Wellesley’s London Harness has been a town institution since 1951. The company specializes in leather goods, particularly luxury bags and luggage, and they also offer a wide array of other gifts and services including engraving and monogramming for customers and corporations.

Many customers have been coming in for decades, and co-owner Demian Wendrow takes his role in the community seriously—as the president of the Wellesley Square Merchants Association, he helps to organize events and holiday celebrations all around this Boston suburb.

Wendrow worked for London Harness for 16 years, serving previously as director of operations. He met his now-wife, Amy Lynch, at London Harness when he started in 2001. In 2014, the two bought the Wellesley store, as well as the TUMI location next door.

When he and Amy took over the store in 2014, they started thinking about making a switch to a new payment system. His previous solution had payment data running through the computers and the POS system, a method that he learned was no longer considered safe.

As he began to explore, he discovered Cayan’s Genius platform. Genius keeps card data off the POS to simplify compliance and keep customer data safer. He found Genius through his POS provider Retail Pro, so he knew that Cayan could be trusted, and that he’d find significant savings through fair rates.

“We liked what we heard about Genius—it was the most advanced solution we saw,” Wendrow said. “We saw it as the future—it was quick, it accepted mobile solutions like Apple Pay, it kept all the data away from the computer, and transferring gift cards from our old company was easy.”

They explored other options, but eventually decided the choice was clear. Once they made their decision, the switch was simple. Integration was seamless, gift cards were moved over without any difficulty, and they were pleased to find that all promises had been fulfilled—the features worked as advertised. Not only that, they were impressed by how fast the chip cards actually processed.

“Everything was pretty much seamless,” Wendrow said. “We’d been hesitant on moving to chip—we were aware we had to do it eventually to mitigate risk, but we thought it would take longer than swiping. Once it was done, though, it was much quicker than we thought.”

Wendrow uses Cayan Genius for payments at his London Harness store, as well as the TUMI store he owns next door. Genius helps him to accept all payment types—chip cards, NFC, mobile pay, debit cards, and everything in between. And it accepts them fast.

“I often tell customers when they’re about to pay,” he said, “I’ve got the fastest chip in town.”

In fact, that speed is what Wendrow points to as his favorite part of Genius. Even as others in the industry struggled during the dark early days of the 2015 chip card switchover, Cayan offerred 4-second chip card transactions as other companies struggled to get under 15 seconds. Wendrow found that the chip cards were indeed as fast as promised, and immediately made transactions stand out to customers. To this day, Wendrow noted that the speed remains exceptional.

“The most appealing aspect of Genius is the speed,” Wendrow said. “Every day we have a customer compliment it and say ‘Wow, that’s fast.’ Plus, it makes a pleasant sound at the end.” 

Wendrow says he’s thrilled he made the switch, and he said he’s looking forward to his relationship with Cayan moving forward. Asked what he’d tell a merchant who’s looking to make a switch to a new provider, he has no hesitation.

“I would hands-down recommend Cayan to someone inquiring about switching providers,” Wendrow said. “It’s where payments are going. You need to be mobile-enabled. Not only that, speed is of the essence now—with so much competition online, we need to make the transaction as quick and pleasant as possible.”

​​How London Harness Keeps Customers Happier With 4-Second Chip Cards

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