A Conversation with Scott Meyerhoff, COO and CFO of InComm

Navigator Edition: September 2015

Scott MeyerhoffWe recently interviewed Scott Meyerhoff, COO and CFO of InComm. In this Q&A format we discussed InComm’s evolution, the unique aspects of its proprietary network, and  its positioning within the evolving marketplace.

InComm, founded in 1992, is a global market leader in technology that enables merchant partners to facilitate commerce across a diverse range of industry verticals. The InComm network powers customized POS-based solutions and the company was a pioneer in third-party prepaid product distribution.

Scott Meyerhoff joined InComm in 2011 as CFO and has completed multiple public debt and equity offerings over the past several years, raising in excess of $1billion. He assumed the additional responsibilities of COO in 2014. Prior to joining InComm, Scott was a consultant in executive capacities at multiple companies, including Arthur Andersen, Intercept, Infor Global Solutions, and Intersect. Under his direction, Intersect was named to the prestigious Inc. 500 List in 2010.

1.  Most people tend to think of InComm as a successful gift card player, but there is clearly more to the InComm story.  Can you share more about your business model and its reach?

While we are proud of the leadership position we have built in the gift card industry – both third-party distribution and our own ‘Vanilla’ branded products, InComm is really about innovation at the point-of-sale (POS).  We leverage decades of experience in building POS connectivity with advanced functionality to deliver unique, customized solutions that create meaningful value for our customers.  Our solutions create value in any number of ways – driving customer traffic, simplifying customer transactions, reducing merchandise-related fraud, or enhancing the customer experience.  At the most fundamental level, InComm is a network with the capability to manage data regardless of the originating form factor – it can be a traditional plastic card, but also an email, bar code, PIN, printed billing statement, etc.  Moreover, InComm’s clients include retailers, but we also serve other verticals – digital content, healthcare, wireless, toll and transit, utilities, and more.  While we have helped pioneer prepaid as a category, the InComm network powers a growing number of products and services around the globe that includes a lot more than just gift cards.

2.  Fintech is quite topical with start-ups attracting capital and media attention.  How do you think of InComm in the context of the Fintech space?

Before there was the FinTech rage, there was InComm.  The company was founded in 1992 as a technology company and all of our products and services leverage our proprietary platform and accompanying network.  With a presence in over 30 countries and relationships with market leaders in most industry verticals, we are bit different than most Fintech start-ups given our established revenue base.  That said, as a privately held company, we’ve maintained much of our entrepreneurial culture and spirit – we invest for the long-term, we enter new markets in support of the expansion efforts of existing clients, we thrive on speed-to-market often deploying our own resources as an extension of our customer’s IT departments, and we pilot certain solutions at our own cost to prove their value.  We embrace the rapid advancements in technology and are enhancing our services accordingly – we have mobile solutions, we are partners with Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) on digital wallets, we have relationships with PayPal, Apple, Microsoft, and many others, and are in active dialogue with a host of companies where our network and solution set can add value.

3.  What are some of the unique solutions that are powered by InComm across different industry verticals?

InComm has a storied history of innovating on behalf of our partners.  Since our inception in 1992, when we issued our first Prepaid Long Distance Card, InComm has helped pioneer huge industry successes like ‘no-contract wireless’ and the proliferation of the iTunes card .  More recently, we’re excited about our Enhanced Payment Platform (EPP) solution and the applications it has in the healthcare space where we are working with our long-time partners in the pharmacy channel to enable transactions only for approved goods using basket-adjudication (SKU-level data).  Other exciting solutions include our contactless point-of-sale enabled transit solution, our payment acceptance switch technology which has unique applications in transaction routing, and our suite of fraud prevention tools which leverage point-of-sale data to prevent returns if the item was never purchased/activated at our retail client.  We are continually investing and making advancements in our products to support the needs of our diverse client base.

4.  Stepping back, how do you think of InComm’s position within the market given the pace of innovation and ground covered to date?

We are fond of saying that we are in the third or fourth inning in terms of exploiting the full power of the InComm network.  Early on, the basis of competition in our space related to breadth of content as well as efficiency around marketing and packaging design.  While we continue to have a focus and expertise in those areas, our clients and prospects get very excited thinking about the future of prepaid and everything else we can do with our network.  We enable a product that customers pay for in advance, that retailers have no inventory carrying cost, that drives customers back into the store that can be integrated into different loyalty programs, and can be captured on everything from a plastic card to a barcode or mobile device and everything in between.  When you step back and look at the opportunities to harness the data on shopping behaviors, to customize marketing opportunities at the SKU level, and the ability to engage with customers real-time, all driven through integrated point-of-sale technology powered by InComm, it is quite exciting.  Market forces are also a catalyst for our network of solutions across industry verticals – healthcare and insurance is experiencing rapid change, mobile commerce is on the rise, and the way shoppers think about loyalty is constantly evolving through innovators like Starbucks and others.

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