In the age of Square, PayPal, Apple Pay and countless other ways to make a payment digitally, Dustin Magaziner ’15 has built his own institution dedicated to the power of plastic.
Magaziner is the founder and CEO of PayBright, a company skilled in the art and science of processing credit card and debit card payments.
He started out with a men’s clothing store, a client he secured while enrolled at Furman. He’s since built the company into a multistate operation with 45 employees.
“Our road map is to double our size over the next 18 months,” says the New Jersey native.
The idea to launch a payments-processing company came from his father, who ran several retail businesses. During summer breaks, Magazine worked for his dad, sifting through invoices and bills. The younger Magaziner noticed that invoices for the stores’ credit-card processing fees were the most difficult to decipher.
“I noticed that it was a lot of money, and the amount of confusion and misinformation around it was crazy,” Magaziner says.
A brainstorm occurred. If the statements were hard for him to understand, they had to be difficult for others, too. There was a business opportunity lurking — to create a payment processor with fee schedules that didn’t require an engineering degree to calculate.
Thus was born PayBright. The next part was licensing the technology and finding customers, which he did by knocking on doors in Greenville when he wasn’t studying. Company leadership includes three former Furman students: Jake Wolff ’15, Chris Pogue ’15 and Caleb Avery ’14.
These days, Magaziner readily acknowledges how Square has changed how small merchants accept card payments with its now-iconic plastic dongle.
But he believes Square can be beaten.
“They’re the most well-known, but they’re not the only ones,” he says.
Magaziner knows that Venmo rules with millennials in the art of sending money to friends and family for everything from Christmas gifts to tickets to a school football game. And he’s fully aware that the country’s largest banks have billions of dollars at their disposal to make their presence known in the payments market.
Still, Magaziner has his sights set on continued growth. He’s already locked up scores of restaurants in Greenville’s world of fine dining and cuisine, from Trio in downtown Greenville to Flat Rock Grille in the Cherrydale shopping center.
And as he prepares to move PayBright’s headquarters from New Jersey to Raleigh, North Carolina, Magaziner wants to expand into more states, including Tennessee and Texas.
But reflecting on his time at Furman, he recalls one of his favorite mentors, Economics Professor Nathan Cook, with whom he did his senior seminar.
“It was game theory, which shifted the way I view business and making decisions,” remembers Magaziner. “It has helped me tremendously.”
Mock trial at Furman also helped him get where he is today.
“It helped build confidence, my public speaking and analytical thinking,” he says.