Forte has been providing secure, reliable and swift payment processing for software partners since 1998. The company’s ACH/eCheck processing has been established as best-in-class from years of experience working with software providers, billers and financial institutions. Zoho, a leading provider of cloud-based business solutions, has partnered with Forte Payment Systems to offer electronic payments directly with Zoho Finance apps. By choosing Forte as a payment provider, Books, Invoice and Subscriptions users can now accept card and eCheck payments without hesitation, right within their Zoho software.
In an exclusive interview with LTP, Jeff Thorness, CEO of Forte, provided some background: “We began working on ACH based payments several years ago and have now transformed into a tech player. We re-named the company to Forte Payment Systems, three years back. Since then, we have worked across US and Canada with a broader solution set. We are now working with 27,000 merchants and process around $19 billion worth of transactions every year. These transactions pertain to subscription services, card-not-present transactions, POS transactions and more. Through this partnership, we are providing Zoho with tools and APIs to help them incorporate capabilities such as subscription billing solution, accounting solution, expense management, credit card processing and more.”
Asked about the future of ACH in the country, Jeff said: “The future of ACH payments seems bright. NACHA is taking up several initiatives to enable same day ACH transactions. However, some banks need to enhance their technical capabilities. Small banks are not able to cope up with ACH requirements but they will gradually do and move on to the next phase of payments". When asked about the fundamental ACH challenge he said "Considering ACH payments were built for batch processing they have limitations with respect to real time payments whereas debit card network based system could be easily used for the same.”
Regarding the new partnership, Jeff told LTP: “Zoho is an important partner for us as part of our integrated payments strategy. We are working with such companies to go to the market in a big way. If you look at the industry, it has been witnessed that only a few large players remain independent while others have been bought (Braintree as an example). We are one of the large ones that is still independent. We intend to move into new geographies in the coming years, specifically UK and Western Europe”
Zoho is now able to offer their customers the ability to accept ACH/eChecks, credit and debit card payments quickly and with confidence using Forte’s robust processing services. In addition, each account includes unlimited access to Forte’s payment gateway, virtual terminal, online reporting and payment tokenization and storage services.
Using Forte’s RESTful architecture and Web Services, Zoho was able to integrate the additional options for payment acceptance seamlessly and easily into their already comprehensive software solution. Forte’s REST APIs allow clients to use the existing infrastructure of the web for integration and to make requests via any language or on any platform. These features not only simplify the integration process, but they also increase flexibility and access.