SPOTLIGHT | About-Payments gives the stage to Payment Service Providers, Payment Gateways and Solutions to highlight their business, products and value to merchants selling via the internet. In this third edition of the 'About-Payments Spotlight' it is time to meet First Atlantic Commerce.
First Atlantic Commerce Introduction
FAC has 16 years’ experience in the international Multicurrency Ecommerce payments and risk management arena. This combined with their excellent customer service enables FAC to provide online merchants, gateways and acquirers an individual product or solution that will seamlessly allow them to meet and exceed their business goals. FAC also has the ability to create and deliver custom payment and risk management solutions.
#1 - How would you describe your business to merchants new-to-game?
First Atlantic Commerce (FAC) is an online payments and fraud mitigation solutions provider. Founded in 1998 and based in Bermuda, FAC provides multi-currency credit card processing and risk management solutions to Internet merchants, other payment gateways and Acquiring banks around the world.
FAC has a feature-rich payment gateway that is integrated to banks (and processors) in Europe, Mauritius, Panama, Bermuda and across the Caribbean. We act as the bridge between the merchant and the bank and we can facilitate merchant account set up with the banks for our clients. Our software connects the merchants’ servers directly to our payment processing platform for settlement to the merchant bank.
FAC specializes in credit and debit card payments, but we also support some alternative payment options including Ukash.
#2 - What makes you different from other Payment Service Providers?
Integrating to our high-speed, secure platform-independent payment gateway enables businesses access to multiple acquirers and the ability to offer their customers multi-currency checkout options on their web sites including Visa, MasterCard®, American Express, Discover, Diner’s (bank dependent) and Ukash.
We offer a host of features including a virtual terminal for MOTO transactions, call centre processing, batch processing, recurring billing options, tokenization services enabling one click payments, a hosted payment page as well as Kount fraud mitigation services via our platform.
We also offer solutions that are independent of the payment transaction meaning they can be used alongside the merchant’s current payment gateway. (Merchants do not have to switch to our gateway for payment processing.) These unbundled solutions include 3DS (via our MPI), AVS, Tokenization and the Kount fraud prevention service.
FAC is also known for our exceptional customer service and delivery.
#3 - What are the triggers for online merchants to switch to your platform?
Exceptional Customer Service – we provide every merchant with their own account representative. Companies are looked after with a personal touch and our quick response times, both from a business and support perspective, keep our merchants very happy. We get a lot of merchants that switch over to us because of the lack of support with their current gateway.
One integration to FAC gives access to banks around the world -- FAC works with banks in the UK, Europe, Mauritius, Panama, Bermuda, and across the Caribbean for direct merchant account solutions. We can facilitate merchant account set ups with the bank(s) to enable them access to multi currency, multi jurisdictional settlement via a single interface.
Specializing in the Caribbean – We are the most advanced payment gateway available in the Caribbean and are connected to acquiring banks across 19 jurisdictions in the region. We can both price and settle funds in Caribbean currencies, dependent on the needs of the merchant.
#4 - What merchants or markets are you targeting?
We welcome the chance to work with established merchants from all over the world. We work with banks based in the UK, Europe, Mauritius, Bermuda, Panama and the Caribbean and can facilitate merchant account set up with the applicable bank(s).
We work with many verticals including, but not limited to, airlines, travel and travel related services, hotels, mainstream dating, social gaming, VoIP/telecom services, digital content, retail, nutraceuticals, corporate service providers, publishing/educational services and government portals.
#5 - How can merchants integrate with your platform?
FAC’s Payment Gateway Services can be accessed through a single web based API, which supports and enables cGate® Secure Real-Time (real-time transaction processing) and cGate® Secure Verify (the ability to use the 3-D Secure authentication service).
We also provide a hosted payment page implementation, whereby the card details are entered by the cardholder on a page hosted on a FAC server. Using the FAC hosted payment page solution minimizes the PCI-DSS compliance requirements for the merchant.
FAC can work with any shopping cart if the merchant requests that they integrate to us. Currently we support the following shopping carts and reservations systems:
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#6 - What may merchants expect in nearby future from your company?
FAC is constantly looking to add new services and jurisdictional access that will enable existing and future clients to successfully and cost effectively grow their business.
There are some exciting developments in the card present and card not present world and our customers and prospects can expect that FAC will be at the forefront of this -- enabling mobile payment functionality and additional payment methods (traditional and non) in existing and new territories.
#7 - What is your best advice to merchants expanding their business cross-border?
Ensure that you choose a payments partner that has a strong track record and experience of working in the territories in which you are looking to expand.
Each country has different nuances, and consumers have more power and availability of choice than ever before. Your payment provider should be able to advise you on which payment methods and which partners to work with in the target territories. This will enable you to optimize your customer experience in each of your required countries.
Think local. The Card Associations are constantly increasing the cost of accepting cross border payments. If you are considering multiple jurisdictions, you should be considering local acquiring in each jurisdiction to help avoid expensive cross border acquiring fees.
Choose a payment provider that can assist you in the appropriate countries and can give you access to the most popular methods of payments in those countries.
#8 - What do you think of Crypto-Currencies like Bitcoin?
Bitcoin and Crypto–Currencies in general have been held back, to some degree, by a string of negative headlines and the overall volatility of their price. That said, they are certainly becoming a considerable presence in the online and offline world.
A number of well backed and well run companies are providing merchants with the real time ability to accept Bitcoin and instantly convert it to the currency of choice, helping to eliminate the price fluctuation issue and a number of the risks associated with accepting payments online.
Crypto-Currencies offer an attractive proposition to online merchants as it greatly reduces the transaction fees, attracts net new customers and eliminates the risk of chargebacks. The key to their success is the impact of any proposed legislation, price stability and the continued acceptance by large brand name merchants
About First Atlantic Commerce
FAC has been offering multi-jurisdictional, secure payment processing services to Internet merchants around the world for 16 years. In 1998, FAC became the first international online payment gateway to certify with First Data Merchant Services (FDMS) in the US, linking Bermuda banks to FDMS for online merchant credit card processing.
FAC was instrumental in the development of Bermuda’s eCommerce infrastructure, consulting with Government in the drafting of The Standard for Electronic Transactions, The Electronic Transactions Act 1999 (ETA) and later, the company obtained an eCommerce Private Act of Parliament for Segregated Cell legislation providing the framework for its unique Bermuda Virtual Corp solution for online merchants.
We have been featured on the front pages of the Wall Street Journal and the Toronto Star. In 2002, FAC was acquired by the Bermuda-based Gibbons Group. Since that time, FAC expanded into Europe and Mauritius, and later in additional Latin American Caribbean Region jurisdictions. We were also the first gateway to be fully PCI certified by Visa and MC in the LACR.
FAC’s management team leads a staff of highly skilled card payments and industry professionals, technical and sales and marketing personnel, who together ensure a comprehensive understanding of merchant and bank acquirer requirements, while delivering excellent customer service.
Who are your Payment Partners?
We work with 3 acquirers in the UK and Europe, 1 acquirer in Mauritius, 2 in Panama, 2 in Bermuda, 1 payment provider in the US and 6 different banks across the Caribbean region.
Are there specific company white papers or information for merchants to tap into?
Canadian online retailers looking to expand their international sales should consider the Canada-Bermuda Tax Information Exchange Agreement for highly beneficial tax advantages. See links below: