Card processing company gives percentage of fees to charity

Wyatt Worden, president and CEO of Telos Payment Processing visits with local clients Ryan Cole and his father Roger, owners of J&I Hitch Co.. (Mark Hancock)

Wyatt Worden, president and CEO of Telos Payment Processing, visits with local clients Ryan and Roger Cole, owners of J&I Hitch and Truck Accessories. (Mark Hancock)

Inspired by the Greek word for “purpose,” Telos Payment Processing serves a higher purpose by making a difference in the world. When a merchant works with the company to process their credit card payments, 50 percent of the fee paid to Telos goes to a nonprofit organization of the merchant’s choice.

A payment processor is a company, typically a third party, chosen by a merchant to handle credit card transactions. The processing company then coordinates the transfer of funds between said merchant’s bank and the customer’s credit card company. Often, the processing company takes out a small fee for its services, with a portion going to the credit card company. While it will still pay the fees of the credit card company, Telos shakes things up in regard to what it does with its portions of the proceeds.

Telos Payment Processing is the special project of President and CEO Wyatt Worden and is based in Norman. A native of Pawnee, Worden graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma. Soon after, he began a payment processing business that he later sold to move overseas and work with an international nonprofit organization, SportForward. He then returned to Norman for a development position at the same company, where he continues to work today. During this time, Worden began developing the idea for Telos, which opened for business late last year.

“Our vision is simple: to turn everyday buying and selling into a powerful fundraising tool for nonprofits around the world. We believe business can work for the greater good as well as the bottom line,” Worden said.

While the company doesn’t lose money due to their donations, they do not have much gain margin.

Worden added that there are no catches for merchants switching to Telos. According to the company’s website, it doesn’t charge an application fee, setup fee or “make up our loss” fee.

Some of Telos’ clients include Blue Seven, LivyLu, J&I Trailer Hitch and Truck Accessories, Hog Wild, The Eye Gallery, Blo and Injectable Aesthetics.

“Most of our clients come to us by word of mouth,” Worden said. “We haven’t done any marketing or advertising yet because we want to grow responsibly and make sure we can adequately service the merchants who choose to partner with us.”

Ryan Cole, general manager for J&I Trailer Hitch and Truck Accessories, said that J&I signed on with Telos last October, have been satisfied with the service thus far and plan on continue using its services in the future.

While the company hasn’t decided on which nonprofit they wish to donate to as of yet, they hope to reach a decision soon.

Tiffany Riley had nothing but positive things to say about Telos and the way they conduct business after switching to the company’s services last June. Riley owns LivyLu, a local clothing line that specializes in collegiate and Oklahomathemed apparel.

Riley said that she was referred to the company by Blue Seven owner Caleb Arter. Blue Seven was Telos’ first customer and sells LivyLu products.

Riley added that the donation was the main draw in switching to the processing company’s services. Through Telos, LivyLu donates to YoungLives, a nonprofit that works with teenage mothers in high school.

“Think of your credit card terminal as an ATM for your favorite charity; every time a customer swipes his or her card, that charity gets a tiny donation not just one month out of the year like Breast Cancer Awareness Month; not just on select products like Tom’s shoes; every single purchase, every single day,” Worden said.

From September to November of last year, Telos gave roughly $4,000 to charity. Worden added that the company’s goal for 2015 is to raise $100,000.

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