For those of us in the business sector, the start of each calendar year normally includes goal-setting. Aside from the organizational goals that may be unique to your bank, there is at least one that makes virtually every list, every year—namely, retaining and growing customer base.
If you’re looking to bank more small business owners and entrepreneurs this year, a robust merchant services program is an essential “sticky” product capable of helping you build loyal relationships. Here are some first-quarter action steps that can position you for success the rest of the year:
Give Yourself a Checkup.
Review your merchant services program from the customer’s point of view. Verify that your tellers and customer service staff know how your program works as well as how to clearly explain it to your customers.
Market Your Business-friendly Products.
Educate your front-line and customer service staff to promote all the commercial products and services you offer. Stock up on point-of-service literature on your merchant services and mobile payments options. Update your “public face”— your advertising, lobby displays, and website, among other things—to ensure your business products get the attention they’re due.
Prepare to Deliver.
Being a community bank, you understand the importance of customer service. Training, and re-training, is what will enable your staff deliver the high-touch service your business customers expect. Stay current on changes in the merchant services arena, and alert your business customers to precautions that will help keep them safe.
Finally, keep in mind that Bankers’ Bank of the West’s merchant services program features flexible product offering, quick startups, a dedicated implementation and conversion team, and on-site training for your bank staff. For more information, call MaryAnn Elliott-Supples, SVP of the BBW Bank Card Division, at 303-291-3700 (toll-free 1-800-601-8630), or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
December 10, 2013
A communication from First Data
Note: Please contact MaryAnn Elliott Supples (email@example.com), Bankers’ Bank of the West, if you wish to coordinate a call with either Mr. Wagner, author of the following message, or your relationship manager.
First Data is making significant changes to our company this year, as part of a transformation to the new First Data. We’ve taken several steps over the past several weeks as part of our ongoing efforts to put clients first, increase operating efficiency and remain competitive in the fast-paced payments industry. We also are working hard to return the company to profitability.
You may have seen some of these steps covered in the news recently. Some of the coverage has been from a very limited point of view, and I would like to put these changes into perspective for you.
First Data continues to be confident in its business model, well-balanced revenue base and market-leading position. The company continues to be the largest acquirer processor in the United States, operates one of the nation’s largest PIN-debit networks, and is a leading provider of credit and debit processing for financial institutions.
In addition, First Data has strong financial backing, solid revenue growth and substantial available liquidity to fund all its operations. First Data has the ability to meet its debt payments through cash generated by its operations and has made all required debt payments on schedule. The company had $359 million of cash and cash equivalents on its balance sheet at the last reported quarter. First Data has no material long-term maturities due on its debt until March of 2016.
Through 2012, First Data’s EBITDA, a proxy for cash flow, had a 10 percent compounded annual growth rate over the last three years. Since August 2010, the company has successfully refinanced over $21 billion in previous debt maturities for 2014 through 2016, to 2017 through 2022, activities that have been well supported by Wall Street and our current investors.
Our focus is on you — our clients — and finding ways to help you serve your customers and grow your business. Another part of the evolution of First Data will be in how we do that: driving collaboration with you, innovating new solutions, and facilitating incubation of new technologies with start-up companies. Our recent acquisitions of Clover and Perka and our strategic partnership with Oberthur Technologies are good examples of this.
Our clients are our top priority and we expect the changes we make to be seamless for you – and, ultimately, better for you and your business. I encourage you to contact me directly if you have questions or concerns.
General Manager, GSPs & Community FIs