Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Back in early 2020, the MARCOM team here at BlueStar developed our very own podcast and it’s safe to say that in a year filled with such strife and uncertainty, the podcast crew took a crummy year and flipped it upside down to find the silver lining. Our TEConnect Podcast Crew is made up of John Martin and Dean Reverman as Co-Hosts of the regularly produced show and Mark Ryan is on the shooting/editing/or sometimes chiming in with an opinion or comment portion of the team. I tend to help out with researching popularly written articles and recorded statistics per episode, to help give the guys some talking points as well. So, that’s it! It’s a really small team, but a lot of effort goes into to making this production work so brilliantly.
This past year we’ve gotten the chance to invite several Subject Matter Experts into our studio virtually to further discuss The Channel’s most relevant and trending topics, from Digital Signage, Contactless Payments, and even HybridSaaS, we practically covered it all, in less than a year. We’ve had some laughs and some interesting conversations and there’s no doubt the crew is excited to start up the next chapter of the TEConnect Podcast back up in 2021, after a much-needed holiday break. While we wait for new episodes to start rolling out, let’s take a look back at some of our favorite episodes to reminisce and prepare for what is to come.
Back in June, we met up with BlueStar’s very own Toby Hutchinson, who serves us as a Payment Sales Manager. The crew chatted with him about the importance of payments during the Summer of 2020 and how the Pandemic was impacting any effectiveness that took place. This was a matter on mostly everyone’s mind, whether they were working in the restaurant and hospitality world, or were on the receiving end of that business as a customer. To brief you with some compelling dialogue, the conversation dove right into the heart of this issue that occurred:
John Martin: There is a Pandemic and a lot of businesses have had to shift their thinking about how they interact with customers, how they sell to customers, and if they are still able to operate, payments actually becomes an issue, as well… So, Toby, what can you tell us about the demand shift in payments right now?
Toby Hutchinson: Restaurants have had to get creative with their solutions within their business during this time. Many of them have looked to payment processors to see if there is any type of online payment type scenario they could get into, and also many have already adopted mobile apps, etc., Everything has moved to curbside or delivery, so mobile has shown an uptick in solutions… I see that in the future, this creative version of delivery will continue forward, so curbside is here to stay, in my opinion.
It’s interesting, as the listener, re-visiting this episode, because this was uploaded back in June, and that feels like almost a lifetime ago. 2020 as a whole, felt like 3 years mashed into one, very confusing year, filled with twists and turns that nobody could have predicted. I think it’s fair to say that Curbside Pickup and Mobile ordering solutions are here to stay, I mean they’ve never really dissipated or gone away, so that’s a good sign and a positive prediction on Toby’s part. I think, going forward, restaurants and other businesses will choose to keep those strategies on board, for they seem to gain traction amongst customers, and at the very least, in-person contact is minimized, which could help to stop any further spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Later on, in the episode, we hear more from Toby on how the switch to contactless payments always feels so far away, because in most cases it’s all up to society to trust the process and make the switch. Uploading payment credentials to one’s mobile devices to cut out plastic cards and the constant touching/handing off of paper bills, seems simple on paper, but when it comes to do the final flip of the switch, businesses are hesitant due to the likelihood of potentially fraudulent activities. To close out each TEConnect Podcast episode, John and Dean always circle back to more recurring themes and segments, especially with the #VARValue section, where the hosts narrow in on a main theme to summarize the content in hopes of capturing a good Call-to-Action, for anyone who happens to be listening. In this particular episode, the #VARValue prompt centered in on the following question: “How Does BlueStar Assist VARs with Payments?” Toby helped to decipher this prompt with the following resources:
Toby Hutchinson: At times it can be challenging for a company to locate a processor and find the product that they need, and here at BlueStar, we are certainly able to dive down deeper into that level, to help them understand who’s out there as far as processors go, and then helping find the right solution and product that will help their business to thrive. There’s also a potential for recurring revenue with referral programs, to help with growing the business… Overall, the BlueStar team is certainly able to assist with any configuring deemed necessary by the customer.
At the time, that this episode was published and uploaded into our many listening/viewing platforms, this has continued to be one of most popular episodes that’s rolled down the line. The trends are still trending in this instance, and information is critically important and relevant to those who listened. If you’re interested in listening to the whole podcast, you can do so on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, or if you perhaps would prefer to watch it, you can do so here on YouTube.