Current CEO: Jon Judge
First Data Corporation is the world''s biggest payment processor, serving more than 2,000 credit card issuers in 35 countries. First Data processes 60 billion financial transactions a year. In addition to the company’s point of sales services, First Data also issues prepaid gift and other cards; provides secure fund transfers through its fraud protection and authentication services; offers electronic check verification through its subsidiary, TeleCheck; and provides debit card verification through its subsidiary, the STAR Network.
First Data Corporation was formed in 1995 through the merger of the world’s two largest financial data processors, First Financial Management Corporation and First Data Resources.
First Data Resources was founded in 1971 to provide processing services to a bankcard processing collective called the Mid-America Bankcard Association. By 1976, the company had become the data processor for both Visa and MasterCard bank-issued credit cards. For a short period of time, the company was part of American Express which spun it off as an independent company again in 1992.
First Financial Management was set up to process electronic check transactions by the First Railroad and Banking Company of Georgia. First Financial was spun off from its parent company in 1983 and immediately embarked upon an acquisition spree which h helped it yield impressive profits. In 1987, First Financial began installing electronic terminals at cash registers, thereby doing away with paper credit card receipts which made credit card processing both more efficient and more lucrative. In 1994, First Financial bought Western Union in order to branch out into the lucrative money transfer sector. Western Union was ultimately spun off again as an independent company in 2006.
First Data Corporation is headquartered in Atlanta and employs 27,000 workers worldwide. The economies of scale that were intended to make First Data’s core business operations more efficient than either of its two parent companies have resulted in a somewhat disorganized company with a lot of redundancy that makes working at First Data Corporation frustrating at times. First Data benefits are liberal and include health, dental and life insurance, a matching 401(k) and tuition reimbursement. Employees are encouraged to work flexible schedules and can work remotely as needed. First Data careers include sales and account representatives, software engineers and architects, network engineers, business analysts and managers. First Data culture is conservative as one might expect from a financial services company.