First Data Overview
First Data is one of the largest merchant account providers in the world. First incorporated in 1971, the company has been since been acquired and spun off by various entities, including American Express and the private equity firm Kohlberg Kravitz Roberts. First Data is currently a publicly traded company following a $2.56 billion IPO in October 2015.
First Data is the backend processor for many large and small independent sales organizations, which gives it a huge market share within the credit card processing industry. These processors include iPayment, Bank of America Merchant Services, and Sam’s Club Merchant Services. The company’s leasing subsidiary, First Data Global Leasing, has an equally large footprint when it comes to long-term credit card terminal leases.
In a recent Fortune magazine feature article, First Data CEO Frank Bisignano discussed the company’s goal of transitioning its products and services from traditional “dumb brick” terminals to smart point-of-sale systems that can provide deep business analytics and greater device flexibility. This means that First Data will be competing both with other large processors that have already entered the business analytics space and with smaller tech-oriented companies like Square, ShopKeep, and Revel Systems. As the centerpiece of this strategy, the company is placing a heavy marketing emphasis on its “Clover” point-of-sale system, which offers proprietary hardware and third-party software combinations for traditional and mobile businesses.
At a glance
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Acquiring bank: Wells Fargo
Phone number: 1-404-890-2000
E-mail: Contact form here
First Data Promotional Video
Online reputation and reviews
Due to its incredible size and market share, First Data is the subject of thousands of complaints on various consumer protection websites. Negative reviewers mention long-term contracts, hefty cancellation penalties, non-cancellable leases, undisclosed fees, and poor customer service. Generally speaking, the company appears to receive negative feedback from smaller merchants, while having a much higher success rate with large businesses.
Legal actions and lawsuits
There are no outstanding or recently resolved legal actions related to First Data at this time.
Have you used First Data for your business? Rate the company at the top of this post and tell us about your experience in the comment section below: