First Data Buys Perka, Posts Q3 Loss

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

First Data Corporation today reported its financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2013. Consolidated revenue for the third quarter was $2.7 billion, up $38 million, or 1%, compared to a year ago, primarily driven by a $32 million increase in reimbursable debit network fees, postage and other. Adjusted revenue, which excludes certain items including debit network fees, increased $14 million, or 1%, year-over-year to $1.7 billion.

For the third quarter, the net loss attributable to First Data was $220 million, compared to a loss of $212 million a year ago. Improved operating profit and lower interest expense were offset by a $98 million dollar change in the provision for income taxes. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (adjusted EBITDA) was $627 million, up $19 million, or 3%, compared to $608 million in the third quarter of 2012, driven by revenue growth in both the U.S. and International businesses. 

For the quarter, First Data generated $23 million in operating cash flow, after $566 million in cash interest payments, and finished the quarter with $1.0 billion in unrestricted liquidity.

“We introduced a new point-of-sale solution earlier this month at the Money2020 conference in Las Vegas – Clover™ Station,” said First Data CEO Frank Bisignano. “Clover Station not only represents nine months of dedicated engineering focus, but also further demonstrates that First Data is committed to innovate with our clients, incubate new technologies with developers, and drive greater business success for our clients and partners.”

First Data Corporation, a global leader in electronic commerce and payment processing, also today announced the company has acquired Perka, provider of a smart loyalty program that was named one of the Most Innovative Companies in 2013.1 Perka became a First Data subsidiary on Oct. 4, 2013, and continues to operate autonomously as an innovative entrepreneurial company led by its current management and product development team. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Perka is a mobile marketing and consumer loyalty platform that helps small to medium-sized merchants engage their customers with location-based smartphone apps. The Perka Punchcard service and Perka Flexpoints for retail stores and sit-down restaurants deliver sustainable and highly personal marketing and incentive programs to consumers. The cloud-hosted platform features merchant-validated transactions, triggered offers, mobile messaging, and retail customer relationship data for the merchant.

"The loyalty industry is rapidly moving from being proprietary and closed to open and interconnected. This shift opens up tremendous opportunities for small and mid-sized businesses to run virtually the same mobile marketing programs as major brands,” said Alan Chung, chief executive officer, Perka. “We’re excited to join forces with First Data to revolutionize the loyalty space and level the playing ground for smaller merchants with the Perka platform.”

Based in New York City and Portland, Ore., Perka operates loyalty programs for businesses ranging from neighborhood coffee shops to ultra-modern retailers and supports active merchants in all 50 U.S. states, Canada, the U.K., Australia, Africa and Latin America.

“Perka is a strong addition to the offerings we have for our merchants today and we welcome them to the First Data product family,” said Guy Chiarello, president, First Data. “Loyalty is a critical component of the seamless shopping experience that consumers are demanding as they engage with mobile phones more than ever. With Perka’s open and scalable platform, merchants of any size now have agility to customize a mobile loyalty marketing program that works for their business needs.”

How Perka Works
Perka is an easy-to-use alternative to the old-fashioned paper punch card. Merchants create a unique set of loyalty rewards and incentives tailored to their business. When a customer makes a purchase at a participating merchant, they check in using the free Perka smartphone app or by sending an SMS text message. The check-in displays the customer name and how actively they shop on the merchant’s mobile tablet, webpage or linked point-of-sale system.

This personal interaction helps merchants get to know their regular customers even better. The merchant validates each purchase and the consumer continues to collect points until redeemed for selected perks. Business owners can also deliver custom messages and special offers directly to customers’ phones that encourage repeat visits and additional sales.

1Fast Company magazine, Perka named one of the Most Innovative Companies in the Local Category

Around the world, every second of every day, First Data makes payment transactions secure, fast and easy for merchants, financial institutions and their customers. First Data leverages its vast product portfolio and expertise to drive customer revenue and profitability. Whether the choice of payment is by debit or credit card, gift card, check or mobile phone, online or at the checkout counter, First Data takes every opportunity to go beyond the transaction. More information about the company is available on as well as on TwitterLinkedIn,Facebook and YouTube.