January 9, 2014 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

As a merchant bank-card processor, American Payment Systems (APS) has a pretty simple guarantee: They’ll lower any merchant’s processing costs, or they’ll write you a check for $500 for just letting them try. “To date,” says CEO Jim Barnes, “we have never written one single check.”

Having grown up in a small south-central Missouri  town just 20 minutes from Arkansas, Barnes reflects old-fashioned values in his business. “Tell the truth,” he says simply, “and treat people the way you want to be treated.” When he decided to quit the family insurance business in 1997 to delve into the world of merchant processing, Barnes noticed that not every company felt the same way.

“Merchants were paying way to much for their processing rates,” he says, “incurring surprise fees and being charged exorbitant costs for credit card terminals and point of sale systems that were just simply not fair to the merchants and business owners.”

The time seemed ripe for the APS model, which includes no application fees, month-to-month contracts, and no cancellation fees. The goal, Barnes explains, is to earn the customer’s business every month. “If we don’t, they can simply go change processors, and no consequences to that merchant.”

The plan seems to be working. Small businesses and large retail chains alike have accounts with APS all over the country. Small wonder, with its wide range of value-added services such as complete point-of-sale systems, check guarantee and check guarantee conversion, merchant cash advances and the increasingly popular mobile devices for merchants on the go. And don’t forget the PinPoint Card headed up by Barnes’ son Aaron. Over 48,000 members have signed up to use the points card at over 120 merchant locations in Omaha.

Barnes credits the business’ success to the employees of APS. “We’ve been so very fortunate to attract and to keep wonderful men and women that believe in the same philosophy that APS was built upon,” he says. A phone call to the office during normal business hours will always reach a “real, live person,” he says proudly, “and of course we have 24/7 tech support.”

And he’ll let you in on a secret. Even during nonpeak hours, a client with an emergency can dial 1 and the cell phone of the CEO himself will ring. “And I answer it,” Barnes says.

Jim Barnes – President / Founder

American Payment Systems, Inc
8605 Q St.
Omaha, NE 68127

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