Stories about voice mail labyrinths leading to list after long list of recorded options and, sometimes, dropped calls permeate our culture. And who hasn't sacrificed work time to wait at home for a repair person who arrives late, or worse, never shows?
Treating customers more like cattle than human beings seems to be the norm these days.
Not so at Nxgen Payment Services.
Nxgen specializes in credit card and automated clearing house (ACH) and electronic funds transfer processing, as well as gift cards, check verification, ATMs, and e-commerce solutions.
The company was founded in 2002 with the mission to increase the level of professionalism in the payments industry, while providing merchants the next generation of products at the most competitive prices.
Nxgen's senior management has 90 years' combined industry experience. The team consists of Thomas Nitopi, Chief Executive Officer; Giuseppe Caltabiano, Chief Oper-ating Officer; Bill Ryken, Vice President of Business Development; Michael Jaffe, Vice President of Sales and Marketing; Terrie Nitopi, President; and Bill Hearon and Joan Bartl, East Coast Divisional Managers.
Nxgen strives to attract people whose core values are in line with the company's mission. It operates corporate offices in Whitefish, Mont., which is home to 25 employees, and Princeton, N.J., with a staff of five.
The company also has eight offices throughout the United States that support 180 Account Consultants.
Ryken said Nxgen uses the term "Account Consultant" because it conveys what Nxgen agents do. They consult with merchants on all of their payment service needs.
"They help guide the merchant through processing method options, fully disclose pricing and rates, and set realistic expectations of training and ongoing support," Ryken said.
"Our reputation of honesty at all levels has defined the Nxgen organization. Merchants understand what they are signing and paying for."
Nxgen is also passionate about treating Account Consultants with respect.
"Our Account Consultants fully understand what the 'profit bucket' is and how they are being paid," Ryken noted. "All referral sources and agent banks can trust our responsiveness, customer support and reliability."
Nxgen offers a variety of payment service products so Account Consultants can attract and maintain as many merchants as possible.
"Offering merchants greater flexibility of products along with faster and more efficient payment processing gives our Account Consultants the competitive edge," Ryken said.
Nxgen said it expects high quality and ethical practices from its Account Consultant and processing partners.
Ryken said Nxgen offers consultants "the advantage of the reputation and reliability of the best processors and networks internationally -- NOVA, Cynergy Data, Paymentech, FDMS [First Data Merchant Services] and Vital [now TSYS Acquiring Solutions]."
Nxgen consistently ranks among NOVA's top performers. NOVA has recognized Nxgen eight times for excellence in sales volume, unit sales volume, net sales, processing volume and large volume merchant activations.
As part of its high standards and focus on customer service, Nxgen makes sure its customers are able to access support when they need it.
Merchants are all given phone numbers for three contacts: their personal Account Consultant, Nxgen's corporate office and the processor's help desk.
When retailers call Nxgen during business hours, their calls are answered by a real person.
"We have a slogan at Nxgen: 'We have Anita,'" Ryken said.
Don't worry. Anita is not chained to her desk. Ryken said the company uses her as a metaphor to describe its level of service.
"We did a study of 25 MSPs/ISOs that advertised in trade magazines," Ryken said. "Of these â€¦ only three answered the phone. Anita is our boarding, underwriting and service team leader. It doesn't get any better than her support and spirit."
Nxgen does not use buy rates. Instead, the company offers revenue sharing. Account Consultants are paid a percentage of the true profit.
"When we say you will earn 50% to 80%, it is 50% to 80%," Ryken said. "There is no need for the question 50% of what?"
Nxgen's Account Consultants earn residuals as long as they continue to service their accounts, even if they are no longer actively writing new accounts with Nxgen.
In addition, MLSs can earn one-time income from equipment sales, as well as application setup and program-ming fees.
They can also earn ongoing residuals from surcharges, monthly and annual fees, ACH processing and gift card fees.
For Account Consultants who need immediate income, Nxgen offers its RapidPay commission program.
RapidPay allows agents to be paid 12 months of residual commissions in advance.
The company does not require a waiting period or tenure to qualify for RapidPay.
Consultants can get advances upfront. Commissions are calculated based on Visa U.S.A. and MasterCard Worldwide processing volume and industry averages.
Account Consultants can access Nxgen's detailed online reporting to view monthly account status, including processing volume, deposits, chargeback status and deposit batch detail.
Nxgen also offers agent bank and referral source programs, which include automated referral communication, monthly residual income and co-branded marketing materials.
Currently, Nxgen has 500 referring bank branches and over 300 referral sources nationally.
Banks and third-party processors can choose their level of involvement and account maintenance. They can:
Nxgen provides service to retail, restaurant, MO/TO, hotels, Internet and business-to-business merchants. It has solutions for government agencies, too.
Visa certified Nxgen for its property tax collection rollout. "We are one of a handful of ISOs in the Visa Property Tax Pilot Program for government entities," Ryken said.
He noted that providing revenue-neutral solutions to government agencies is a lot of work upfront, but it pays in the end.
He said state governments would pass laws that made it legal to collect convenience fees over the counter. However, Visa and MasterCard rules say you cannot do that.
"We act as a consultant to the agencies, an educator and a trainer," Ryken said.
Nxgen has partnered with value-added resellers that work with government agencies to integrate solutions.
Nxgen has roots in the United States and a thriving portfolio in Canada.
"Utilizing a relationship with NOVA Information Systems and First Data Global Leasing, we have been able to take our referral-based sales strategy and apply it north of the border," Ryken said.
Just as moving into the government sector has its challenges, so does working in a new country. However, again, the rewards have been worth it. So much so, that Nxgen plans to expand "across the pond" into the U.K. and Italy.
Caltabiano has strong ties to Italian merchants. "You go where the relationships lead you," he said.
Speaking of relationships, Nxgen is interested in working with agents who are professional, ethical, customer-focused and able to build long-term relationships.
"The ethical value is very important," Ryken said.
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Vice President of Business Development