Mark Fravel is the Founder and CEO of National Transaction Corporation. Founded in 1997, NTC has over 20 years of transaction processing experience, specializing in card not present and e-commerce solutions for the hospitality, tourism and medical industries, charitable institutions and franchises. NTC is an electronic payment expert, currently serving over 4,000 merchant accounts across Canada and the US.
Mark is a proven executive with a complete understanding of the back office operations in the Electronic Payment Processing business Including Credit, Underwriting, Loss Prevention, and Customer Service. He personally brings over 25 years of bankcard history to NTC, formerly serving as Vice President of First Data Corporation and General Manager of the Barnett Bank Alliance, where he managed a portfolio with over 100,0000 merchants contributing 1000 new sales per month with a consistent record of achievements including several top ten finishes.
Awards: 1994 # 2 VP, First Data CES, 1995 # 1 VP, First Data / CES, 1996 # 2 VP, First Data, 2000 # 9 MSP Nova Information Systems, 2001 # 7 MSP Nova Information Systems, 2002 # 2 MSP Nova Information Systems, 2006 # 3 MSP Nova Information Systems
TRO: You started National Transaction in 1997. Was there any particular occurrence or passion that spurred this move?
MF: The answer is yes, I needed to raise three young girls and not have to travel all over the United States. I left a large credit card processor to start my own small company out of my garage and entered the world of being a single parent.
TRO: You have an extensive background in managing financial systems. What major lessons have you learned in that time that are helping National Transaction accomplish its goals?
MF: I’ve learned to constantly be on the move, as soon as we have a system figured out, to protect us from criminals. The criminals use that and find another way, so we have to constantly be on our toes. In fact, we hire some of those criminals to help us constantly change our data security systems so we are constantly changing everything we do.
TRO: National Transaction currently handles over 4,000 travel merchant accounts. This includes clients such as airlines, tour operators, vacation rentals, hotels, and travel agents. In what ways can National Transaction help these clients, especially travel agents, manage their business for the better?
MF: We support all sizes and shapes and sizes of travel merchants. Every one of these travel merchants handles their financial services slightly different and that is where we need to be flexible, in the ability to customize solutions. Airlines tend to concern themselves with seat assignments, how much they can charge for a bag, or how much they can charge for a meal or a bag of potato chips. Hotels are more concerned with the facilities that you’re going to need at that hotel. Tour operators tend to be concerned with their particular part of the overall trip. The unique characteristic that I like about a travel agent is they are concerned with every piece of the trip because every piece of the trip is going to be a reflection upon the service that they provided the consumer.
TRO: Has National Transaction had any recent innovations that would be beneficial to travel agents?
MF: Yes, our NTCePay.com product has solutions for ‘all’ sizes of travel agents and is flexible, rich with features, and customizable! But first and foremost, secure; and I would challenge any expert to tell me there is a more secure way…as our product connects the issuing bank directly with the acquiring bank, so the transaction is done on the banks platform.
TRO: What would you say is National Transaction’s philosophy when doing business with clients?
MF: It would be flexibility, answering the phones promptly, and setting expectations. Sometimes there are things that are painful in our business and we try to minimize that pain. But, because we are in the financial services industry handling people’s money, there is a complexity and a dynamic that the honest approach is the best one.
TRO: The networks that National Transaction has setup seem secure. With multiple methods of connecting systems, you’ve created a safety net to protect clients’ (and their clients) information. Can you tell us more about that?
MF: Data security, cyber security, PCI and all of your security should be taken in layers. There is no magic “silver bullet”, all of the things that we recommend are critical to the process of protecting your data. Our NTCePay.com product is particularly secure as it connects the cardholder’s bank and the merchant’s bank, so the two banks are talking to each other with no software between that communication.
TRO: Does National Transaction have any big news to share about upcoming projects?
MF: The most exciting event is the announcement of our NTCePay.com product. This digital delivery platform allows for the integration of document and document signing at the point of purchase with the credit card order form combined into one motion. The one motion protects the card holder at the same time is making an efficient system for the merchant to collect the cardholder data in a secure environment.
You can catch Mark Fravel at the ASTA Convention in Washington D.C. on Thursday August 23rd about PCI Compliance in regards to Travel Credit Card Processing.