In 2001, former investment banker Jeff Shavitz co-founded Charge Card Systems Inc., a national credit card processing company based out of Boca Raton, Fla. Shavitz, sold CCS to Card Connect in 2012 and stayed on as a professional consultant for the next two years, assisting the company as it moved toward its 2017 acquisition by First Data.
A serial entrepreneur and top-selling business author, Shavitz has been engaged and influential in the payment processing arena for many years. He has published five business books, is a contributing writer for Entrepreneur Magazine and The Business Journal, and is a former Street SmartsSM columnist and current member of the The Green Sheet Advisory Board. He also served as a member of the First Data ISO Advisory Board and First Data President's Council.
Shavitz has launched multiple niche-focused payment processing companies, including legal payments company LexCharge, the cash discount brand XeroFees and a cannabis industry payments business known as CBDProcessing.
In January 2020, an inspiration led Shavitz to found ToolBox Payment, a processing firm and mobile phone application tailored for trades people and home services contractors. ToolBox Payment is based in Boca Raton, Fla., and is staffed by a mix of 11 employees and strategic contractors, with several retailer and association partnerships in its support network.
Shavitz, who serves as the company's CEO, noted that each member of the ToolBox Payment management team has over 20 years' experience starting and selling payment processing companies, including CCS, which boasted over 500 salespeople that specialized in a variety of industry types. "Although we are a startup, our management team identified this niche to focus on, because we could see a gap in service within the payments industry," Shavitz said.
Shavitz indicated the initial idea for ToolBox came to him after he realized his plumber, electrician and handyman had all come out to his home during the same month to conduct annual maintenance. However, when they were done working, none of them could accept payment via credit card.
"With the explosion of the mobile phone, the phone should be the contractor's credit card processing device," Shavitz said, adding that the diminishing use of cash and checks has led to growing credit card usage by homeowners. "The homeowner wants reward points, and contractors want immediate payment," he added, referring to the market need that ultimately led his team to build the ToolBox Payment mobile application. Shavitz also pointed out that his team did, "a lot of due diligence," learning there were several other contracting types that would be well-suited to use the application. "ToolBox is now working with contractors and companies covering 33 categories, and that list is growing monthly with new companies contacting ToolBox for help," he said.
According to Shavitz, as market adoption of the ToolBox Payment mobile application has continued to expand, so has client reception. As an example, he shared testimony from one ToolBox early-adopter: "What a great idea, developing a payments app specific for our industry and our needs," said JP Desrochers, owner of Expert Air Services in Naples, Fla. "ToolBox does not ask for any long-term commitments and no hidden fees, and the simple flat-rate fee structure makes bank reconciliations so much easier for our finance department."
Shavitz indicated comments such as these are becoming increasingly abundant as awareness grows around the product. "Our client's tools are the lifeline to their business — whether it's a hammer, screwdriver, tape measure, or knife — and our ToolBox should be the newest addition to their toolbox," he said.
Thinking ahead, Shavitz feels the product fills an important need and its relevancy will continue to evolve. "I'm very excited, after 20 plus years in the business, to be building a technology platform to play in the fintech business model that is so relevant in today's marketplace," he said.
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