Promising to help small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) accept all forms of payments, Sage North America, maker of ACT and Peachtree small business software, unleashed the cloud-based Sage Exchange this month.
The small business solution integrates payments with business management software systems, improving cash flow management and forecasting, according to Greg Hammermaster, president of Sage Payment Solutions, Sage's payments division.
"Sage Exchange increases the efficiency of accepting and making payments to help companies achieve two important goals: reduced costs and maximized value of their business software environment," Hammermaster said.
The new SaaS-based payments platform, certified by the Payments Card Industry (PCI), allows SMBs using Sage software products to accept credit and debit cards in a secure and Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS) validated environment while automatically updating accounts receivable (AR) records. Sage is Level 1 PCI certified, and it serves as an active PCI Security Standards Council Participating Organization.
"Every business buys and sells goods or services," Hammermaster said. "Sage Exchange will provide a robust platform to accept and make payments for those goods or services, while seamlessly accounting for and tracking those payments. Virtually any small and mid-sized company or organization can benefit from Sage Exchange."
Sage said Sage Exchange offers seamless data integration to a wide range of Sage business management software products and third-party small business solutions, noting that such integration between payment applications and back-office software can improve an organization's cash flow and forecasting while also eliminating manual data entry and the associated risk of errors.
The company plans to release the payments platform in phases over the next several months. The initial offering uses tokenization and other technologies to provide a secure payment processing environment that integrates all methods of payment acceptance, including Web, phone, terminal, mobile and scanner. It also automates payment settlement and provides a consolidated view of payment activity.
Later phases will expand its payments integration to distributed credit/debit card point-of-sale (POS) devices and a range of integrated payment solutions to the accounts payable (AP) side.
The initial release of Sage Exchange will offer:
- Integration with Sage software products including: Peachtree by Sage, Simply Accounting by Sage, Sage ERP X3, Sage BusinessVision, Sage Pro ERP, DacEasy by Sage, Sage Fundraising 50, Sage Fundraising 100, Sage Millennium, Sage Fundraising 100 -- Rainbow Edition, Sage Intergy for medical practice management and Timeslips by Sage for billing and time-tracking
- A new Sage Exchange Virtual Terminal with key-entered and "card swipe" capabilities that does not time out
- New encrypted credit and debit card terminals with the latest browser-based technology
A subsequent release of Sage Exchange will connect to: Sage Accpac ERP, Sage MAS 90 ERP, Sage MAS 200 ERP, Sage MAS 500 ERP, and Sage Medical Manager for electronic health records (EHR).
Later, the company plans to support expanded payment functionality in the areas of payroll, procurement and payables, as well as seamless integration with additional complementary business applications.
Thor Olavsrud is a freelance writer and a former senior editor of InternetNews.com. He has covered operating systems, standards, telecom and security, among other technologies.
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