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E-commerce, merchant accounts and credit card processing

Provide Support's Live Chat has significantly increased the number and quality of customer applications, and greatly improved customer satisfaction.

David Goodale

The Challenge

In order to take payments online, every company must establish a merchant account for its business. While it is not difficult for a business to establish a merchant account, it involves a detailed application and a technical integration step which must be completed in order to enable credit card payments on its website., as Canada's leading provider of merchant accounts, is well positioned in the marketplace. However, if the company cannot effectively answer customers' questions, the process may seem overwhelming. It needed a live chat system which could be implemented as a natural part of the sales process, providing exactly the kind of personalized information the customer needed, at the exact moment they needed it.

The company had previously run an outdated PHP based live chat system which was installed locally on its own web server. The program had grown outdated and, through lack of security updates, was potentially unsafe. A new system was needed, one that was more secure and easier to administer and keep current.


The company determined that Provide Support's Live Chat is the most direct method of communication possible, even more so than the telephone because a customer does not need to take any external action (dialing the phone) to connect with a support representative.

Early on in the research process, the company decided a remotely hosted live support solution would be optimal because it would relax the technical requirements and provide increased security on its Web server.

"We had learned through previous experience that complex software, even if successfully installed, requires attention to keep up-to-date," says David Goodale, CEO of "If security patches are made available they must be used immediately otherwise hackers could potentially exploit vulnerabilities resulting in a security breach or hack of the Web server. Such a solution requires at the very minimum dedicated server space and technical staff to apply any required patches or updates."

A remotely hosted solution eliminates this problem because the application is hosted by the provider of the service. This means that security updates are automatically applied to the live support system, so the company never needs to worry about any security issues or staff resources for updates.

Aside from technical issues, the company's requirements for the chat system were demanding.

"We realized that we would need a system that could run on multiple websites because we operate several sub-domains in addition to the company's main domain (," Goodale says.

"We also required multiple departments-both technical support and sales assistance-which would be manned by different operators with expertise in each particular area. Above all, the system had to be easy to use. We saw little point in implementing a live chat support system if it was too complex to use on a daily basis."

"We selected Provide Support to power our live chat solution; they provide a cost-effective service which has exceeded our requirements."

In addition to the basic live chat support, enjoys the product's entire suite of marketing and informational tools, such as user geo-location, detailed visitor information, page views, and joint-chat support (which allows multiple representatives to assist one customer in the event a complicated question requires the expertise of additional support staff).


With Provide Support's Live Chat, is now able to match each customer inquiry in real time to the support representative best suited to assist with each specific issue.

The company was able to implement the solution almost immediately, mainly because technical issues are minimal-it's added to the website through an HTML link. Once the company made the decision to select Provide Support's Live Chat, the system was running on its site within an hour. Further customization took a minimal amount of time.

The number of telephone support calls has decreased significantly because customers are able to easily get the information they require (especially regarding frequently asked questions).

Information is delivered to customers while they are able to take action, while they are on the website. This is crucial because once customers leave the site they are less likely to return than if they had received a real-time answer their question(s).

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