When EVO Merchant Services rebranded as EVO Payments International LLC in November 2012, the privately held payment processor and acquirer, in operation since 1989, shifted focus to international expansion and technological innovation. Today the 1,000-plus employee company processes in excess of $50 billion in payments annually for over 400,000 merchants worldwide. It has offices in the United States, Canada and Europe.
"For many years EVO's desire was to continue to grow the company," said Jeff Rosenblatt, President of EVO. "The question was how do you go about doing that intelligently in the marketplace?" Part of the solution came in December 2012 when private equity investment firm Madison Dearborn Partners agreed to purchase minority ownership in EVO to fund the company's international expansion and growth initiatives.
EVO then acquired the e-commerce and POS payment platform PowerPay, which extended the company's e-commerce capabilities domestically and abroad. EVO E-Commerce emerged, and the company was able to integrate with more than 10,000 value-added reseller and software development channels previously established by PowerPay, according to Rosenblatt.
In June 2013, EVO completed acquisition of Deutsche Card Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Deutsche Bank. It now operates under the name EVO Payments International GmbH. "It provided us with actual license, which means we are recognized as a member in over 42 different countries across Europe," Rosenblatt said. "Deutsche Card Services supports a very large group of multinational clients."
Following the DCS acquisition, EVO entered a joint venture agreement with Grupo Banco Popular, Spain's fifth largest banking group. EVO thus has a controlling interest in the bank's merchant acquiring business in Spain and, as an exclusive merchant services provider for GBP's branch network, EVO has further strengthened its position as a global competitor, Rosenblatt noted.
"We met the challenge by developing an integrated online application that could be embedded into our partner's existing online customer setup process," Rosenblatt said. "The flexibility of our underwriting department to quickly review and approve merchants played an integral role in the overall success." He added that the streamlined solution for this partner has significantly reduced approval time, facilitated the quick boarding of new merchants and grown the monthly application count significantly.
Consistent with this theme, EVO continues to develop sales partner and distribution channels, add proprietary product offerings, provide knowledgeable support services, and automate such ISO-critical functions as merchant boarding and risk monitoring. "We have developed our own front-end and back-end processing infrastructure," Rosenblatt said. "We offer an array of advanced gateway and integrated solution products that has created a solid foundation for Internet-based card processing."
In September 2013, following acquisition of a perpetual software license from IP Commerce Inc., EVO launched an integrated payments division called EVO Snap.
"EVO Snap basically powers developers to create customized, multichannel commerce applications and services to support many customers across traditional POS, mobile, e-commerce and cloud-based solutions," Rosenblatt said. "It streamlines the different payment options, the value-added services, and really gives them one integration point and delivers these kinds of bundles of services to developers. We do it through a very simple API [application programming interface]."
Another strength that ISOs and merchant level salespeople (MLSs) in the United States can exploit is EVO's expertise regarding the Europay/MasterCard/Visa standard. "I think we are learning from some of our experience in the Canadian and European market that EMV can be a very valuable tool and asset. And it's very consumer friendly." Although adoption will take time, he views it as an opportunity to open a dialog with merchants.
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