mentality. In his dynamic career as a serial entrepreneur, he has guided numerous people to navigate this business and has used whatever he has learned as a way to see real success. “You can always lead a horse to water, but at the end of the day it is their choice if they drink it or not,” he adds.
Enhancing the Repertoire
Derrick says that PSI will be going back to the basics in 2021. He is planning to keep his team lean and fierce. He adds that the moves that PSI made in the last 5 years to get to this point will continue. Moreover, since the economy is about to rebound, PSI expects new businesses to emerge while existing businesses look for better solutions to enhance their offerings. Derrick asserts that the company has been quietly innovating in 2020 and will be rolling out exciting new services in the years to come.