Nick Cucci

Nick Cucci

March 28, 2022

Cloud-based innovators, rainmakers and partners

Fluid Pay began in a West Chicago airplane hangar in 2017, then headed skyward to the cloud. After searching for fast, secure and efficient payment technology, co-founders Jeff Rooney and Nick Cucci, who is quoted throughout this profile, decided to build their own gateway. The resulting journey has been rewarding for the company and its partners, Cucci stated.

"We were tired of antiquated gateway technology, so we went out on a limb to create a modular, secure system that would leverage Google Compute Engine for speed, security and no down time," Cucci said. "We became the first cloud-based payment gateway to achieve Level 1 PCI Compliance from Security Metrics."

Ted Cucci, a payments industry leader and former NMI founding partner, joined Fluid Pay in 2018, helping build the company's team and technology suite. Today, he serves as president and CEO, with fellow leaders Nick Cucci, chief operating officer and certified fraud examiner; Jeff Rooney, chief technology officer; Tom Duffy, chief financial officer; Kevin Calabrese, executive vice president sales; and 20 employees at the company's headquarters in Franklin, Tenn., and Wheaton, Ill., branch.

Innovating forward

Reflecting on the company's rapid expansion, Nick Cucci said that beginning with a blank canvas and staying focused on growth, scalability, and reliability helped the team stay agile and responsive to emerging trends. "We could jump on opportunities like card-not-present cash discounting and surcharging, incorporating the logic of these programs in our API, easing the burdens and filling the gaps for merchants," he said.

Operating from the cloud and using Google Compute Engine, a cloud service, reduces downtime, Cucci noted, and involves millions of servers, which means payment flows are no longer dependent on isolated data center servers. Fluid Pay's redundant, hot-swappable capabilities keep payment flows active and agile, he said. "The only limitations to speed are on the processor side which we can't control," he said.

Expanding technology suite

Cucci recalled launching Attack Dog in 2021, a proprietary AI and machine learning solution that analyzes every transaction to compute fraud scores, helping merchants control chargeback rates and stay within desired thresholds. Attack Dog can be used as a standalone solution or in conjunction with Watchdog, Community Rules and other Fluid Pay services, he stated.

Fluid Pay is constantly enhancing its technology, Cucci noted. Product and service offerings include card-present and card-not-present cash discount and surcharging solutions and the company's signature Automatic Account Updater, all of which are easily accessible and backed by an integrated semi-RESTful API, he added.

"Merchants can access our virtual terminal, recurring subscriptions, Fluid Cart and e-invoicing solutions through a simple login," Cucci said. "Our Watchdog fraud scrubbing tool is fully embedded in our API and constantly adapting and getting stronger."

Processor-agnostic model

Integrations are a breeze with our simple API, Cucci stated, and Fluid Pay partners can customize our entire technology platform according to their unique requirements and business models. Our APIs work behind the scenes to facilitate seamless integrations with full access to our functionality and gateway, he added.

Fluid Pay is processor agnostic, does not underwrite or handle merchant processing directly, and partner accounts automatically fall into the company's non-compete guarantee, Cucci pointed out. "We prefer to build solid, long lasting relationships with our partners, and we know trust goes a long way in this industry," he said. "We're built to scale and have no code limitations. As we continue to grow and enhance our API functionality, we love the opportunities to develop custom projects as well."

Looking ahead to Fluid Pay's near-term product roadmap, Cucci sees plenty of runway for the company and its employees and partners. "We continue to grow at a rapid pace and are always looking for the next innovative opportunity," he said. "We are working on some exciting projects that will change the game for payment processing."