Written by Kylie Ross Sibert

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Barbara Ewell Headshot

Barbara Ewell is an anomaly in the credit card processing industry. Where trust is not commonly a word associated with reps, Barbara has set herself apart with her transparency and willingness to share her knowledge.

“I made the decision early on to be transparent with all that I do in this business,” Barbara said. “There was no twisting of words or smoke and mirrors. In my own way I want to bring integrity to this industry which is critical for a business in today’s world. Oftentimes, just giving information to an owner can help them protect themselves from a bad and costly situation. I am happy to give them the information they need to figure out if this person or company is going to be a good fit for them.”

Barbara represents Retriever Merchant Solutions in this area, providing merchant services and credit card processing. Her company has been in the business for over 20 years. They are owned by National Processing Company (NPC). NPC is closely aligned with WorldPay, the processor company.

The range of services she offers along with her focus on customer service is apparent. “I offer a full range of state-of-the-art hardware and software solutions for businesses large and small. I offer my owners very competitive rates and world class customer service. I monitor all of my accounts on a monthly basis to make sure all is well – and if it isn’t – I figure out what the problem is and get it taken care of. I answer my phone anytime and every time…even on Saturday night or Sunday morning! I know when you are running a business – the hour or the day of the week doesn’t matter if something isn’t working!”

Barbara has owned and sold four businesses starting in 2003. Retriever Merchant Solutions was the company she used for merchant services (also known as credit card processing) and in 2013, she had the opportunity to take over the owner’s business when he indicated he wanted to move to Florida. Two weeks of training later, and she was off and running.

“I have helped so many owners recoup dollars that were previously just flying out the door,” Barbara shared. “One of my best days was when I told an owner of two restaurants that I would save him $7,000 per location in one year! He was very skeptical. I broke everything down for him – the types of cards he was taking, the junk fees, his rates, where things were being surcharged but he was still skeptical. By then though, we had built a relationship – it takes a long time to explain that deep dive! I gave him an opportunity to help him and he was truly thankful.”

Barbara never stops learning, especially all of the new solutions that are coming out all of the time. Restaurant and retail POS software is another area that she sees will continue to grow. She wants to be able to teach owners about not getting into a proprietary system and how to do their own research.

Her advice to entrepreneurs is to “do your due diligence, learn as much as you can about your business industry as well as how to run a business, seek out mentors and referral sources from a valued friend or other owners before signing up for any type of vendor service. Stay with it! It is not easy, but few things are that are truly worth it!”

Barbara voluntarily mentors business owners and entrepreneurs through SCORE (along with serving as the Vice Chairman of the Norfolk chapter) and has given educational presentations to both SCORE and Retail Alliance. v

Contact Barbara Ewell at:

Retriever Merchant Solutions