Derrick Taylor, 47, had been in the banking industry for 20 years and the payments technology industry for a decade until he tired of the corporate minutia and what he describes as a broken payments technology system. Last year, he struck out on his own to launch Global 1 Solutions, and he’s trying to fix a system that he believes takes advantage of merchants.
Payments technology is another term for credit card processing, and Taylor explains why he believes the industry is broken. “A lot of companies are overcharging merchants,” he says. “They’re charging junk fees, padding rates, and not educating merchants on the true costs of what they’re processing.”
Taylor, president of Global 1 Solutions, hopes to bring more integrity to the industry by simplifying statements and, as a local business, servicing merchants face to face. “We’re local, so we’re here for you if your terminal breaks down or you need an extra terminal. You won’t have to call a long-distance helpline, and there’s something to be said about that,” he says.
“I live in this community. These are places I go to eat, my dentist — they’re all friends,” he says. “This is just about doing the right thing.”
Global 1 Solutions serves any business that accepts credit cards, from restaurants to retail to doggy daycares. The company also processes electronic checks, e-commerce, and it will provide gift card services, loyalty programs, and point-of-sale equipment, as well.
“We have a simple, transparent model,” he says. “Our statements are transparent. We educate merchants on what to look for on their statements. Merchants won’t see rate creep with us, or junk fees.”
Global 1 Solutions was funded entirely through Taylor’s savings, with the bulk of the startup costs going to marketing and registering with Visa and MasterCard, plus getting a required background check. His team includes a four-person contracted sales force working in Racine, Madison, and Denver. Taylor hopes to add another five to the roster in the second quarter of 2017.
“My whole mission and reason for existence is to help the mom-and-pop companies,” he says. “They’re the ones not getting the fair shake. Large, big-box chains are getting the favorable pricing and they don’t get charged the junk fees that small businesses often pay.”
Just how much savings Taylor’s company can bring to a business varies widely, he notes, based on the size of a business or its volume and merchant card types. Global 1 Solutions’ pricing is based on a wholesale pricing grid designed by Visa and MasterCard. On top of that pricing, which he cannot control, his company charges customers a flat fee. “There are hundreds of different rates out there based on card type. If I use my reward card in one business, that card will carry a separate rate versus a debit card, or a signature-based rewards card, or a business credit card.”
Sometimes, he explains, the amount Global 1 Solutions can save a company will cover what a merchant might have to pay in cancellation fees, which is a sore spot for Taylor. “A lot of these banks package entire programs — deposits, mortgages, and merchant cards, for example — and when they do that, it’s hard for the merchant to break away. But that’s exactly why they do it — it holds the merchants hostage. A lot of these banks and processors aren’t going to like me because I’m not falling into that same step,” he admits.
His biggest frustration is when he knows he can help bring savings to a merchant only to find that the merchant “is locked into a ridiculous contract term or their cancellation fee is unheard of. I’ve seen cancellation fees as high as $10,000! Who wants to pay that?”
Merchants should be savvier when they strike such deals, he advises, noting that Global 1 Solutions doesn’t offer contracts. “If you’re doing the right things for merchants and truly have their business in your best interest, why have a contract term?”