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Friday, May 12, 2017

Carr goes beyond with new enterprise

Robert O. Carr is back in the saddle. Carr, who built Heartland Payment Systems Inc. from a $2 million startup to a $4.3 billion enterprise that he sold last year to leading acquirer Global Payments Inc., launched a new startup, Beyond. Beyond is an employee-owned company with a service lineup that includes payment processing, POS systems, lending, payroll and integrated human resources services, as well as services tailored to specific verticals, such as restaurants and dealership management.

Carr, in an interview with The Green Sheet, explained he wasn’t keen on leaving the industry last year, but as Chief Executive Officer of Heartland, he had an obligation to do right by shareholders, and the offer Global made was a good deal for shareholders.

Beyond launched in May with a resolve to give back to society, Carr said. In fact, he has promised to turn over his personal earnings (salary and shareholder earnings) from Beyond to a public nonprofit organization that helps at-risk, low-income students through mentoring and college scholarships. Carr created the nonprofit, called Give Something Back, in 2003. Since then, it has provided $35 million in scholarships to 1,500 students at partner colleges and universities.

“We were generating $6 million a week in profits at Heartland. If I can generate $1 million a week with this, we could make a humongous difference,” Carr said.

In a press release about the new firm, Carr said, “Our commitments to our customers and to GiveBack are two sides of the same coin. At Beyond we believe we succeed when our customers succeed and when our communities succeed.”

Perfecting business model

Beyond will operate similarly to Heartland, although as the name implies, Carr hopes to go beyond his prior successes. “There are a lot of similarities. Hopefully, we’ll avoid the mistakes,” he said.

The company has a customer-first focus with a set of promises to merchant clients, called Beyond Promises, akin to those set out in Heartland’s Merchant’s Bill of Rights. Promises such as full, plain language disclosures, and no hidden fees or unexpected surcharges.

“I’ve always believed a company should walk in the shoes of its customers,” Carr said. “Beyond will offer our customers the reliable, flexible and secure business solutions they need, and we will deliver those solutions in a way that is personal, clear, respectful and responsible.”

As for the feet on the street, Carr said he wants to recruit and retain loyal and professional salespeople, and to that end the company has a compensation model that offers portfolio ownership, a full slate of benefits and uncapped earnings potential. In addition, every employee hired in 2017 will have an opportunity to own a part of the company. Carr said he had 71 employees on board as of early May. “Beyond is entering a highly competitive marketplace,” Carr said. “What sets us apart is our belief that our core principles of fairness, transparency and skin in the game will attract top quality employees and draw a loyal and engaged customer base. We know from experience that there is a huge demand for customer-focused service in the business solutions sector, and we intend to go far beyond the quality that is in the marketplace today.” end of article

Editor's Note:

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