|Headquarters||Atlanta, Georgia, United States|
|Owner||Kohlberg Kravis Roberts|
Number of employees
|Slogan||Beyond the transaction|
First Data Corporation is a global payment processing company headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. First Data is a provider of electronic commerce and payment solutions. The company's portfolio includes merchant transaction processing services; credit, debit, private-label, gift, payroll and other prepaid card offerings; fraud protection and authentication solutions, credit reporting agency services (through First Data Merchant Services Corporation); electronic check acceptance services through TeleCheck; as well as Internet commerce and mobile payment solutions. The company's STAR interbank network offers PIN-secured debit acceptance at ATM and retail locations.
First Data Corporation was founded in 1969. First Data became the first processor of Visa and MasterCard bank-issued credit cards in 1976. In 1980, American Express Information Services Corporation (ISC) bought 80% of First Data. The remaining 20% was purchased in 5% increments each subsequent year until June 1983.
First Data Corporation spun off from American Express and went public in 1992. In 1995, the company merged with First Financial Management Corp. (FFMC) and was then organized into three major business units serving card issuers, merchants and consumers. Western Union became part of First Data as a result of the merger with FFMC.
By 1998, First Data was providing transaction processing services not only in the U.S., but also in markets around the world, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Mexico and Canada. The company also began to see significant growth in its network of Western Union agent locations. This set the stage for First Data to become a leading global provider of electronic commerce and payment solutions to businesses and consumers worldwide.
From 2001 through 2005, a period of expansion occurred as First Data acquired companies around the globe and in the U.S., including, in 2001, the acquisition of PaySys International and their globally successful VisionPLUS Payment Software System VisionPLUS followed by $6.6 billion merger with Concord EFS in 2004, which added the STAR Network and PIN-based debit acceptance at more than 1.9 million ATM and retail locations. Additional acquisitions and strategic relationships included GovOne, the creation of eONEGlobal as a venture capital fund, the acquisition of Paymap, Inc., a company servicing electronic payment products, and the acquisition of Taxware, which would be merged into a new entity, named Velosant to spearhead broad Supply Chain Management initiatives. First Data also established a consumer payments brand which would take Direct Debit offerings to the retail marketplace. First Data further expanded geographically in Europe, Asia and Latin America.
On January 26, 2006, First Data announced its intention to spin off Western Union into an independent publicly traded company through a tax-free spin-off of 100% of Western Union to First Data shareholders. The spin off occurred as planned on September 29, 2006.
On April 2, 2007, it was announced that Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) had entered an agreement to acquire First Data  in one of the largest leveraged buy-outs in history, and on October 1, 2007, KKR officially took over the First Data Corporation. Ric Duques retired, and Michael Capellas, previously the CEO of MCI Inc., the president of Hewlett-Packard Company, and also the chairman/CEO of the Compaq Computer Corporation was appointed CEO. As a privately owned company, First Data's stock was taken off the New York Stock Exchange on September 24, 2007. However, the company's LBO was financed with $24 billion in debt, and it remains heavily leveraged. The company continues to maintain investor relations pages on its web site and to publish quarterly financial results. Within two months of the KKR acquisition, the company laid off 1,700 employees across North America, Europe and Australia, about 6% of its workforce.
First Data entered the Ireland market in a joint venture with Allied Irish Banks plc named AIB Merchant Services on January 18, 2008.
In October 2013, First Data announced that it had previously acquired POS startup Clover. Later in that same month it was announced that First Data acquired cardless mobile loyalty startup Perka.
In July 2014, First Data announced its acquisition of digital gift card company, Gyft.
The processing platforms maintained by First Data are North(Cardnet), South(Nabanco), Nashville(Envoy), Omaha and BuyPass(Concord/Atlanta). First Data also maintains an e-commerce platform, Compass, derived from the former Paymentech joint venture with JPMorgan.
Key executives include:
- Frank Bisignano: Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
- Joseph Plumeri: Vice Chairman
- Cindy Armine: Chief Control Officer
- Guy Chiarello: President
- Sanjiv Das: Chief of Staff
- John Elkins: President, First Data International Regions
- Tom Higgins: Chief Administrative Officer
- Christine Larsen: Executive Vice President, Chief Operations Officer
- Barry McCarthy: President, First Data North America - Financial Institutions
- David Money: Executive Vice President, General Counsel
- Himanshu Patel: Executive Vice President, Head of Strategy and Business Development
- Michael Neborak: Executive Vice President, Director of Finance
- Karen Whalen and Janelle Bergquist: Senior Vice Presidents, Co-Heads Global Human Resources
First Data's headquarters were located in Greenwood Village, Colorado. In 2009 First Data announced that it was moving its headquarters from Greater Denver to 5565 Glenridge Connector, NE Atlanta, GA 30342. Its original headquarters, where the company remained based until 1992, were in Omaha, Nebraska.
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