Sage North America has launched an administrative portal for its Sage Exchange payments service.

Sage Exchange allows small and midsized businesses to view, manage, and “connect” their payments environment via the Web and mobile devices. It also gives SMBs consolidated reporting access to their mobile, point-of-sale, e-commerce, and back office merchant accounts to help them streamline the back office and manage the payments environment. In the future, Sage Exchange will also provide SMBs with an array of connected services, such as international money transfers and business prepaid cards.

The Sage Exchange administrative portal will provide Sage customers with a three-step approach to “connect” their payment devices with their Sage accounting and enterprise resource planning software to allow them to automatically post and reconcile their payment transactions.

“Sage Exchange is something that we’ve been working on and developed almost two years ago when the core platform was put out there in the marketplace,” said Sage Payment Solutions president Greg Hammermaster in an interview Tuesday. “What we were able to do with that was connect the Sage accounting solutions—with our new naming convention, Sage 50, Sage 100, Sage 300, Sage 500 and Sage X3—in the core platform. What we were able to do in a pretty seamless fashion is integrate the payments data through credit card acceptance and debit card acceptance. When that transaction was consumed by the customer over the phone and they wanted to key it into the application, it was resident within that accounting system.”

In addition to phone orders, there is also a virtual terminal or Web-based terminal connection, he added. “We were able to build that, get core integration, and now we’ve launched the next version of Sage Exchange, which is the online portal,” said Hammermaster. “With this online portal, we’re able to allow customers in kind of a do-it-yourself mode to connect distributed payment devices into their accounting system.”

The system can connect various types of payment devices to the accounting system.

“Think of the credit card terminal that’s at the retail countertop or your mobile phone in the field that’s running Sage Mobile Payments, or even your e-commerce Web site that’s running a shopping cart,” Hammermaster explained. “These are all distributed types of payment devices. Now our customer in a very simplistic three-step approach can actually connect that right to their exact general ledger in their Sage accounting system themselves. They don’t have to have IT resources or an IT degree, and it’s all in a clean, safe, PCI-secure environment. It empowers them to connect their environment at their pace based on all their forms and methods of payment. That’s the heart and soul of Sage Exchange.”

The system uses a tile-like interface to view reports and other information. On an iPad, the interface has touch capability so the tiles can be made larger or smaller. The portal launched last week initially for Sage 50, formerly known as Peachtree.

An accountant who is helping clients manage various businesses can have one copy of Sage Exchange and view the data on all of them from the portal, according to Hammermaster.

In June, Sage plans to add a capability that will allow businesses with a Sage point-of-sale terminal to add a message and image to the printed credit card receipt telling customers they can come back next time to get a 20 percent discount. “It also works as a messaging device for the accountant who wants to give a message to their customers,” said Hammermaster. “That messaging works on the LCD screen on the credit card terminal, so the business owner walks into their business in the morning, boots up their screen, and there’s a message from their accountant on their machine.”

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