ISOs can expect business as usual with First Data Corp. despite new faces in top management at the Atlanta-based transaction processor.
Theres been no change, to date, in our strategy with ISOs, says O.B. Rawls, First Data senior vice president and general manager, national and ISO portfolio. Our strategy is still to support and grow the ISO channel.
That policy remains in effect under the First Datas new CEO, Frank Bisignano, who joined the company in April, and new president, Guy Chiarello, who arrived this month. Both came from JPMorgan Chase.
The continuity should reassure First Datas hundreds of ISOs. More ISOs work with First Data than with all other processors combined, Rawls says.
ISOs that sign on with First Data receive training in the companys systems, support structure and the self-service aspects of its tools, often at the companys Omaha, Neb., facility, he notes. Training continues with monthly seminars online and off that cover products and systems and client conferences.
We spend a lot of time with our ISOs, Rawls says.
First Data also connects with ISOs at the Electronic Transactions Associations annual trade show and the regional acquiring shows, he says.
We like retail ISOs, we like wholesale ISOs and we like the full-service processing accounts, Rawls says.
Many of the people in those roles are coming from the ranks of investment bankers and stock brokers who lost their jobs in the recession, he notes.
The ISOs today are different than they were when I started in this business, Rawls maintains. It used to be all feet on the street.
The new ISOs are using the skills they learned elsewhere in financial services, such as database marketing, and theyre building referral partnerships and focusing on vertical markets like dentists or petroleum, he says.
Its proven for a lot of people to be an enriching career, Rawls says.
Whether theyre new or established, ISOs have plenty of new products to sell merchants, including contactless payments, mobile payments, electronic wallets, alternative payments and remote deposit capture, he notes.
Its refreshing to see the market revitalized now, Rawls says. Competition is important to keep the market fresh. There are lots of opportunities out there.