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Global eTelecom, Inc.




ISO contact:

Chris Brundage, VP, Sales/Marketing
Phone: 877-454-3835, ext. 222
E-mail: cbrundage@globaletelecom.com

Company address:

35008 Emerald Coast Parkway, 4th floor
Destin, FL 32541
Phone: 850-650-8506
Fax: 850-837-8066
Web site: www.globaletelecom.com

ISO benefits:

  • Newly developed proprietary engine provides full check conversion solution.
  • Offering check conversion in a guarantee program gives ISOs an edge when dealing with merchants who are reluctant to accept paper.
  • Accounts Receivable Conversion gives both large and small merchants an electronic lockbox solution.
  • Recently signed a license agreement under a patent with LML to provide uninterrupted service to all of its clients, customers and partners.

Traveling the Conversion Globe

Any voyage, no matter how short or long, requires a strong, sturdy and reliable vehicle. For Global eTelecom, Inc., 2002 was a journey filled with challenges ... and successes. The vehicle it relies on to meet those challenges is its newly developed proprietary engine. Providing electronic check processing services to ISOs, financial institutions, processors, utility companies, insurance companies and retail merchants, Global eTelecom considers itself a national leader in electronic check conversion and is solidifying that position with its new technology.

"Because of our engine, we have been able to provide a full turnkey check conversion solution for our ISOs as well as a solution for our business partners," says Ron Williams, President of Global eTelecom. "A person can come in with needs from A to Z and we can meet them. They can turn and say to us they need to use this part or that part to manage their business. They can come in and say they want to do their own stuff and just want to use a part of us to do it.

"Our partners can manage and choose from any of our services. Instead of being like our competitors who offer a straight check conversion program, we offer what customers want, and they can private-label these services as well. Our partners' customers don't want to deal with third parties, they just want it done."

Providing ISOs with total solutions is a cornerstone of Global eTelecom. By offering check conversion in a guarantee program, Global eTelecom gives ISOs an edge when dealing with merchants who are reluctant to accept paper.

"Customers want to write checks while merchants don't want to accept them," says Williams. "We turn the check into a transaction just like a credit card at no additional cost to the merchant. They are already paying for Visa and MasterCard processing, and if they can take checks and get funding within 48 hours, everyone is happy. It gives the check writer what they want. After all, check writing is still the number one payment method in the industry. Because of that, check conversion is the biggest demand in the ISO community."

Developing and implementing a proprietary engine may have been a big part of Global's success this past year, but change in its management fueled that engine. Three new names were put on the masthead in the last year. Williams (formerly of EZCheck), Vice President of Finance Justin Clark (formerly of PricewaterhouseCoopers) and Chief Financial Officer Douglas T. Ingram Jr. (formerly of Wilson, Price, Barranco, Billingsley and Blankenship of Montgomery, Ala.) all have had pivotal roles in steering Global eTelecom along its journey. Why bring in new blood? Was the old management losing steam?

"It wasn't so much as what the old management was or wasn't doing, it was more about needing people with expertise in finance to protect Global's back end and handle all the business coming in," says Williams. "We've increased our business tenfold. As for me, I was their biggest competitor. I had a lot of background in the ISO and banking industry, over 17 years. I wanted to go to the next level. Global eTelecom wanted to go to the next level."

Still sitting in the captain's chair, though, is John Beebe, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Global eTelecom. The new team appears to be working well. "I work daily with John," says Williams. "We all work very well together. Now John has more time to develop other industry ideas."

One of those ideas has already come to fruition at Global. Called the ARC Program (for Accounts Receivable Conversion), it is also known as an electronic lockbox solution. A pilot program in conjunction with NACHA, it offers ACH solutions for merchants who receive checks in the mail.

Instead of making deposits the old way - namely, filling out deposit slips and walking to the bank - merchants can do it through ACH. The ARC program images the check and sends the file to Global eTelecom, which processes it through ACH.

Global is offering this new service to merchants large and small. Global believes its ARC program focuses on a new marketplace with huge revenue potential. "We already have a list of people waiting in line for this," says Williams. "With ARC, ISOs now can talk to insurance companies, property management companies, utility companies - anyone who gets checks in the mail. Banks control that market.

"Now the ISOs have the option to go in and provide total check solutions, move money faster for merchants, offer faster reporting and make money. We're helping them add to their customer base. But we are taking one step at a time with the program. We don't believe in going too fast."

According to Williams, overall reaction from the industry to the new feel of Global has been very positive with increased sales. "Because of our new products and new management, we have been overwhelmed with all the business coming our way," Williams says. "It's all about service. From the ISOs to the merchants to our partners, we sell, provide and deliver service. We don't just talk about it."

One of Global eTelecom's newest business partners is ABANCO International, LLC, an MSP based in Rosemont, Ill., a suburb of Chicago. Since the late spring of 2002, this single-source solution platform provider has been associated with Global, and it's working well.

"We were going to build an engine ourselves but realized you don't need to reinvent the wheel when you already have a competent player," says Anthony Ashe, Senior Vice President of Marketing for ABANCO. "Global is very much on top of their game in terms of communication and customizing the many objectives we all have. They're also good guys to work with. We're very impressed with John and Ron."

For this partnership, Global eTelecom provides the entire back-office conversion engine to ABANCO. The alliance provides for a shared technology and shared risk under ABANCO's private label. The result is a cost-effective solution for ABANCO's customers.

"We feel we now deliver the finest generic product and buy rate out there," says Ashe. "We also will drill down and customize for certain segments of the ISO and merchant community. We anticipate 3,000 to 4,000 merchants a month in our build-out - 35-40% of those are likely to utilize electronic check conversion merchants as well.

"ABANCO provides a single-source solution terminal and platform, so the full load of services is presented to the merchant - debit, credit, check, gift and loyalty as well as signature capture. This will greatly minimize the attrition rate. Ultimately, Global will be a significant contributor to our top and bottom line."

Global eTelecom's ultimate goals? First, company officials want to finish their current pilot programs, scheduled to be completed by March 2003.

"In the past few months we have had equipment companies contact us because they have found out they need to be in check conversion territory," says Williams. "This has been a big issue. As more companies come on board, our goal is to be able to continue providing check conversion service and being better than anyone else in service. Our engine makes sure it all runs stronger and better than anyone else."

To keep that engine running strong, Global recently signed a license agreement under a U.S. patent with LML Payment Systems to provide uninterrupted service to all of its clients, customers and partners. Anyone using Global's engine, no matter what portion, is covered under the agreement.

"LML sent out a letter to the industry stating they have been issued the patent on check conversion," says Williams. "The letter said providers needed to sign a license agreement with LML or have service interrupted. According to their patent, they can take legal action.

"We wouldn't have signed a license agreement with LML if we didn't want to protect ourselves. We chose to do this. We have too much of a reputation and too much of a commitment to our customers. We didn't want to take a chance on what could happen or what could be pursued."

Williams predicts the future of check conversion is in providing a total solutions package that includes conversion with guarantee.

"The only way it will work at the point-of-sale is if there is a guarantee whereby the merchant never sees a return fee," says Williams. "The future of the industry is absolutely conversion. Even credit card terminals are showing it. Check conversion has come a long way this past year, but if you're selling at the point-of-sale, check conversion with guarantee is the only way to sell it.

"You've got to be able to show your merchants they need to give what the check writer wants. They need to give them the choice of taking their checks. And they need to choose a company that will provide the total solution, with all options."

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