B efore discovering the payments industry, Justin Milmeister, founder and President of Elite Data Processing Inc. (doing business as Elite Merchant Solutions), was a commercial real estate broker.
"One day I was speaking with a retailer at one of the shopping centers that I was looking to lease, and he
was complaining about how his
terminal was not working for five days, and he
could not get in touch with anybody to get it working," Milmeister
contacted a friend in the payments industry who signed and set up the merchant the next day.
didn't know much about his
But with his
curiosity piqued, he
learned about the earning potential for professionals in the payments industry.
"All I heard was residual, and I immediately began to do my research on merchant services," Milmeister
Following six months of earnest investigation, Milmeister
took the plunge.
He left real estate behind and started EMS in January 2002.
"We see too many of our competitors spinning their wheels, signing new businesses [that are] out of business in three months," Milmeister
"We really take customer service seriously," Milmeister
EMS keeps in contact with its merchants via birthday and holiday cards and regular quality assurance visits.
added that EMS only partners with MLSs who it thinks will perpetuate EMS'
philosophy of showing care and support to merchants.
"Not only are we surviving, we are growing in this economy at a faster pace than ever," Milmeister
In addition, when Chase Paymentech Solutions LLC
started its new ISO program in 2009, Milmeister
was one of the first companies invited to participate.
recognizes the importance of partnerships and the necessity of giving back to the community.
"Obviously we're in this to make money; this is our career and our job, but we're also in it to help the community and to show that we're not your standard, everyday processor," Milmeister
Milmeister gave an example of the Agent/Partner program in action.
"We believe strongly in feedback and invite our partners to let us know if there is an inefficiency or somewhere we can improve," Milmeister
The feedback isn't confined to the negative.
"Many of our partners have worked with several other merchant service providers in the past, and the feedback I get time in and time out is they finally feel comfortable with a company that provides not only the most competitive compensation package and pricing, but unparalleled service," Milmeister
allows agents to choose their own rate scheme, according to Milmeister
In this way, the agents can offer the scheme that the merchant is most comfortable with.
EMS offers three compensation plans but will tailor a plan according the needs of the MLS.
"Some MLSs may be in a bind ... for the next six months, and they need more compensation weighted up front, whereas after six months, they may want to be heavy on building their residual," Milmeister