Before founding National Transaction Corporation, Mark Fravel worked extensively in the data collection and financial technology fields under Harbridge Merchant Services and First Data, both serving as their Vice President. In 1999 Mark left to start his own merchant processing company, National Transaction Corporation, and has continued as its president for over 19 years. National Transaction has always exceeded excellence, often ranking in the top 10 for many prestigious data and technology awards.
Today Mark lives in South Florida where he dedicates his spare time away from NTC to volunteering and advocating for children, the environment, and better quality education. He has been a board member of the Prestige Club, an organization dedicated to helping children in need in the South Florida area, and The Florida Bar Unlicensed Practice of Law Committee for 8 years as a volunteer. Mark is also an avid boatsman, diver, and fisherman in the waters near his South Florida home.
Travel Research Online: Tell us how the idea of National Transaction Corporation came to be.
Mark Fravel: NTC began so that I could raise my family and my three daughters. I am a single father and my prior employer wanted me to travel a lot and I believed that my children were more important. National Transaction began with NO customers and one employee.
TRO: What does a typical day at the office look like for you?
MF: I float where the problems exist. I do not micro-manage but I can jump into any position on the floor. I actually like the phones with irate clients. We usually identify that we were not the source of the customers aggravation.
TRO: What unique challenges do the travel industry bring to the table for merchant processors?
MF: Risk is the biggest challenge for merchant processors. Travel merchant accounts are the largest source of risk for many processors. This is why many processors will decide against approving Travel Merchants to begin with. They could also limit how much volume can go through the system. If the transaction gets approved but the processor is holding your funds, it can be embarrassing and difficult to manage.
Most merchants do not realize that merchant processors are carrying a financial risk on merchant accounts, and normally fund merchants prior to receiving payment from the client’s bank. Technically, a merchant account is an unsecured loan. The merchant runs a transaction and at the end of the day, they settle their batch. In most cases, the merchant will receive the funds for that batch in their bank account within 2 banking business days, even though the travel arrangements the client paid for do not take place right away.
Here at National Transaction Corp, we specialize in understanding what makes your transactions unique and how they affect your merchant account as a travel agent.
Educating the merchant and ensuring they have a good understanding of what makes travel merchant account high risk is one of our specialties.
TRO: Tell us about National Transaction’s travel merchant accounts.
MF: NTC’s merchants are like an extension of my family. We know many of them by their first name and know their unique challenges. We know Transactions but we listen to people, and that helps us stay on top of the competition.
TRO: How is National Transaction helping travel agents receive their payments faster?
MF: NTC has a next day pay option. This means that the merchant will be paid the next business day. Standard time frames are two-day funding.
TRO: What kind of technical support can National Transaction offer travel agents?
MF: NTC has 24/7 concierge service for all technical support and customer service needs. Much like how travel merchants desire to be a concierge for their travelers.
TRO: What should an agent do if they’re looking to switch from their current merchant processor to National Transaction?
MF: If you haven’t consulted a Payments Expert for your travel business, take the time to call us at 888-996-2273, Extension 1, and ask for our professional input. We offer very valuable services and information to help you with your travel business needs, which saves you time, money, and provide insights into your payment logistics.
TRO: What is your favorite travel destination to date?
MF: My favorite destination is anywhere on planet Earth with my wife.
TRO: What is on the horizon for National Transaction Corporation?
MF: National Transaction is excited about the future. We believe that our new e-Pay product will provide an exciting platform for merchants and enhanced security for cardholders.
Our new Electronic Invoicing e-Pay Platform will be a premier Marketing tool for every travel agent: If you our payment gateway that allows you to process payments and accept debit and credit cards, you can use it as a marketing tool to do so much more than simply process a customer’s credit cards. Our e-Pay Platform can help travel merchants bring new customers and encourage repeat business. The service includes our infinitely customizable electronic invoicing as well!
We have also developed a mobile app that will allow travel merchants to send out invoices to their clients, even when they’re on the go! Now travel agents can send out invoices and collect payments even while they’re on vacation and away from the office.
For more information on Mark and National Transaction, visit them online at www.nationaltransaction.com or call 888-996-2273. Be sure to ask about their new e-Pay service!