The Payments Learning Curve
How Payrix helps the leading childcare management platform excel in its class
Kangarootime has overcome nearly insurmountable odds to land where they are today as the leading all-in-one childcare management platform for early education schools and daycares and proud partner of Payrix.
They have revolutionized childcare management software for the businesses they serve by completely automating the time-consuming work of billing, employee management and parent engagement.
While it’s true their platform takes care of the administrative work these centers and schools would rather not do, there is so much heart behind their business model.
Scott Wayman, Founder and CEO of Kangarootime, said in a recent conversation with Payrix that they, of course, provide great technology but that is not their ultimate goal.
“Our ethos is to provide the best service on the planet and support our customers better than any vendor in our space because we know early educators that found childcare centers are doing it because they love children and have missions of investing and developing them in their first five critical years.”
Before Kangarootime, Wayman realized the power of integrated payments while at a healthcare startup. Through his journey of building an integrated payment platform there, he felt it was the right time to venture out on his own with his personal knowledge of the shortcomings of the business and technology of childcare management.
Under tragic circumstances, Wayman took custody of his younger brother when he was just a young man himself with no parenting experience. Therefore, he enrolled his brother in a childcare center that was obsessed with building bodies, minds and souls but not so keen on the business side of child care, so he helped them develop and implement a billing platform.
It occurred to him that, commercially, there wasn’t anything like what he was working on at the time. Although it took 14 years, eventually he did something about it by starting Kangarootime.
Payments Growing Pains
The journey to embedded payments was also a long one. Nearly all customer issues or tickets that needed remedying had to do with payments, according to Wayman. “It is the most leveraged part of our business and not having complete control of that is scary.”
Kangarootime worked with ISO partners in the past where there were red flag issues, including previous partners that had overdispersed and clawed back without telling customers. These issues became so hard to handle and nearly impossible to remedy the customer success experience because communication and money movement is so critical to their customers’ operations.
This sent them on a mission to find a payments partner as passionate about payments as Kangarootime is about their customers.
In an attempt to find the right partner, Wayman had conversations with Finix, ProPay and Clearent, but ultimately the partnership with Payrix enabled Kangarootime to leverage volume, preserve margins and deliver a great level of service. He added Payrix was aligned on excellence in customer service and providing high value and responsiveness for their customers.
“Nobody had the relentlessness for customer success and the ‘we will solve it’ attitude regardless of friction, like Kangarootime — until we met Payrix,” Wayman said.
During the height of the COVID crisis in 2020, Kangarootime was straddling between their new payfac partner, Payrix, and their former ISO partner — who locked everyone out of merchant accounts making it difficult for centers to do refunds, whereas Payrix was forward-thinking and communicative in addressing and explaining payments flow and risk.
Payrix Pro, the fully white-labeled payfac-as-a-service platform, has helped solve these issues for Kangarootime through an API-first solution. It empowers their customers to get more information faster and gives them the comfort of a monolithic experience by being able to see absolutely everything inside the Kangarootime user experience they want.
“With our integration and API maturity that we’ve developed with Payrix, we’re able to know when a payment is reconciled on the front-end in Kangarootime, so we’re understanding what each payment is for, which is important to our operators.”
While partnering with Payrix has enhanced customer experience and success, it has also improved the lives of the Kangarootime team and revamped their business model by giving them:
- Improved Access to Data
- Upgraded Technology
- Speed to End Sides
V is for Value
Additionally, Wayman and his team have been impressed with the world-class retention and stickiness they’ve experienced, which Wayman said is a testament to their team and the value they get from having Payrix as their embedded payment partner and the payfac-as-a-service solution.
Kangarootime has booked $11 million in new annual recurring revenue this year alone which they’re so proud of, but it didn’t always look quite that promising. In fact, Wayman thought they might have to shut his business down for good in 2017 because they weren’t growing enough or attracting investors.
So they entered a startup competition offered by the accelerator program 43North that required moving their team to Buffalo, New York. Although they didn’t win first place, it kept them afloat and gave them the opportunity to reset, grow, become great stewards and serve the people that they love in education.
Payrix was the first company to come to Buffalo to try to understand Kangarootime’s operation and ethos. Wayman explained that speaking with one of the founders of Payrix and understanding his journey and passion for why he built the company was instrumental in their decision to switch to Payrix. Ultimately, there was an alignment of values and vision and a real emphasis on partnership and customer success.