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Office Depot rolls out electronic payment service to help small businesses

The company has partnered with CenturyPayments for the Office Depot Merchant Services initiative. The service lets small and medium-sized businesses accept electronic payments via all major debit and credit cards at the point-of-sale.

“Seventy percent of Office Depot customers are small business owners,” said Owen Torres, spokesman for Office Depot, Boca Raton, FL. “We’re always listening to their wants and needs.

“We partnered with Century Group and through that we’re offering this new progam,” he said.

Office Depot provides supplies and services to its customers through 1,627 worldwide retail stores, a dedicated sales force, top-rated catalogs and global e-commerce operations.

Century Payments develops programs to benefit merchants, partners and agents alike.

Mobile partnership
According to the company, its partnership with Century Payments provides customizable payment services that help both merchants and customers through their transaction process.

In addition to the new payment service, Century Payments has pledged to donate one backpack to the Office Depot Foundation for every new customer that activates an account with Office Depot Merchant Services.

“The small business space is overally segmented,” he said. “Small business owners consider mobile to be very strategic to their operations,” Mr. Torres said.

Mobile past
This is not Office Depots first foray into mobile.

Earlier this year, as part of its “Office Depot Anywhere” strategy, the company rolled out an application for iPhone and Android devices that lets users browse and purchase products (see story).

Office Depot also ran an instant win giveaway to drive retail traffic and sales via a new campaign that offers consumers a total of $500,000 in mobile gift cards.

The company partnered with SpyderLynk for the mobile initiative (see story).

Recently, an Office Depot executive at’s Annual Summit said companies should not replicate a desktop experience when developing their mobile site.

The executive also said that mobile is a different channel and companies need to take that into consideration when working on their strategy (see story).

“Our customers are increasingly leveraging mobile to balance their productivity,” Mr. Torres said. “At Office Depot, we’re ramping up our mobile enhancements.

“It’s one of those things where we want to delviver an added service,” he said.

Final Take
Rimma Kats is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York