RoadSync is extending its payment offerings through two new products, one of which has been rolled out in conjunction with two key trucking gatherings this week.
The latest new product for the company that has long been associated with electronic payment for lumpers is RoadSync Advance. RoadSync had booths at both the Truckload Carriers Association conference in Las Vegas at the start of the week and at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky.
Whereas the traditional RoadSync product had been aimed at drivers on the road who find themselves needing to make lumper payments or on-the-road repairs, RoadSync Advance is targeted to enable brokers and carriers to make those payments.
The March 17 rollout of RoadSync Advance follows closely the Feb. 1 release of a new app, RoadSync Driver. It is the company’s first app supporting its payment systems, which are built on the back of the Comdata payments network.
Paul Citarella is the executive vice president for business development and strategy at RoadSync, and in his earlier career he was an executive at Comdata.
By building its network on the back of Comdata’s and EFS’ extensive payment capabilities, “we are using the rails that exist and they are very effective,” he said in an interview on the floor of the MATS show in Louisville.
The March 17 announcement of RoadSync Advance coincidentally was the same day that Relay Payments announced its new Relay credit card program, RelayGo, to facilitate its payment activities.
But the two companies, while serving the overarching issue of payments, are not necessarily head-to-head competitors. The RelayGo card can be used for pretty much any expense that accepts a Visa card, while its earlier Relay Codes system requires both carrier and merchant to be part of the system, known as a closed loop system.
The RoadSync “value proposition” is far more targeted at those two areas — lumpers and repairs — but not exclusively. It also doesn’t require the merchant to sign up to a process, like Relay Codes. It only needs that merchant to be willing to accept a “fleet check,” which Citarella said is akin to a cashier’s check.
Fleet checks had always been paper documents, and still can be, Citarella said. But RoadSync’s first digital offerings for payment, RoadSync Checkout, used text messages and authorization codes that would allow a merchant to receive what amounted to an authorized fleet check or credit card payment without actually being a hard copy document.
The company actually began life with a name that showed where its niche was: Muylumper.com. “Our current CEO, Robin Gregg, took over and said it’s more about the payments across the supply chain and more than just lumpers,” Citarella said about the name change.
Both Gregg and Citarella had worked for Comdata, “and we understood what was going on with fleet checks,” Citarella said, noting the clunkiness of requiring paper documents without a digital solution. “We saw a need and a problem that we could solve,” he added.
RoadSync Driver is designed as a one-stop tool for individual owner-operators or fleets that regularly use the offerings of RoadSync, Citarella said. The company’s data shows that about 60% of drivers who use RoadSync now to get paid for lumpers will visit a warehouse or distribution center once and never return. Use of an app for them is not likely, he said.
But for repeat users who might be regular users, visiting several spots frequently, the app can speed the process, Citarella said. It has the normal range of capabilities found in most financially focused apps used by truck drivers: ability to upload paper receipts when that’s all that is there, make payments directly from the app and serve as a database of all past receipts and invoices.
RoadSync received a $30 million investment last June by several investment funds, led by Tiger Partners.
Citarella said the funding allowed the company to hire developers who helped lead to the launch of RoadSync Driver and RoadSync Advance, and also allowed an expansion of the company’s sales force. Among areas that RoadSync will likely look to tackle with new projects are the last mile, which Citarella said is about 40% of the cost of the supply chain.
“We constantly survey the entire supply chain and look for opportunities that really have some problems,” he said.
The lumper industry is “interesting,” Citarella said, “and we’re seeing a couple of flavors at how lumpers work.”
Some warehouses have their own lumpers rather than turning to outside firms. “It’s a control thing,” Citarella said.
The other primary model is the use of outside companies that are hired by the warehouse or the driver to offload cargo.
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