Elavon’s Mike Passilla: Customer service is key.
A smart plan for merchant
By Tim Talevich
ELAVON, THE COMPANY that provides the merchant credit-card processing program offered by
Costco, recently promoted Mike Passilla to the position of president and chief executive officer. The
Connection contacted Passilla for a brief Q&A about
Elavon’s continuing relationship with Costco and
Passilla’s goals as chief of one of the leading global
MP: We look for companies with strong brand
equity that value customer service, and we create
powerful alliances to market our services through
their brand to customers. Costco has been a successful relationship because 90 percent of our market focus is the same small-business segment that
counts on Costco’s partnership values.
Costco Connection: Costco’s relationship with
Elavon is a solid 13 years and counting. Why is this a
Mike Passilla: So much has changed in the payments industry in 13 years, but one thing remains
certain: the importance of customer service. Costco
always has customers’ best interests and needs top of
mind, and people believe in the Costco brand and
the products and services that Costco offers through
With Elavon, Costco members have come to
understand that they can count on the same level
of service expectations from Elavon as they do
from Costco—because Costco wouldn’t have it
any other way.
CC: Times are tough for small businesses. What
role does a good merchant credit-card processing program play in terms of a “survival kit”?
MP: From security solutions and innovative
applications for gift cards that help build customer
loyalty to education about new laws and requirements to keep businesses safe, a survival tool kit
should offer small businesses an opportunity to
understand the total cost of card acceptance while
delivering excellent service to protect their bottom line.
CC: What is Elavon’s formula for success—that is,
the blueprint for what it does?
CC: You’re in charge now. What’s next?
MP: We will continue building on our success
with Costco and delivering expert knowledge to
our small-business merchants with regard to
industry changes that impact their business and
solutions to help them make the most of their payment processing. C
BEING ABLE TO accept
credit-card transactions can
be a great tool for any small
business. Costco has partnered with Elavon to make
accepting credit cards more
affordable. The program’s
key features include:
• Businesses can accept
Visa, MasterCard, American
Express, Discover, debit
cards and corporate purchasing cards.
• In most cases, businesses can use their existing
equipment or opt to purchase
or lease through Elavon.
Costco members receive discounted prices on equipment.
• There are no high-cost
contracts. (Contracts are for
two years and can be cancelled for just $95.)
• All costs and fees are
given up front—there are no
hidden fees. Costs include:
a one-time activation fee of
$25 (waived for Executive
Members); a $4.95 monthly
statement fee (waived for
Executive Members); a processing rate based on the
type of transaction; and a
small charge per transaction.
There are no batch fees, and
basic online merchant
account access is free.
• Live customer service
is available 24 hours a day,
seven days a week.
For more information on
the program, including a list
of actual transaction fee rates,
Or call toll-free 1-800-848-6705
and enter code 83120.—TT
OCTOBER 2010 ;e Costco Connection 73