David Iafrate, founder and Chief Executive Officer of International Bancard Corp., believes the payments industry is going to get tougher. "We feel that the industry is going to have a tremendous amount of consolidation, and there is going to be more needs for technology and integration services," he said. "If you do not have an integration team and product team, you are going to struggle, because consumers are demanding it of the merchants, and the merchants are demanding it of the processors and ISOs: they want customized solutions that are going to help grow their business."
Iafrate sees International Bancard as well-positioned to help customers whose technology is out of date. He mentioned credit unions and small banks as a sector where not enough resources are being invested in updating antiquated technology, particularly payment-acceptance technology. "With them partnering with International Bancard and leveraging our technology and our platforms, within a very short period of time they can [be utilizing] the latest and greatest in technology to accept payments from their customer base," Iafrate said.
Founded by Iafrate in 2001, the company now serves customers in more than 60 distinct industries, providing payment solutions for credit, debit, automated clearing house, checks and gift cards. It has posted 20 percent growth in volume over the last three years, according to Iafrate, who said the secret to the company's success is that it provides high-touch customer service to small and large ISOs, for such offerings as market insight, payment security knowledge, client care and business relationships, all with the singular goal of helping customers grow and increase their businesses.
The company also offers the International Bancard Partner Club, an exclusive group designed to help top agents by providing premier levels of support. Joining the club offers agents advantages like fast approval times, responsive support, customized marketing and transparent reporting, among other benefits. "We took a little bit different approach," Iafrate said. "We really wanted to drill down to make our agents feel part of our team, part of our family, and give them all the tools that one would need on the service levels ‒ white glove-, Four Seasons-, Ritz Carlton-type service ‒ that when they call, we answer the phone. Because the industry has had so much consolidation, and it's really commoditized, having these experts inside International Bancard for our agents to lean on, and rely on, to help them integrate and engineer the right solution is exactly what I think the industry needs."
Iafrate also noted that International Bancard provides cutting-edge technology for business-to-business transactions, which can help reduce processing fees by 30 percent. "We give customers our front-end software that is able to capture the data properly, submit that data through our gateway and, depending on the amount of the data, give them level one, two or three data pricing," he said. "That is much less expensive on the payment networks than a traditional card-not-present transaction."
Iafrate also pointed out that in some cases, the company is saving the merchants 100 basis points, while not taking profit away from International Bancard or the agents. "So it's not a race to the bottom; it's actually providing a higher level of technology to the end customer, giving them savings. That way the agent and International Bancard can share in those additional profits."
Iafrate believes International Bancard's future success will come down to continuing to develop mutually beneficial, long-term working relationships. "We are going to continue to grow our business, and we have done it by partnering with good people and companies and by keeping the highest level of service," he said. "That is what got us this far, and if you give partners and customers good service, they are loyal and they stay with you."
Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.