Tell us a little bit about Aurora Payments:
Aurora Payments is a united network of technology and processing professionals dedicated to providing our partners with customizable and reliable merchant solutions suitable for any business environment. Through innovative technology, we help businesses increase profits and efficiency, and achieve additional opportunities for growth. We have offices in Las Vegas, Tempe, Atlanta, and Miami, and around 175 employees, currently. Additionally, Aurora is proud to be so much more than a “credit card processor.” We build software, integrate with third-party software, and offer a myriad of payment solutions that include text-to-pay and click-to-pay invoicing, as well as ACH payment processing that allows you to pay your own bills or be paid by a customer.
ACH payments are nearly instantaneous, and never bounce, so the whole “the check is in the mail” excuse is no longer an issue. We also provide complete Point-of-Sale systems that can be customized for restaurants, salons, spas, and just about any business you can think of.
What do you wish more people knew about the company?
Aurora has spent years working on our proprietary Next Generation Payment Platform: ARISE. ARISE includes the aforementioned ACH payment options, while also taking payment processing to the next level by including an internal invoicing system with payment links for all sorts of payment types. This is so important as consumers increasingly want more payment options and merchants seek to be paid faster. With the included Customer Vault, recurring payments and subscription renewals are completely automated. ARISE produces meticulous financial reports that help businesses harness their finances like never before.
Our vision of continuing to develop proprietary technology such as ARISE promises our partners unrivaled flexibility and benefits in payment technology, and guarantees we are well-positioned to differentiate ourselves in the financial technology market.
How did you, personally, end up in the transportation industry?
In 1990 I entered the limousine industry as a private chauffeur when I was asked by a friend to fill in as a driver for country western singer, Merle Haggard. Then in 1993, I was hired as the General Manager of The Limousine Scene, a 3-car operation. I led the company through an expansion to 39 vehicles and 86 employees by 2016, at which time I retired. Chosen Payments reached out and invited me to serve as Marketing Manager. The premise was, “who better to market the company than a previous client?” When Chosen Payments was acquired by Aurora Payments, I became the Corporate Communications Manager.
What has been your experience as an ILLBA member?
The ILLBA offers more than most trade associations in the form of in-person networking on a regular basis, and it’s an incredible opportunity for members to introduce themselves to others in the industry, hand out cards like crazy, and share what types of vehicles they operate so they can potentially be considered for affiliate work. Plus the communication about things happening in Illinois that could have an impact on operators is outstanding. The education they’re providing, and the fostering of relationships — such as their monthly coffee chats — exceeds expectations for most trade associations. Everyone should be participating.
Hats off to the ILLBA.
How are you spending your time outside of the business?
Well, I am extremely dedicated to serving as the armchair quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. Outside of that, I love NASCAR and spending time with my 10 grandkids, attending their sports and theatrical events. As a child in the 70’s I actually danced in a troupe that toured around California, so maybe it’s in our blood to be performers.
Any predictions, hopes, or ambitions for the future of our industry?
I believe the evolution of technology and particularly AI will have drastic impacts on the way we do business. Paper checks are slated to become obsolete by 2027, a short three years away. Consumers will continue to gravitate toward Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and other digital wallets as the use of cash has seen a dramatic decline — many sports venues, hotels, and amusement parks have already ditched cash completely. Merchants need to be ready and willing to accept new ways of payment, or your customers will find someone else who is more adaptive to the use of modern technology.