In what she said was a surprise to many of her peers in the payments industry, Kimberly Fitzsimmons, the well-known President of Independent Sales for First Data Corp. Commercial Services, left First Data in January 2012 to become the new Chief Executive Officer at Cynergy Data LLC.
Fitzsimmons began her career in the industry in 1987 with payment processor Concord EFS Inc. She was a Senior Vice President with Concord when First Data acquired the company in 2004 and is credited with being a key in the successful integration and merger of the two companies.
"This is an interesting move," Fitzsimmons said. "After 25 years it was an emotional and very personal decision to leave, but Cynergy Data has a great foundation of people, many of whom I've known and worked with over the years."
Fitzsimmons said her new board of directors gave her a mission when she was hired: grow the company. "This has been a solid producing company over the years," she said. "But recently it hasn't grown much. That is my challenge - growing and driving sales."
Cynergy boasts approximately 100,000 merchants in its portfolio with volume of about $10 billion annually. Fitzsimmons said she is still in the early stages of data gathering, so it is too early to talk yet about goals during her tenure. "We have good players," she said. "We are just making sure they are in the right position. When that evaluation is through, I think we will have our short-term and long-term goals set soon after."
Fitzsimmons said the crux of building the business is partnerships - who to partner with and how to structure deals. She said she intends to turn the company's focus to its products. "Our products are what differentiate us from the rest of the ISO models," she said. "We want to be a technology leader and use our technology not just for our clients; we may want to license our technology to others also."
Mobile commerce is a part of the industry's future, she said. "It's not a matter of if, but when," she said. "We have to be ready for mobile commerce, and we are definitely ready to be there. We have the product, and we have the tool set."
At the center of Cynergy's products is the company's VIMAS account management system for ISOs. "VIMAS version 2 is being rolled out now," Fitzsimmons said. "I want us to have VIMAS on a regular enhancement schedule." She added that the company is testing a number of new products, but it is not quite ready to make announcements about them yet.
Fitzsimmons believes success will be measured through the company's ability to provide service and build relationships. "I am a person who values people," she said. "We value our employees here as assets. We value our customers, our ISOs and our merchants, and our relationship with them."
At First Data, Fitzsimmons helped grow sales through the referral network she set up. She plans to build a similar network for Cynergy. "We want to be working smarter, not harder," she said. "We will be setting up referral programs in multiple flavors."
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