A native of Cincinnati, John Romer’s professional experience began when he graduated from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. After spending some time teaching at IU, he brought his MBA background in finance to Fifth Third Bank.
When John arrived at Fifth Third in 1985, John began working in payments, starting with assignments in Treasury Management and then working to support their Jeanie ATM network and debit card processing business. In 1992, Fifth Third became focused on growing its merchant business, and John’s first order of business was to help jumpstart their national merchant processing program. That business evolved into Fifth Third Processing Solutions. During this time, John was responsible for merchant product development, request for proposal (RFP) support, and business development. Fifth Third grew the program from a small group of clients to one of the largest merchant processing programs in the country.
During his time at Fifth Third, numerous merchants were acquired, including Macy’s, The Kroger Co., Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, CVS, Walgreens, Barnes and Noble, Circuit City, Target, Bon Ton, Kohl’s, TJX, Dillard’s, Giant Eagle, Belk and many others. These clients often had unique support needs that the industry’s processors were unable to fulfill. John worked with a broad group of clients, IT, account management and other industry experts to develop solutions to these problems.
Subsequently, Fifth Third sold a portion of its processing business, and the new business adopted its current name, Vantiv. At Vantiv, John began developing PCI encryption and support tools which led to a client program servicing more than 240,000 merchants.
In 2011, John transitioned out of Vantiv and began working as a payments advisor with several Independent Sales Organization (ISOs). In this role, he partnered with payments processors and third party service providers to help these organizations target a broad array of smaller merchants. John also worked with a wide array of industry experts, including Pat Moran. This relationship led to John joining BlackLine Advisory Group as a Director.
In his work at BlackLine, John handles the merchant side of payment processing. His day-to-day work includes card networks, payment gateways, mergers, acquisitions, and many other tasks, including helping clients get review processing bids and supporting the issuance of RFPs. This support includes working to assist clients in forming new ISO organizations, starting up payment facilitator programs, and evaluating new processing systems, vendors and other payment third parties, as well as assisting with acquisitions and company reviews.