In true entrepreneurial form, Ron Dichter, founder and CEO of BlueDog Business Services, has taken the seemingly mundane and made it profitable. Leveraging First American’s 1stPayBlaze – a hosted form designed to expedite the new merchant app process – Dichter and team have overhauled the way they onboard new merchants.

Innovative and Efficient Digital Merchant Onboarding

Through his Orlando-based payments organization, Dichter and team work with clients nationwide – primarily ISVs and professional associations – to deliver credit card processing and small business services. That includes helping his partners figure out the best way to capture new merchant applications.


“From a boarding standpoint, Blaze gets me as close to a frictionless experience as I can get,” he said. “I’ve dabbled with other types of e-signature platforms, but what I like about Blaze is that I get the look and feel of a tech company without the clunky-ness of an electronic signature agreement.”


By converting to 1stPayBlaze, Dichter has eliminated the lengthy data entry requirements that accompany most new merchant applications, instead focusing on a streamlined process that can be completed in less than three minutes. The hosted form requires only 22 demographic data elements (compare that to traditional forms, which can average more than 60 questions).


“A lot of places will present this slick looking sign-up form, but there is no place to agree to terms or to verify identity,” he said. “What ends up being presented to you is still more or less like a PDF that you sign on-screen. That feels dated and clunky and it just doesn’t seem as fluid if you are trying to position your service as a tech-savvy solution. If that’s your play, your boarding process needs to feel that way too. Without it, the end user going through the process will be turned off.” 

Enabling A Better Merchant Onboarding Process

From sheer ease-of-use alone, BlueDog’s use of 1stPayBlaze has successfully positioned the company to be a go-to payment services provider when ISVs, associations, and even small business owners start to shop around.


Dichter attributes this inbound growth in part to 1stPayBlaze, with simplified app processes not only for the merchant, but for his shop as well.


“A key advantage is that Blaze gives us the ability to control what fields we want to have merchants input, and what fields we put in on our end,” he said. “The fact that the merchant is responsible for adding banking information and verifying it twice means that we don’t have to deal with a voided check. Blaze saves us from having to keep up with voided checks, separate W-9s and all these different pieces of documentation that you normally have to collect.” 

Simplify Sign Up Without Sacrificing Security

In terms of what he expects from a security standpoint, Dichter pulls no punches:


“If you don’t have security protocols built into this process, you’re going to lose deals,” he said. “Even though the process of answering security questions can be frustrating, we do it because we know it’s meant to protect our customer’s sensitive data. Conversely, an email could be sent with someone’s sensitive data in it and no qualifying protocols to validate the recipient. What if that email is sent to the wrong address? That’s not a chance we’re willing to take.”


“Blaze more than delivers on security,” he added. “We are able to tell our partners with full confidence that their information and that of their association members, their software users, and their customers is securely protected.”


To learn more about a partnership with First American, contact