|Headquarters||Atlanta, Georgia, United States|
|Key people||Frank Bisignano,
|Owner(s)||Kohlberg Kravis Roberts|
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 Network offers PIN-secured debit acceptance at ATM and retail locations.
In 1969, the Mid-America Bankcard Association (MABA) was formed in Omaha, Nebraska, as a non-profit bankcard processing cooperative. Two years later, First Data Resources (FDR) incorporated in June to become a for-profit organization providing processing services to MABA. FDR had 110 employees and $222 million in annual revenues. First Data is an agglomeration of various cooperative associations which were initially established to provide credit card data processing services for member banks. These include Eastern States Bankcard Association; Atlantic States Bankcard Association; Southwestern States Bankcard Association; Mountain States Bankcard Association, and Western States Bankcard Association.
In 1980, American Express Information Services Corporation (ISC) bought 80% of FDR. 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 after 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.
The processing platforms maintained by First Data are North(Cardnet), South(Nabanco), Nashville(Envoy), Omaha and BuyPass(Concord/Atlanta).
Key executives include:
- Joe Forehand: Chairman
- Frank Bisignano: Chief Executive Officer
- Guy Chiarello: President
- Ray Winborne: Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer
- Karen Whalen and Janelle Bergquist: Senior Vice Presidents, Co-Heads Global Human Resources
- John Elkins: President, First Data International Regions
- Ed Labry: Vice Chairman
- Barry McCarthy: President, First Data North America - Financial Institutions
- David Money: Executive Vice President, General Counsel
- Christine Larsen: Executive Vice President, Chief Operations Officer
- Himanshu Patel: Executive Vice President, Head of Strategy and Business Development
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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