Press releases

Paysafe appoints Afshin Yazdian as CEO of its U.S. Acquiring division

Jun 25, 2020

Yazdian’s appointment completes a new executive leadership team in Paysafe’s global payment processing business

London, UK & Houston, USA – Paysafe, a leading specialized payments platform, today announced the appointment of Afshin Yazdian as CEO of its newly formed U.S. Acquiring division. Joining on July 1st, Yazdian will be charged with bringing to life Paysafe’s vision of being the U.S.’s leading payments solutions provider. 

Mr. Yazdian has over two decades of leadership experience in payments. Most recently, he was President of Priority Payment Systems (PPS), a Georgia-based payments technology company serving over 174,000 merchants throughout America. Before that, he served as President and CEO of New York-based Cynergy Data before its merger with PPS. Earlier in his career, he worked for iPayment for over a decade as Executive Vice President and General Counsel and was instrumental in the formation of the company – itself acquired by Paysafe in 2018.¹

The appointment of Yazdian completes the executive leadership team for Paysafe’s recently restructured Payment Processing business unit, which now operates as two, distinct customer-focused divisions. Yazdian takes charge of the U.S. Acquiring division, leading Paysafe’s third party and direct channels; meanwhile, Paulette Rowe² serves as CEO of its global Integrated and Ecommerce Solutions division. Both divisions report directly into Paysafe Group CEO Philip McHugh.

Rowe, who was recently named as one of PaymentsSource’s “most influential women in payments, joined Paysafe earlier this year and previously worked for Facebook as its Head of Payments and Financial Services Partnerships, and before that Barclaycard. Her appointment to Paysafe’s executive leadership team is designed to accelerate the company’s global integrated payment offerings and cement Paysafe as a leading provider of ecommerce solutions

Before the appointments of Rowe and Yazdian, Paysafe’s global Payment Processing division was headed-up by industry veteran, O.B. Rawls³, who moves into retirement at the end of June after a career in payments spanning almost four decades.

Philip McHugh, CEO of Paysafe Group, commented: “
We’re delighted to complete our executive leadership team in payment processing with the appointment of Afshin. The current COVID-19 outbreak poses significant challenges for our direct merchant customers as well as our ISO and Agent partners, and we’re confident that Afshin, with his track record of building and managing high growth organizations, and his laser focus on customer service, will ensure that we all emerge stronger as the market stabilizes. 

Paulette is also an incredible operator and inspirational leader and possesses vast and highly relevant payments experience. She has already had a major impact since joining the team earlier this year.

I would also like to express my heartfelt thanks to O.B. – he is a true payments legend and has made an irrefutable mark on both Paysafe and the industry in general. We wish him good health and much happiness in his retirement, and he will be missed by all of us.”

Commenting on his appointment, Afshin Yazdian said: “I am incredibly excited to join the Paysafe family, a company I have long admired and an organization I believe is well-positioned for incredible growth and expansion. We will strive to rapidly change the payments industry and become the leading provider of payment solutions in the U.S. by both utilizing technology and focusing on an exceptional customer experience.  


Notes to editors:

¹ Afshin Yazdian’s biography in full
Afshin joins Paysafe as its CEO, U.S. Acquiring, on July 1st, 2020, bringing over two decades’ leadership experience in payments.

Most recently, he was President of Priority Payment Systems (PPS), a Georgia-based payments technology company serving over 174,000 American merchants. Before that, he held the role of President and CEO of New York-based Cynergy Data until its merger with PPS in 2014.  Earlier in his career, he served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of iPayment and was instrumental in the formation of the company – itself acquired in by Paysafe in 2018.

Afshin holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School in Atlanta and a Juris Doctor (JD) law degree from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida.

²About Paulette Rowe, CEO Integrated and Ecommerce Solutions, Paysafe
Paulette, a high-profile leader in the payments industry, brings over 20 years’ international experience and deep knowledge of the payments eco-system and payments technology to Paysafe. 

Before joining Paysafe she was Head of Payments and Financial Services Partnerships for Facebook where she was tasked with enabling Facebook to accept payments across nearly 200 markets and supporting the build of new commerce and payment propositions across Facebook’s family of apps, including WhatsApp and Instagram. In this role she also led the global business development effort which selected and signed payment partners in the U.S. and other markets.

Prior to joining Facebook, she ran Barclaycard Payment Solutions, Europe’s second largest merchant payment processor. Before Barclaycard, she held roles at GE Capital, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Tesco Personal Finance (now Tesco Bank) and NBNK Investments. Paulette is also currently a Non-Executive Director of the FTSE 100-listed United Utilities Group plc.

Paulette was recently named one of the most influential women in payments by PaymentsSource (March 2020).  She was also named as one of the UK’s top 10 most influential people of African or African Caribbean heritage in the 2019 and 2020 Power List and is also listed in the Digital Banking Club’s Power 50 – a list of the most influential thought leaders in European financial services.

³About O.B. Rawls IV, CEO, Global Payment Processing, Paysafe until end-June 2020
O.B.’s vast career in financial services and payments spans 35 years.

Most recently, as Paysafe’s CEO, Global Payment Processing, O.B. was responsible for the overall performance of Paysafe’s acquiring business worldwide including integrated payments, Agent/ISO, petroleum, iGaming and specialized acquiring.  Before that, he served as Chief Executive Officer and President of iPayment, Inc., and led the successful sale of the business to Paysafe in June 2018. 

Prior to joining iPayment, O.B. led all third-party distribution for First Data North America, a global leader in commerce-enabling technology and solutions, serving approximately six million business locations and 4,000 financial institutions in 118 countries around the world. He has also held senior level executive roles with TASQ, Hypercom, and Bank of America Merchant Services.

About Paysafe
Paysafe is a leading specialized payments platform. Its core purpose is to enable businesses and consumers to connect and transact seamlessly through industry-leading capabilities in payment processing, digital wallet, card issuing, and online cash solutions.

With over 20 years of online payment experience, an annualized transactional volume of over US $85 billion, and approximately 3,000 employees located in 12+ global locations, Paysafe connects businesses and consumers across 200 payment types in over 40 currencies around the world.

Delivered through an integrated platform, Paysafe solutions are geared toward mobile-initiated transactions, real-time analytics and the convergence between brick-and-mortar and online payments.

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For further information, please contact:
Kate Aldridge: Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Paysafe Group
T: +44 750 079 7547/