Gary Wishnia, founder and Chief Executive Officer of the ISO Platinum Choice Bancard LLC, believes the best way to gain customers is to provide a stellar customer experience. "Platinum Choice Bancard offers platinum service," he said. "We are concerned with our customers, we help them run their business and we treat everybody like they are our only customer. I demand that kind of attention, whether for a small merchant in which we earn only a few dollars a month or a large merchant with a large volume."
Wishnia founded Platinum Choice in 2009 after a productive career in the subprime mortgage sector. "I was very successful until 2008, when the economy came to a screeching halt," he said. "I had done billions of dollars in loans, but then my revenue went to zero. I had no recurring income. I decided there had to be a better way." Two friends introduced him to merchant services, and after six months of research, he took the plunge. "I had no place to go but up, because I'd hit the bottom," he said.
And up he has flown. Platinum Choice was recognized in 2016 by Inc. magazine as one of the 5,000 fasted growing privately owned companies in America. It provides card-present, card-not-present, mobile, and virtual payment processing to retail and numerous other business verticals. Associated products and services include multichannel processing, POS systems, e-commerce solutions, merchant cash advance, and more. "We can help someone do electronic payment processing any way they need to," Wishnia said.
Wishnia attributes the company's rapid growth to its high level of customer service. For instance, customers are never put on hold. "I don't like calling a place and automatically getting into a voice mail system," he said. "If anyone calls my office between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, they will reach a live person. I insist we handle things live and that people get an answer. That is one of the things that makes us different." Platinum Choice also prides itself on providing the lowest possible rates. If a merchant finds a lower rate and produces the competitor's quote, Platinum Choice will match it. "Merchants know that the more they spend, the less they earn," Wishnia said. "There is always some form of margins and some form of savings that we can legitimately provide. If we can't reduce the cost, we'll give them $500."
Wishnia said only 50 to 60 percent of merchants nationwide are Europay, Mastercard and Visa (EMV)-compliant, but Platinum Choice's merchant portfolio is ahead of the curve because the company started to deploy EMV terminals well before the EMV liability shift took effect, and his staff can help merchants get EMV up and running quickly.
He believes EMV is good for merchants. "If there is a changeback and you don't comply because you don't have EMV, you are going to lose the chargeback," he said. "If you have EMV, and you've done the sale correctly, you are protected; you can contest it. You also have less chance of a breach ever taking place ‒ and there is no additional cost whatsoever associated with EMV for merchants who are affiliated with us."
Wishnia sees payment processing as an up-and-coming industry. "Society is becoming more and more cashless," he said. "We have a lot of customers and merchants complaining that they don't get enough cash taken in their registers because people are charging their purchases. I find that fantastic; it works to our benefit. If we do the right thing, we will continue to do well."
Doing things right includes giving agents stellar service. "We give our agents one-on-one service, hold their hands through every step of the sale, give them support every day, all day," Wishnia said. "We make working for Platinum Choice like working with family."
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