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Process Servers Must Embrace Change or be Left Behind

  • June 28, 2011
  • by Jeff Karotkin

I am always on the lookout for new applications that are not just cool but can create real value for businesses and individuals. Recently, I became aware of a new product called Square. Square is an application that enables individuals and businesses to accept credit card payments from their mobile device.  

Anyone who accepts credit cards using the traditional methods providers knows that the sign-up and equipment purchase/leasing is time-consuming and expensive. With Square you can download the app to your phone or tablet, navigate the sign-up process and start accepting credit card payments within a matter of minutes. You do have to wait for Square to send you the credit card reader that plugs into your headphone jack if you want to swipe credit cards. I signed up and it took three business days for my card reader to arrive. Here is the kicker: it is free and you can accept credit cards anywhere you have a phone connection. No monthly minimum charges or equipment fees and their swipe fees are very competitive.  

I am not writing about this because I want to endorse a product. Rather I am writing about it to illustrate what Square represents in my view. They challenged the status quo, transforming the relationship between buyers and sellers.   

How is this relevant to process servers? Good question. I believe it is a lesson that technology and innovative thinking will continue its forward march and impact our industry in ways that may be uncomfortable or even threatening to our existing business model(s).

Square founders saw an opportunity to create a business that challenged the status quo. They launched in 2009 and have already signed up over half-million customers. Square founders were not from the credit card processing business, thus they were not constrained by traditional thinking. They simply identified a problem and sought out an easy-to-enable solution. The traditional credit card processing companies were focused on how they have always fulfilled the merchant’s needs. They were not looking at how they could revolutionize their business. The point is they were stuck and they were not embracing change.  

My question to you is: are you paying attention to what is going on in the process serving industry? I submit most in the industry are not. I think they are so consumed by the day-to-day operations to recognize that things are shifting and changing around them.     

I believe that it is critical occasionally to take a step away from the day-to-day grind and get some altitude on things. Challenge yourself to re-examine the tasks you fulfill for your customers and ask yourself if you are meeting your customer’s expectations, and if you are leveraging technology in a way that will enable you to remain relevant for years to come.  

I submit the future of your business and perhaps the industry is riding on your ability to recognize challenges to your traditional business model and turn those challenges into opportunities. If you don’t, you may look up one day and wonder what happened to your business. The answer will be that some, like the founders of Square, will have built a better mousetrap.

Jeff H. Karotkin

Service of Process Looking Forward is the personal blog of Jeff Karotkin and is part of the ServeNow Community Blog. Jeff has 25 years of experience in the process serving industry and is passionate about confronting the challenges that face process servers.

Jeff's posts reflect his own views and may not reflect the views of ServeNow and its members. Please contact us if you are interested in joining the ServeNow Community Blog.

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