Introduction to Certegy
Certegy is a company that provides check verification, guarantee and risk analytics to businesses that use checks as a method of payment from their clients. A pioneer in offering check risk management services, Certegy has been operational for over 45 years in the US.
Certegy protects businesses and institutions from potential fraud and at the same time protects consumers from unwarranted or unlawful use of their checking account information.
Certegy also provides credit and debt processing services, check cashing services and merchant processing and e banking services to various customers worldwide.
With its headquarters in Georgia, Certegy has over 7000 financial institutions, 117000 retailers and over 100 million, with a strong global presence and offers its services in the United states, United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil, France, Chile Australia, New Zealand and Thailand.
Certegy's business is comprised of two main divisions, the Check services and card services. As a leading provider of check authorization, and merchant card, credit and debit card processing, Certegy helps clients including Walmart and best buy by providing risk management and data services that help such businesses to catch bad checks and verify customers when providing goods and services to them so that they can catch clients without adequate funds.
Certegy makes money through commissions provided with each transaction from the total amount of dollars for checks written to the client.
Since pioneering this business in the 1960's, Certegy has received stiff competition from larger vendors especially in the card services unit, but prevailed by offering card processing services to small banks and credit unions. This coupled with its growing international sales handling multinational and multilingual transaction has allowed Certegy to provide services in different new regions especially in the Asia pacific.
Founded as Telecredit Inc., Certegy changed its name in 1990 and since 1990 to 2001 was the payment services unit for Equifax which grew out of the group in 2001. History
In 1961, the company that formed Certegy-Telecredit, was formed by two men-Ronald A. Katz and Robert Goldman. Putting together a telephone company and a computer technology company, Telecredit patented a quick system of verifying whether a written check was at the time it was presented to a merchant. In this way Telecredit collected data about check writer’s habits, and kept this data which indicated check writers habit and filed it under the driver's license number.
Telecredit kept this data, easily tracking the number of checks that a person writes in a month, the exact amount of the checks and the bad checks. Using this databank, Telecredit could assess the merchants risk in accepting a check from a client.
This was an improvement from the prevailing system at the time where merchants kept a handwritten list. Is the cashier was in doubt, they had to call the bank and get authorization. Telecredit was the first company to offer a fast automated system that compiled more variables than the merchants themselves were able to cover.
Soon Telecredit had stored data on a large pool of people than the small number of known defaulters stores looked out for. With clear technological advantages, the system was still slow to catch on. Some of the first clients for Telecredit included supermarkets, and went through 100 months with losses before it made its first profits in 1970.
Telecredit invented a new system for reading and writing codes on the magnetic strips on the backs of credit cards- and at that time held over 50 patents for various systems and devices.
By the mid-1970s, Telecredit was making over $8 million dollars in sales and collecting 2% fees on the checks it guaranteed. In 1977, Telecredit bought a bank card processing company- Florida Service center, right at the beginning of the introduction of ATM cards.
In the 1980s, Telecredit began running an anti-counterfeiting system known as the Light signatures. Light signatures used a light beam system to verify the authenticity of paper, plastic, fabric and other material. Manufacturers could use Light signatures technology to check for counterfeits. However, light signatures were a tough business to promote.
Telecredit became Equifax Payment Services in 1993 and operated two businesses Equifax Card services and Equifax Check services. In 1996, Equifax bought the largest credit card processor in the U.S. Credit Union National Association and continued to serve small banks across the U.S.
Equifax Payment Systems thrived in the 1990s more than Telecredit had done and in 2001 decided to spin off its payments division into a new company called Certegy9 "Certainty,", "technology," and "energy."
In 2003, Certegy's business was more than $35 billion in check authorizations and more than 46 million credit card authorizations with its revenue reaching over $1 billion and the successfully servicing of 100 million clients worldwide. In 2004, Certegy moved into the gaming industry by acquiring Game Financial unit of Viad Corporation for $43 million. In the same year, Certegy provided check cashing services and cash advances on credit cards at 60 U.S casinos.