Merchant Spotlight: ChartWatch Inc.


How Sekure Payment Experts helped technical research firm ChartWatch Inc. reduce payment processing costs while simplifying business operations with a payment gateway.

Ken Shaleen, who founded ChartWatch in 1985, knows a thing or two about financial markets and technical analysis, a method used to evaluate financial markets (stocks, currencies, commodities, etc.) by analyzing historical price and volume trends. He has an MBA from Chicago’s Northwestern and has taught college courses for decades.

In 2000, Ken parlayed his professional experience and passion to create ChartWatch—an online service that provides weekly technical analysis reports on the S&P, Dow Jones, NASDAQ 100, and physical commodities. But when exorbitant processing fees threatened ChartWatch’s bottom line, Ken knew he needed a payments partner on his side. As Ken put it, “The costs started getting so high, I started saying, ‘Am I really in business? Or am I just paying my credit card processor?’” Clearly, Ken wasn’t getting the best credit card processing rates.

The challenge

Ken faced two challenges:

  1. High processing fees that were eroding his bottom line and jeopardizing his business.
  2. Cumbersome processes for keying credit card info into his cellphone.

The solution

The first thing we did to address the high processing fees was recommend the Edge program—which enables our merchants to save 100% on their credit card processing, by shifting the costs to cardholders. For ChartWatch customers, who pay $4 per report, a 4% increase of 16 cents was barely noticeable. But for Ken, 4% on his entire transaction volume amounted to considerable savings. It was the difference between shutting down operations and keeping ChartWatch running strong.

Second, we set Ken up with a virtual terminal. Instead of using a phone to input his customer’s payment details, he now uses his computer as a payment gateway to accept online payments. Once a month, he aggregates all his charges, gets his credit card information, and then processes the payment through the virtual terminal. It’s simpler and more reliable. Ken knows he could streamline the payments even further by storing his customers’ names, addresses, and payment info online, but for the moment, he doesn’t mind doing it by hand. He’s old school, and the system works well for him.

Ken has got other tools at his disposal through Sekure, such as invoicing, but he isn’t sure when or if he’ll need that feature. Still, he appreciates the capability: “I think that it's possible [I’ll use it]. It’s getting easier than it was, and I need easy.”

Ken is happy with his setup and having Sekure as a trusted partner. And he certainly doesn’t miss the random charges that used to appear on his statements and the hours-long calls with his previous process to dispute them.

Merchant Spotlights ChartWatch Inc mission accomplished

Mission accomplished

After sitting down with Ken Shaleen, we understand that he sees Sekure not as a payment processor but as a “partner”. Sekure takes care of the payment aspects of ChartWatch’s business so Ken can focus on producing his reports and serving his clients. We grow with our clients and are invested in their success.

As for ChartWatch, it’s clearly trending in the right direction. Want to see how Sekure can help with credit card processing for small businesses? Give us a call—we’d love to hear from you.

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