The Green Sheet
January 8, 2018
Delivering more than payments amid disaster
2017 was a record year for natural disasters. Through chaos and hardship, ISOs, service providers and merchant level salespeople (MLSs) extended aid to numerous merchants in harm’s way. The NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) recorded 15 extreme weather and climate events as of Oct. 6, including one drought, one freezing event, two floods, seven severe storms, three tropical cyclones and one wildfire. Previous studies by the government agency indicated the United States has weathered 218 disasters since 1980, at a cost of more than $1.2 trillion. The cost of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, as well as several firestorms that occurred after Oct. 6, are still being assessed.
Scott Teel, Senior Director of Communications at Agility Recovery Solutions Inc., observed it’s not easy to get statistics from regional business failures while entities responsible for commercial studies are preoccupied with rescue efforts. “When you’re involved in the greatest disaster of your life, it really doesn’t matter what the overall statistics tell you,” he said. “The biggest thing we hear from the hundreds of companies we work with, is ‘I never thought it would happen.'”
Teel has seen disasters bring out the best in people, reminding everyone of what matters most. When lives, homes and communities are threatened, people take risks to help others. The quest for survival can spawn innovation and creativity, as people look for new ways to use old tools. Following are stories and recommendations from payments industry leaders, private companies and business recovery specialists who have helped rescue merchants from worst-case scenarios.