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A Thing Combining Stability and Ability

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Combining Stability and Ability

I SOs are in the business of selling, of course, but as any professional sales agent knows, there's a lot more to it than getting a merchant to sign on the line. Data collation, application submission, approval processes, paperwork, equipment installation and customer support are part of the ISO routine.

Wouldn't it be nice to have someone else take over these stressful services so you could devote all your time to doing what you do best - selling? Well, there is a company that will do just that: Electronic Cash Systems Inc.

ECS is committed to providing quality merchant services and maintaining partnerships with clients, employees and the business community, and it aims to be a "one-stop shop" for all ISO payment and product needs. With a core competence in credit card processing and ATMs, Electronic Cash Systems' greatest assets are its honest approach, its concentrated focus on servicing ISOs and its philosophy of cooperative respect.

ECS is the realized vision of its president and CEO, Fadi Cheiha. Having started in the business in 1989 as a sales rep for First National Bank of Tennessee, Fadi moved on to card service and became the national sales director for Universal Savings.

Fadi realized that salespeople needed stability, speed and trust in their vendors and saw an opportunity to create a company that addressed those needs. In September 1997, he and his wife started ECS out of a bedroom in their Orange County (Calif.) home. The small company grew and, in 1998, Fadi moved his operations to Dove Canyon, Calif.

Adding sales groups, sales offices and establishing relationships with major providers, Fadi created a nationwide management office for the ISO community with a staff of 26 and 112 ISO offices.

"We are your back office," Fadi says. "We do installation, leasing approval, configuration, processing, signage and support. When the sales rep closes the deal, he is done. ECS then takes over."

ECS offers a wide selection of the industry's most recognized POS and ATM equipment brands at competitive prices. VeriFone, Hypercom, Lipman, Thales, Linkpoint, Triton and Cross all are equipment partners in ECS's inventory.

And for ISOs who have merchants with online presence, ECS offers a comprehensive, secure and speedy online solution for processing ecommerce payments - This global-payment solution provides for unlimited transactions in more than 150 currencies worldwide; scalability as your merchant business grows, whether it be Internet, call center, broadband, wireless or retail; and an unrestricted number of users with one account - ideal for large sales forces.

Add an in-hour risk management program and the claim of being the fastest installation company in the business, and it's easy to see why ISOs are flocking to Electronic Cash Systems. And ECS is looking for more ISOs, especially professionals who want to grow but don't have the means to grow. ECS can make that transition smooth and successful. "Salespeople hate change. We make change with no red tape. We do it with white tape!" Fadi says. "We pledge that our mission will never change. We want to be a management company for ISOs, taking the worry away from sales reps and letting them go out and sell."

What sets ECS apart from its competition? According to Fadi, "We are a family. Our ISOs consider themselves part of this family. When there is a problem with even one sales rep, everyone at ECS jumps on it. Everyone will meet to discuss it because the most important customer we have are our ISOs."

ECS also creates a sincere win-win situation for ISOs and customers alike. "We never make any false promises," Fadi says. "We are straightforward from day one. The ISOs know there are no scams, no guarantees. We don't have a gimmick. What you see is what you get."

And ISOs get plenty. In addition to access to the industry's major equipment providers and e-commerce solutions, ISOs enjoy speed and accuracy in their credit card processing and installation from ECS. From start to finish, provided there is an existing phone line, ECS guarantees no more than 10 days from start to finish for all ATM installations. And for credit card accounts, it's only three days from start to finish.

But that's not good enough for ECS. "We're working on a 48-hour turnaround time," Fadi says. "By the end of this year, we are going to be the leader in ATM and credit card processing because we are going to provide a merchant number within 20 minutes."

Now that's a bold statement, to be sure. But Fadi is adamant that it will happen.

Just how is it going to happen? With hard work, teamwork, advanced technology and a commitment to being the merchant service company for ISOs, according to Fadi. For example, ECS is now beta testing a database link to 12 million merchants nationwide. By year's end it will be available to all of ECS's ISOs. And Fadi says an ATM database will follow thereafter. Fadi has concrete plans for the future of ECS. He envisions ECS branches opening across America to help ISOs become more efficient and better equipped. These ECS branches will reroute ISO phone calls to the branch office, handling customer service calls and support requests so the ISO can stay out on the street selling. The branch offices also will take over payroll, cash management and other related accounting services for the ISOs.

In 2002, ECS will introduce a new training program. "Our training is different from everyone else. Rather than train on policy, risk and paperwork, I train how to sell, product knowledge, overcoming objection and problem-solving," Fadi says. "If you do it right the first time, you'll never have to do it again."

The training program will encompass seminars and sessions over a two-day period. Guest speakers from major vendors and providers will highlight the program. What else can ECS provide that no other company can? "Stability of the residual," Fadi says. "We are very stable while many others have problems. Salespeople fear residual security because of the many recent mergers and acquisitions. New people come in, the little guys get forgotten. ECS offers a solution. The answer is to hook up with ECS and go with owners and managers that are reputable."

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