1,200

new social media followers

3x

average social engagement rates

500,000+

total unique readers

A former leader in multi-channel commerce technology, SecureNet Payment Systems developed the payment industry’s first cloud-based solution capable of integrating mobile and e-commerce payments processing, point-of-sale and inventory management. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, the company helped a network of more than 17,000 merchants leverage precise business analytics to advance and expand their businesses. In November 2014, the company was acquired by Worldpay.

A pioneer in card payments, multi-currency processing, online and contactless payments, Worldpay supports merchants of all sizes from its corporate headquarters in London and 25 offices in 11 countries around the world. The company processes an average of 31 million mobile, online and in-store transactions each day – or 400 transactions per second.

The Challenge

Although SecureNet served thousands of merchants each year, the company lacked brand awareness – especially among developers, payment industry professionals, partners and potential investors. A complex product offering coupled with the absence of a mobile website or social footprint plagued SecureNet’s efforts to establish credibility within the payments industry. To successfully raise its public profile, attract more qualified leads and ultimately be acquired, SecureNet enlisted the help of Walker Sands.

The Solution

Through a comprehensive PR program, Walker Sands sought to highlight the products, people and processes that separated SecureNet from the competition. This was achieved using a number of different elements, including:

  • Media relations: Walker Sands generated consistent coverage by presenting SecureNet news and announcements such as partnerships and product launches. Social media and news outlets were also monitored to ensure SecureNet had the opportunity to join real-time conversations surrounding specific topics in the news.
  • Thought leadership: To help drive media coverage in between partnership announcements and product roll-outs, Walker Sands routinely researched potential thought leadership pitch angles. In addition to establishing relationships with respected reporters within the payments industry, this outreach helped open the door to new stories, interviews and requests for articles written by SecureNet executives.
  • Events and awards: Walker Sands targeted a number of events – such as CNP Expo and the Customer Experiences Strategies Summit – as part of its campaign to further advance brand awareness as well as relationships with media attendees. Compelling submissions were also submitted for relevant awards in an attempt to bolster industry recognition.

After SecureNet was acquired in November 2014, Walker Sands became the North American agency of record for its acquiring company Worldpay US. This Atlanta-based business is one of three operating divisions under Worldpay Group, which offers over 300 payment methods and support to merchants in 126 currencies across 146 countries.

In addition to continuing each of the three elements from the SecureNet program, Walker Sands assumed a few extra responsibilities along the way:

  • Content creation: Walker Sands shed light on relevant news from Worldpay US by drafting and posting weekly articles on the company blog. This platform also served as an opportunity to reinforce credibility through commentary on timely topics within the payments industry, including personalization and the psychology of payments.
  • Social media management: Given the growing influence of social media, a lackluster online presence was no longer an option. Walker Sands helped build up Worldpay US’ social media clout by posting new content daily on the company’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ channels, and advised on the transition from SecureNet’s social media channels.

As the scope of the program widened, Walker Sands also assisted in the launch of various reports and data studies.

  • Global Payments Report: Leveraging a combination of primary and secondary resources, Worldpay analyzed the state of payments across 36 countries. Not only did this 57-page report provide valuable insight into future payment trends on a global and domestic scale, but it also garnered media coverage from top industry publications such as PYMNTS.com, Payment Week and Paybefore.
  • Online Payment Journey: Worldpay surveyed 250 US shoppers as part of its campaign to highlight what customers expect to see when paying for travel bookings online. From offering information about additional fees to providing immediate payment confirmation, Worldpay identified a number of steps merchants can take to optimize the online payment journey and improve conversion.

Walker Sands also worked with Worldpay US to secure media coverage of new product launches as well as campaigns at major events.

  • Worldpay Total: With the launch of Worldpay US’ new offering – Worldpay Total – approaching, Walker Sands reached out to payments, retail and restaurant media to ensure plenty of coverage on the day of announcement. A press release, blog post and social posts were also crafted to generate ongoing interest in Worldpay Total.
  • Money 20/20 Hackathon & Show: Walker Sands traveled to Money 20/20 in Las Vegas to create a documentary-style video of developers’ first impressions as they tinkered with Worldpay Total APIs. The Worldpay-sponsored Hackathon was also supported by blog and social media content in the weeks prior, including a livestream of Hackathon demos and awards via Periscope. To make Worldpay’s presence known at the Money 20/20 show, Walker Sands combined outreach to attending media with blog and social media posts throughout the event.

A style guide was also drafted to help standardize the brand’s voice and tone across various content types and platforms. Frequent considerations along with thought leader-specific preferences were included to ensure messaging accuracy.

The Results

Thanks to Walker Sands’ evolving PR program, Worldpay US earned more than 100 placements across several major publications, including:

  • CNBC
  • Forbes
  • Internet Retailer
  • CIO
  • The Street
  • Business Insider
  • Investor’s Business Daily
  • AdAge

This consistent coverage helped pave the way for greater recognition within the payments industry. In fact, Worldpay US was recognized by CNP Awards, Best in Biz Awards, American Business Awards and American Business Journal's Best Places to Work while also securing 15 different speaking engagements. Worldpay even ranked in the top three share-of-voice against six of its main competitors.

Walker Sands’ social media efforts also proved particularly successful. In addition to gaining 1,200 new followers, Worldpay US tripled its average engagement rate across three social channels from .8 percent to 2.5 percent.

In terms of media coverage, nine unique pieces were secured within the first 24 hours of the Worldpay Total launch alone, and 500,000+ total unique readers were reached. Meanwhile, blog and social posts used to promote Worldpay US’ presence at Money 20/20 garnered an average engagement rate of 2.1 percent on LinkedIn.

Before, during and after acquisition, Walker Sands helped position Worldpay US as a recognizable leader within the payments industry. From continued media relations to content creation and social media management, a wide range of tactics were used to raise the brand’s public profile and drive business.