Looking to expand its payment solutions to SMBs, financial software-as-a-service vendor IP Commerce has created new desktop software and a new partner program, specifically targeting Microsoft VARs.

The Denver-based company already counts the likes of PayPal and Chase Bank among its customers. Through some of its new services, and through its new channel partner program, IP Commerce plans to bring services such as credit card acceptance and remote check deposits down to small companies.

Sarco Lan System Inc. is one of the company’s new VARs. And while the company is new to carrying IP Commerce, customers are already expressing an interest.

“We now have the opportunity of not only doing the credit card scenario for ourselves, but to be able to have that solution available for the customers who do take credit cards too,” said Jack Coursey, president and CEO of the Tulsa-based VAR that caters to businesses that have as few as three users and as many as 1,000. “Another customer, a large trucking company that deals with hundreds of checks a day is interested in the remote check deposit.”

Coursey said his company is in the process of migrating that organization from eight Dell servers to four Hewlett-Packard servers and as the changeover happens the company is looking to bring them these payment services as well.

“IP Commerce solutions are being well received from a client standpoint for us,” Coursey said. “So many small businesses out there that have a need for something as simple as easy to use as the PASS Center here.”

The VAR program is called IP Commerce Link Reseller Program and it is offering the PASS Commerce Center to SMBs, a software based service that resides on the customer’s desktop and integrates with Microsoft Windows Vista. IP Commerce showed the technology at the Microsoft Partner Conference this week in Denver.

The Windows Vista offering consists of three components. The first is a financial gadget to provide real-time financial information about your accounts pushed to the desktop. Then, a cash management center gives the user a perspective on accounts receivable and accounts payable. Then there are actual modules where customers can conduct business such as remote deposit of checks, invoice creation in Microsoft Office 2007, among many other functions.

“It also gives customers the ability to access small business loans,” said Chip Kahn, CEO. “And it allows customers to connect with 60,000 suppliers and retailers worldwide via their back offices through EDI. If you are a small businesses that sells to target today you have to create a purchase order and an invoice. You have to fax those in today because you cannot access back office. It costs 10 bucks to do that. This lets you securely link into back office of Target, for example.”

Coursey said he already has a customer who is interested in this EDI aspect of the service.

Coursey previously tried Intuit to be able to offer similar services to his customers, but he found their big company attitude frustrating.

“It was not intuitive and there was lots of red tape, both with the software and the channel program,” he said. “Intuit’s a big company, and they wave a big stick at times. It has to be done their way. We are used to providing options to the customer and let them do it their way.”

As for IP Commerce’s offering, the only downside, Coursey admitted, was that the system requires Microsoft Windows Vista, something that many businesses are still only looking at. But as businesses migrate – and smaller businesses will move faster than larger ones do – the opportunity will increase, he said.

“Microsoft has announced the beta of SP-1 for Vista,” Coursey said. “That will probably spur the product as well.”