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Cogcentric Labs Inc., a Payfirma referral partner, is an educational technology research and development company. Before they became a referral partner, they conducted extensive research before coming to the conclusion that Payfirma was the best option for them. Cogcentric Labs refers Payfirma’s payment processing services to their clients – not just because they are a referral partner but because they genuinely believe that Payfirma is the best solution. By recommending the best solution to their customers, Cogcentric Labs strengthens their client relations.
Cogcentric Labs founders Ken MacAllister and Seth Tee started building custom learning platforms together in 2007 for organizations that included the UN Habitat, Pacific Blue Cross, and Boston Pizza. In 2012, they started a project to build the most personalized and adaptive electronic learning platform ever, named ‘Fabric’ because it’s so flexible. In 2014, they came out of beta, acquired paying customers, and incorporated. Today, they continue innovating and empowering their customers to take learning beyond traditional eLearning paradigms.
What makes Fabric so powerful is that it creates personalized learning plans for each individual based on their role, location, language, achievements, and goals. Unlike other enterprise learning management systems, Fabric has built-in tools that allow authors to create learning and assessment systems that adapt to each learner’s needs in real-time. Data collected from anywhere in Fabric can be integrated to create interactive charts, graphs, and feedback. Every question and piece of content in Fabric is indexed and can be incorporated into lessons, exams, flashcard games, and surveys depending on the context.
Ken and Seth’s main focus is on life-long learning in communities of practice where there’s a social dimension to development involving mentoring, coaching, and collaboration. Through their research and development efforts, Cogcentric Labs has found ways to support and enhance knowledge sharing in diverse informal learning environments such as construction sites, hospitals, and restaurants.
Some of Cogcentric Labs’ clientele are educational and coaching content producers who have traditionally produced training content in static formats like PDF or PowerPoint but want to convert these into interactive online systems that work on any device in multiple languages. This helps these companies monetize their content in entirely new ways, opening up new markets and new revenue streams. The challenge then became to search for an integrated eCommerce solution.
First, they looked at all the eCommerce options available to them; there were 15 main companies in the U.S. and nine in Canada. They evaluated each on about 30 different points such as rates per transaction, support, set up fees, any additional types of wireless or transaction fees, and EFTs.
About half of the payment gateways didn’t have the eCommerce API capabilities they needed. There were three companies that they simply couldn’t get ahold of. “We tried calling them, and we got an answering machine; we repeatedly called, left messages, emailed, but they never got back to us – just didn’t communicate at all,” said Ken.
They looked at other companies like Braintree but found that Payfirma’s percentage rates were better than anyone else. In addition, Payfirma support got top marks right away. “There’s always a person on the phone to speak to that’s very helpful and knowledgeable,” said Ken. “[Payfirma has] the most responsive people on the phone with most helpful answers, and they were willing to go through and answer all of our questions. Plus, the website was easy to use and informative; the UI is very clean, simple, and intuitive.”
Next, they wanted to be able to process recurring payments as well as single transactions – which Payfirma enables. They then started conducting more in-depth research and looking at Payfirma’s open API; they found that it was extremely easy to work with and well-documented.
And the cherry on top? They loved the fact that Payfirma was a local company. “That’s another thing, it’s great that we were able to support another B.C. business,” says Ken. Payfirma was simply the most logical choice: “Payfirma had better service, better rates, better API, better UI, and friendlier people on the phone to answer questions”.
Payfirma checked all of Cogcentric Labs’ boxes for a payment processor, and a decision was made. Once they had made their decision, they contacted Payfirma to get started. The onboarding process was straightforward and easy; “we didn’t have any trouble at all setting up recurring payments or integrating. Payfirma is definitely the easiest to integrate with from what we’ve seen so far,” said Ken.
During their calls, the rep introduced Payfirma’s referral program. To them, it was a no-brainer. “We were recommending them before we were a partner, and we would do it even if we weren’t. We wanted to be able to tell our clients that we’ve got a solution that is the best for you, not only the best for us, not only the best from an integrations perspective but also the best for you because they’ve got really great rates and a really great website that’s super easy to use,” said Ken.
Working with Payfirma has strengthened their reputation with their customers. They pride themselves on providing the very best for their clients, even when it comes to payment processing. “Working with Payfirma gives us the confidence of knowing that we’ve giving our clients a really good recommendation, that we’ve done our research and looked at all the options out there, and we’re not just saying it because we’re their partner.” They’ll often make their recommendation but suggest clients do their own research, even telling them what to look for and which questions to ask, and their clients always come to the same conclusion as them.
“That’s why we’ve always been advocates for Payfirma,” said Ken. We literally think it’s the best, for the types of things we do – for online, for integrations, and for helping customers sell their products and services.”