First Data
2.6 of 5 385 reviews
www.firstdata.com Atlanta, GA 5000+ Employees

First Data Reviews

Updated Apr 14, 2014
First Data – Atlanta – “First Data HQ”

All Employees Current Employees Only

2.6 385 reviews

                             

29% Approve of the CEO

(no image)

Frank Bisignano

(85 ratings)

36% of employees recommend this company to a friend
385 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in

Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Great co-workers depending on your team and relatively good work/life balance"
    in 16 reviews
  • "Able to work from home (just not every day) and hours are open"
    in 15 reviews
Cons:
  • "Senior management has no vision or ability to direct employees"
    in 17 reviews
  • "High expectations and time commitements - Can impact work life balance negatively"
    in 8 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

  • Culture & Values
         
  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • Approves of CEO

 

An Important Professional Player in the Payments Space

Regional Sales Manager (Former Employee)
Englewood, CO

I worked at First Data full-time for more than 3 years

ProsMany good people who know a lot about payments and payments processing work here, so it is a wonderful company to learn the business. If there's something you are curious about in either issuing or acquiring, there is someone here who knows it. This is a great place to learn a lot about a dynamic and necessary industry.

ConsThis is a digital world, so you better enjoy technology and integrated solutions or you will struggle to keep up with it all. There is much to learn but it's not particularly complicated, unless you deal in a specific area of specialized expertise. It is important to read the landscape of knowledge workers and "doers," and also to fit into the culture. First Data is a company where nice matters more than results-oriented change agents. Boat-rockers will be excommunicated. It is a team and family culture. Expenses have been tight since being purchased by KKR private investment money and the debt-servicing is heavy, so there is always pressure on the numbers.

Advice to Senior ManagementLessen the debt load.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Learned a ton about the payments, issuing and acquiring industry.

Relationship Manager, Enterprise Accounts (Former Employee)
Atlanta, GA

I worked at First Data full-time for more than a year

ProsMet and worked with some great people.

ConsCompany has flat line growth and needs to turn this around fast! Brought in new C-level management to clean house and get a sales focus while at the same time try and become a market innovator.

Advice to Senior ManagementRemove the blinders and think outside the box. Begin to have more of a Marketing focus vs. simply Treasury focus.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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  • Culture & Values
         
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Great group of people working together to make a difference but concerned about the direction/approach of the company.

Director of Product Management (Current Employee)
Atlanta, GA

I have been working at First Data full-time for more than a year

Pros- Decent pay compared to other companies
- Great work life balance
- Smart group of people working within the company.

Cons- Moves very slow and is losing its edge to faster and more agile companies in the space.
- Sitting on the impression that it has a great merchant base, but might lose its edge if it does not change the way it does business.

Advice to Senior ManagementOverall company structure needs to change to turn around and make the company successful. Just cutting small corners and penny pinching is not the way to turn the company around and make it profitable.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Avoid

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at First Data full-time for more than 10 years

ProsColleagues are diligent, warm, honest, committed

ConsManagement above directors are clueless. Because they are constantly being "realigned" or " reengineered" they have very little knowledge, or interest in some cases, about what their subordinates do or need to have to deliver effectively. There are constant layoffs. People are leaving on their own in droves. Benefits have been reduced. There is a huge debt on which we are paying only interest, not on principal.

Advice to Senior ManagementGive up.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Not a technology company

Director (Former Employee)
Hagerstown, MD

I worked at First Data full-time for more than 3 years

ProsSome good people who are talented and hard working mostly at director and below

ConsWorst management team (VP and above) I have seen in my experience. VPs are constantly stabbing in the back of other teams or their own teams to save their job and title. Some VPs call themselves principal architects or technologists who don't even understand the basics of enterprise architecture or follow latest industry trends. These so-called leaders do not grow or allow others to grow no matter what you do for their organization. These are opportunists who take credit for your work or cover-up to protect their jobs or setup barriers if they sense insecurity. I did not run into any VP or above leader who I can associate with as a business leader or mentor.

Advice to Senior ManagementGet rid of the VPs who are inefficient, talk too much with out delivering anything, have proven track record of ruining organizations, who hold on to their domain as they do not know anything different, tried to set some failed standards in IT. Your best bet are those hardworking employees director and below who are contributing their best in running your company. Advice to talented technologists, try for outside opportunity - heard that outside offers are 40-50k more than what you are currently making at FDC.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Quality Assurance/ Final Tester

QA Final Test (Current Employee)
Marietta, GA

I have been working at First Data full-time for more than a year

ProsFirst Data was a good experience for me, First time in the Financial Services industry. My pass
experience help me transition very well.

ConsAt First Data it's no room for advancement in the Quality area. Need to be a little more challenge for me.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Great place to work if you are okay with aging technology and occasional upper management headaches

Software Applications Engineer (Former Employee)
Austin, TX

I worked at First Data as a contractor for less than a year

Pros- Flexibility. Able to work from home (just not every day) and hours are open.

- People. All the people at the local Austin office are very nice and good at what they do (the corporate overlords are a different story).

- Process. Code is reviewed and the software design process used is pretty solid and easy to work with.

- You're not just given an assignment and told to complete it. You have a lot of power in what you decide to work on (to a degree, of course) and everyone shares the large workload and tackles a part of it.

Cons- Often takes way too long to get something done if you have to rely on corporate or an off-site team to complete a task.

- Software lacks architecture/API documentation and since most of the code is Perl, it's easy to get lost. New hires take an uncomfortably long time (usually a year) before they are at least semi-proficient. It's really hard to gain momentum and feel productive when 80% of your development time is spent trying to understand what X is, why you would want to use Y, and how Z works.

- Development is done on remote servers and there's no support for modern developer tools. The only tools supported are archaic (CVS, emacs). You can usually manage to find a way to get a semi modern toolset to function, but you'll be missing on all the great features such as auto-complete, etc. that those tools provide.

- Corporate-provided tools/sites/processes are absolutely awful to work with and are fragmented. Half the time I had trouble accessing what I needed and I often didn't know what tool I needed to complete a job (ie filing a support ticket).

I eventually got used to dealing with all the cons and it was a tough decision for me whether to stay or move on. Ultimately it came down to that I am not interested in web development and there was too much of it for me here. Also the continual frustration I experienced when working with this code contributed to my leaving. But I still think it's a great place to work and I don't regret the time I spent there.

Advice to Senior ManagementGet lean. Your upper management is awful and regularly make decisions that hurt productivity of developers. And fix your abysmal set of tools. With how large the company is, it's inexcusable that it takes so long and is so frustrating to do something that should be quick and simple.

But local management in Austin is doing an outstanding job, and is doing all in their power to make things better. They are still tied down to the whims of upper management though, and that makes it frustrating for everyone.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Great, only because it was and internship.

Intern (Former Employee)
Englewood, CO

I worked at First Data full-time for less than a year

ProsGreat Start up Job

ConsLocation might be changed

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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A really poor place to work.

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at First Data full-time

ProsUndercover Parking right across from the Light Rail.

ConsExtremely cut throat environment. Senior Management does not appear to align its' goals resulting in a chaotic workplace. Vice President frequently tells team they do a poor job! He also has stated that if you don't like it there to quit and they wonder why there is a loss of seasoned employees? FD is completely unconcerned about their employees and run around like the keystone cops.

Advice to Senior ManagementStop managing by fear. Focus on earning profits and cut the crazy politics. You don't deserve your salaries.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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This company is the worst place to work in Information Technology ever.

Systems Engineer II (Former Employee)
Omaha, NE

I worked at First Data full-time for more than 3 years

Prosnon-mgmt co-workers were good people for the most part. definitely have higher IQ's than management.

ConsComplete dysfunction. Extreme and gross incomptence at all levels of management. The This company has been doomed since KKR did a leveraged buy-out on it and turned it into a debt laden disaster in 2007, which the current employees are paying for. 401K matching canceled by JP Morgan moron. (The best employees immediately bailed) Personal days taken away, health benefits being stripped. You'll hear "that's not my responsibility" when bringing problems to some directors or you wlil hear a lot of words out of their mouth like they're writing a B.S. thesis for an English class. Talking does not equal solving. Infighting among directors. Extreme disorganziation/constant re-orgs with flawed or no logic behind them. Most Directors and VP's are self-serving sociopaths or just couldn't get an equivalent paying job somewhere else. Don't bother taking issues or problems to them. They will look at you with a blank stare or push it off on someone else. Pushy/irritating off-shore contractor co-workers with poor communication skills. This place has warped change management into a cumbersome and hoop jumping time waster. Extreme paranoia from management regarding all technical work. Old technology. Too much work (compounded by a top heavy ITIL implementation), too little people, and ZERO leadership. I could go on for a few more days, but you get the point- this place is a massive fail! Do NOT work here NO MATTER WHAT!

Advice to Senior Managementmany of you belong on the streets or in prison.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at First Data reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for First Data CEO Frank Bisignano. All 385 reviews posted anonymously by First Data employees.