Technology has provided for plenty of life-changing advancements in the past decade, but the sheer convenience it has brought to millions of lives can’t be overlooked. Case in point: The way we reimburse each other. With the advent of technologies like Venmo, where private individuals can send each other cash directly from their bank account, the exchange of physical bills and coins could soon become a thing of the past. Smartphones have certainly made these technical breakthroughs in the payment industry possible, but there had to be innovators along the way to spearhead such transitions. Andrew Phillips of Cardflex is certainly one of those individuals, as he saw the need to move check-processing from a manual task to one aided by digital clearing technology.
A recent Bank of America consumer study found that 62 percent of people using “people-to-people” payment apps were millennials in their 20s or early 30s. According to the same study, Zelle, which is a payment program similar to Venmo, there were 68 million transactions in 2017. That total, while impressive, pales in comparison to the traditional credit or debit card payments made in stores across the country. The thing about this technology, as Cliq’s Andrew Phillips will tell you, is that you can trace the roots of the concept back to his vision from the early 1980s. At that time, he was just entering the payment processing field and thought that the lack of immediate payments options was both inconvenient and unnecessary. With the assistance of developers, the group set about finding a way to streamline debit and credit card payments. The technology they developed would be so revolutionary that Integrated Transaction Services would be one of the first third-party processors in the country that was clearing debit and electronic benefits card transactions.
The “third party” aspect of this field is significant, as payment security is a crucial component and offers peace of mind to both user and industry leaders. With Venmo, the security in place includes data encryption to “guard against unauthorized transactions and access to your personal or financial information,” according to the company’s website. Andrew Phillips of Cardflex says that keeping an eye on security systems in place at other operations allows him to stay on top of emerging technology and know what consumers are looking for. With Cliq, formerly Cardflex, Andrew Phillips was able to roll out web-based gratuity payment systems so real-time compensation could be offered to workers. This company also recently started accepting transactions from micro-merchants, so the security of payments made via card readers attached to tablets and smartphones has become paramount.