Meet the Mid-Market Elite

Superior growth rates, a track record of innovation, an exceptional corporate culture, charismatic leadership, compelling business models—these are some of the qualities we sought in choosing the Chief Executive’s Mid-Market Elite. Applying that criteria, our researchers and judges selected 100 companies that stand out amid the middle-market universe.

January 10 2014 by Steve Rosenbaum


Bluefin Payment Systems: Banking on Security


“I would never ask someone on my team to do something that I am not willing to do myself, and that includes calling a prospect or explaining a problem to a key client.”

In a society where the dollar volume of the online ecosystem increases at an exponential rate, the issue of data security looms large. Entities ranging from merchants and schools to health clubs, non-profits and faith-based organizations demand highly innovative and secure methods to receive payments online. A provider of secure-payment technologies, Atlanta-based Bluefin Payment Systems, serves this rapidly growing business imperative.

A decade ago, founder Ruston Miles (today, Bluefin’s senior vice president and chief of product innovation) was quick to understand that the growth of the World Wide Web and various mobile technologies were taking off while the arrangement for how people and organizations made payments lagged behind. Recognizing the potential of payment technology, Miles developed a system that helped customers feel more secure about their transactions and made processing two to three times faster than traditional methods. Today, the company’s security suite includes point-to-point encryption (P2PE), transparent redirection, tokenization and store-and-convert processes, and it is partnered with over 100 software companies and serves 15,000 merchants.

“We provide simplicity in payment integration,” explains CEO John Perry, “that allows small businesses the same type of cost savings, access to data and service that, in the past, were only available to much larger companies.”

Perry, a West Point graduate, who also holds an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, sees his role as CEO as symbiotically connected to that of Miles. “I am an innovative leader,” says Perry, “[who] is willing to try different things in motivating my team or adjusting our business model. I am not an inventor.” This management model has paid off. Bluefin’s revenues have had a compound, annual growth rate north of 90 percent over the last three years.

The cross disciplines of innovation and managerial acumen should fuel Bluefin’s future growth. “We are adding new products and solutions that allow our clients to grow their businesses using our mobile-payments software,” says Perry, “and, at the same time, [to] ensure they have one of the best and most secure products in the payments industry using P2PE.”