Careers at First Data


First Data provides a range of ecommerce and payment solutions, with a view to ensuring the point-of-sale and card processing systems of its clients are efficient and reliable.

Business segments

First Data organises its operations into three reportable business segments:

  • Global Business Solutions, through which the Company provides a range of retail point-of-sale merchant acquiring and ecommerce services, as well as mobile payment services, webstore-in-a-box solutions, and cloud-based point-of-sale operating systems;
  • Global Financial Solutions, which provides credit solutions for bank and non-bank issuers, including credit and retail private-label card processing within the US and international markets, as well as licensed financial software systems, and lending solutions; and
  • Network and Security Solutions, which provides a range of value-added solutions, including network solutions, debit card processing solutions, stored value network solutions, and security and fraud solutions.

Founding story

First Data was founded in 1971 and by 1976 had become the data processor for both Visa and MasterCard bank-issued credit cards. In 1980, American Express Information Services Corporation purchased an 80% stake in First Data, going on to acquire the remaining 20% in several smaller transactions. By 1983 the Company was a wholly owned subsidiary of American Express Information Services Corporation. First Data operated under the American Express umbrella until 1992, when it was spun off as an independent entity and publicly listed.

In 1995, First Data merged with First Financial Management Corp and was then organised into three major business units serving card issuers, merchants, and consumers. The Company has expanded its operations significantly since this merger, diversifying its service offerings and expanding into new markets. The Company now serves retail and business customers around the world, including across the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.

First Data is among the largest and most established companies of its kind in north America. It is ranked 249th on the Fortune 500 list and 902nd on the Forbes Global 2000 list. The Company trades a portion of its shares on the New York Stock Exchange and has a current market capitalisation of $14.06 billion.

Benefits at First Data

Business model of First Data

Customer Segments

First Data provides a range of services and solutions to a diverse customer base. These customers can be organised broadly into the following categories:

  • Retail and Merchant Clients, comprising various retail outlets, foodservice business, online ecommerce merchants, and other small businesses to which the Company provides point-of-sale payment solutions and other card processing services;
  • Financial and Banking Clients, comprising financial service providers, banking institutions, community banking organisations, and other financial and credit companies, to which the Company provides various card and payment processing solutions; and
  • Government and Institution Clients, comprising various government bodies and public institutions, including in the healthcare and human services sectors, to which the Company provides a range of services.

According to its annual report, First Data does not have any significant customers that account for 10% or more of the Company’s total consolidated revenues.

First Data principally serves customers in its native US, as well as in Canada. The Company also serves a range of international clients, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and Asia Pacific.

Value Propositions

First Data provides value to its clients in the following ways;

  • Its reputation and track record, with the Company established as a reliable and effective provider of payment processing solutions, having a positive track record within the industry;
  • Its broad range of products and services, with the Company offering a wide range of products and services – including payment solutions and card processing services – to a diverse customer base, including financial institutions, retailers, and government bodies;
  • Its proprietary technologies, with the Company owing and developing a number of proprietary technologies that are utilised in its solutions, setting its service offerings apart from those of its competitors;
  • Its international reach, with the Company providing services to a large domestic customer base in the US, as well as serving clients across Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East; and
  • Its technical industry expertise, with the Company employing highly trained technical personnel across its two reportable business segments, as well as a team of experienced industry executives.


First Data operates a website at, through which it provides information on its products and services, as well as its target industries and operating regions. The Company also operates website in certain jurisdictions in local languages, including a website in Portuguese for Brazilian customers and a website in Korean. The Company does not operate an online sales force, nor does it provide an online customer portal.

First Data has an extensive distribution network. The Company makes the majority of its sales through an in-house direct sales force, which operates out of the Company’s network of offices located across the US, as well as internationally in Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

First Data additionally makes sales through a network of third party intermediaries. This includes an indirect non-bank sales force – comprising independent sales agents, independent sales organisations, independent software vendors, value added retailers, and payment services providers - as well as various banking and financial services partners, joint ventures, revenue sharing alliances, and referral partnerships.

Customer Relationships

First Data does not offer any products or services to its customers on a self-service basis. The Company makes a significant portion of its sales through its own in-house direct sales organisations, which seeks to provide tailored services to each individual client. The Company’s sales force consults directly with its customers in order to ensure that it provides services and solutions that meet their needs.

First Data provides ongoing support to its customers, who are able to receive personalised responses to queries, enquiries, and complaints from dedicated customer support representatives over the phone, by email, or through an online chat service. The Company also provides a range of support resources through its website, including user manuals and FAQs.

Additionally, customers are able to follow First Data’s activities and interact with the Company directly through its social media accounts, including with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Key Activities

First Data is an electronic commerce company and payment solutions provider. The Company operates as a merchant acquirer, issuer processor and independent network services provider, enabling businesses to accept electronic payments, and helping financial institutions issue credit, debit and prepaid cards.

The Company aligns its operations into three reportable business segments: Global Business Solutions, which provides a range of retail point-of-sale merchant acquiring and e-commerce services, as well as mobile payment services; Global Financial Solutions, which provides a range of credit solutions for bank and non-bank issuers, including credit and retail private-label card processing; and Network and Security Solutions, which provides a range of solutions to retail, banking, and government clients from its other two segments.

Key Partners

First Data works closely with a network of partner companies and organisations that assist in developing, selling, and implementing the Company’s solutions. These partners can be organised broadly into the following categories:

  • Supplier and Vendor Partners, including suppliers of services, technologies, and equipment that support the Company’s operations across its three business segments, as well as companies to which certain non-technical functions can be outsourced;
  • Channel and Distribution Partners, comprising the Company’s network of sales intermediaries, including independent agents, software vendors, sales organisations, banking and financial services providers, and resellers that extend the Company’s sales and marketing reach;
  • Technology Partners, comprising a range of technology companies, hardware and software providers, and systems integration partners that help to ensure the Company’s technology systems are reliable and effective; and
  • Strategic and Alliance Partners, comprising market leading companies across multiple industries, with which the Company collaborates on various joint projects, including in relation to marketing and branding.

First Data has a number of partnerships in place. This includes a payment partnership with Chinese payment solutions company AliPay, a strategic partnership with Silicon Valley Bank, and a distribution partnership with Bankers’ Bank of Kansas.

Key Resources

First Data’s key resources are its technologies and intellectual properties, its supply chain, its IT and communications infrastructure, its network of offices, its network of sales intermediaries, its partnerships, and its personnel.

First Data owns a global portfolio of trademarks, trade names, patents, and other intellectual properties that are key in its various service and product offerings. Searches of records published by the US Patent and Trademark Office identified numerous patent applications filed in First Data’s name, including applications entitled ‘Device stand for point-of-sale mobile devices’, ‘Mobile coupon analysis systems and methods’ and ‘Systems and methods for determining check information’.

First Data additionally owns and or leases a number of physical properties that are key to its activities. This includes 66 domestic properties and 90 international properties, such as sales offices, administrative offices, and operational facilities.

Cost Structure

First Data incurs costs in relation to the development of its intellectual properties and technologies, the procurement of equipment and services, development and maintenance of its IT and communications infrastructure, the operation of its office network, the management of its intermediary and other partnerships, the implementation of marketing schemes, and the retention of its personnel.

In 2015 First Data recorded total operating expenses in the amount of $10.23 billion. This included cost of services totalling $2.87 billion, cost of products totalling $356 million, and selling, general, and administrative costs totalling $2.29 billion.

Revenue Streams

First Data generates revenue through the provision of various payment and ecommerce solutions to retail, financial, and government organisations. This includes revenue derived from collecting fees for providing processing, loyalty and software services, and the sale and lease of point-of-sale devices.

In 2015 First Data generated revenue of $11.45 billion, up marginally on the $11.15 billion recorded by the Company in 2014. The bulk of the Company’s revenue, around 58%, was generated by its Global Business Solutions segment. The Company’s Global Financial Solutions and Network and Security Solutions segments each accounted for 21% of the its revenue.

Our team

Frank Bisignano,
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

info: Frank has served as Chief Executive Officer at First Data since joining the Company in 2013, and has been the Company’s Chairman since 2014. He oversees the Company’s overall strategic direction. Bisignano is an experienced financial executive. He has served in senior executive positions at several high-profile institutions, including spells as Chief Executive Officer at Citigroup’s Global Transactions Services business, a member of Citigroup’s Management Committee, as well as Co-Chief Operating Officer for JPMorgan Chase and Co, Chief Executive Officer of Mortgage Banking at JPMorgan Chase and Co, Chief Administrative Officer at JPMorgan Chase and Co. Prior to joining Citigroup, Bisignano worked at First Fidelity Bank from 1990 to 1994, where he was Executive Vice President overseeing technology and operations, and later Chief Consumer Lending Officer.

Himanshu Patel,
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

info: Himanshu has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at First Data since joining the Company in 2013. He is responsible for leading the Company’s various financial functions, including its internal audit and investor relations units. Patel was previously a long-serving employee of JPMorgan Chase and Co, where he held roles of increasing responsibility from 1997. This included spells as Executive Vice President of Strategy, Planning and Business Development, Managing Director leading strategy for the mortgage banking division, and Senior Equity Analyst.

Christine Larsen,
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

info: Christine has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at First Data since joining the Company in 2013. She leads the Company's global operations, overseeing 13,000 employees. Larsen previously held senior leadership positions at Citigroup, where she led a number of teams and units, including spells as including Head of High-Net-Worth Operations with Smith Barney, Co-Head of Global Operations for the Global Investment Bank and Head of Client Delivery for Global Transaction Services. Prior to joining First Data, Larsen served as Head of Operational Control at JPMorgan Chase and Co from 2011 to 2013.