Is Ethix the change you want to see in the world?


“One of the most important vehicles for advancing social change is business,” says Ben Rattray, founder and CEO of, “It’s not that money doesn’t matter, It’s that it’s in service of something much bigger.”

Now imagine what we can do with the BILLIONS of dollars up for grabs in the credit card processing arena. Putting 25% of those fees towards making this world a better place. This is the change we want to see in this world and Ethix is making it happen one client at a time. Join us, help us create the change you want to see as well!
Careers at Ethix

What is Social Enterprise

Social enterprise is the broadening of the purpose of a private enterprise to include supporting the interests of its   local and/or global community.  It really means going beyond a purely private profit motivation in the way we do business.  It has grown steadily in the US and private companies have been eager to forge social enterprise relationships or evolve their own models in order to reap the rewards associated with social responsibility in today’s marketplace.  The next step is to really light a match under the explosive power of consumer spending and allow consumers to make knowledgeable and responsible decision about how they spend.  We at Ethix like to imagine a world where a tiny fraction of every dollar swiped finds it way into health, education, sustainability and all manner of public interests.   And remember, when you are out and about spending money, think about how and where you do that.  It makes all the difference in the world!

Top Five Mystery Facts About Your Merchant Services Account

The merchant services industry is not well known for being clear and transparent about the way it structures fees, leases and rents equipment and handles contracts.  Here are the answers to the five questions we most often run into.



1.  What rates are you paying and where are they on your statement?

Most merchants to do not have a good understanding of how they are being charged and how to decipher their statement to find out.  The industry makes it indecipherable as a way to prevent price comparisons that might loose them accounts.  Pricing is complex and statements often miss vital information that would allow the merchant to understand their fees.

2.  Do I have to switch my terminals if I change my processor?

You might think yes.  Most commonly the answer is no but this is used as a way to make merchants think that they have to stay with the processor who originally delivered their equipment.  You can change processors and keep your equipment in about 90% of cases with the exceptions being some more complex POS systems.

3.  Do I have to wait for my contract to expire to switch?

Simply put – NO!  You can switch anytime and may have to pay an early termination fee but that will likely be reimbursed by the new processor.

4.  Are you paying too much for your equipment?

Some processors deliver aggressive rates on transactions but charge hefty sums for equipment leasing.  These leasing contracts can amount to thousands of dollars over their term on equipment that is worth a couple of hundred bucks in most cases.  Ouch!  When you are asking yourself if you are getting a good deal, be sure and include leasing costs in the equation.

5.  Will switching processors affect my POS system?

No.  You might have to use something called middleware to translate between your POS system and your processing but you can, in most cases, switch processors and save a significant amount of money every month.  If you think your locked in, check.  You are probably not.

The bottom line is your bottom line.  It’s worth spending a few minutes finding out if you can get a better deal.  It is usually hundreds or thousands of dollars a year difference and we know you hate dealing with it, but drop us a line.  We are nice and we can help 🙂


The Man With A Vision- Steve Patzkowski CEO

We’re all here because of our Chief Executive Officer’s vision and purpose. He envisioned the very financial institution that he has worked for many years, the merchant services industry evolving into an ethical solution to the economy. This was an unbelievable thought at first when the large banks were crumbling our US economy and making headlines doing so. He believed that we could remove the greed and run a business with good intentions and transparency. This would gain the trust back from the people and with our fair, low rates save them money and help the success of America’s small businesses. On top of it all, we give 25% of our revenues to non-profits of the merchant’s choice. Talk about power to the people!

Steve has great ideas no doubt, but is also a spiritual man that leads us in our business and social purpose. He is welcoming and a real leader with an abundance of knowledge and positive energy to share. He welcomes each new sales representative and make himself available to the entire Ethix team with weekly live broadcasts, forums and more. Follow Ethix and the team on our website blog, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to see how we are helping communities and broadening our social impact.


If You Could Give To Charity……?

If you could give to charity, where would you send your generous donation? What if you could help that charitable organization raise money just by spreading the word in you daily conversations? What if all of this could be done without costing you or the other donors any money out-of-pocket?

Ethix Merchant Services makes this possible to anyone that processes credit cards for their business.  We donate 25% of the revenue we make from each merchant account to your choice of charitable organizations. Even if you don’t own a business yourself, you can help spread the word and our community outreach materials to raise funds for your cause. Once businesses know that this is something they can do to help their communities, they will make an easy switch of credit card processors joining the socially responsible movement and feel great knowing a check will be sent monthly to their cause in their behalf.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” ― Maya Angelou

Why I Love My Job

Waking up to an alarm used to be hard. I really needed that coffee and was looking for motivation. Yet waking up is easier and coffee is shared with friendly co-workers now and well, I found that motivation in a brick & mortar, repurposed building in the Jack London Square neighborhood of Oakland, CA and within a purpose driven company. I manage this office with pride and enjoy my duties as a community officer.

I love the impact my job has on the world. Just by coming into work and committing to my job and my company’s mission, I make a difference in the world. I may have saved a charitable organization from having to close it’s doors. That organization may be housing, inspiring or keeping safe the world’s next Gandhi, Mother Theresa or Steve Jobs. I know that we might save a small business enough in fees that they can hire another full-time employee. That is HUGE to anyone in the unemployment line!

I work with great people doing great things. I am connecting with new non-profits and causes that inspire me and meeting community partners that have enough passion to save entire little leagues and school music programs! It’s just getting better and I’m so happy to be a part of this movement. I am proud to say I work for Ethix Merchant Services, a socially responsible company.


Brooke Thivierge

CCO- Chief Community Officer & Office Manager

Ethix Merchant Services


Ethix for Schools

Education is part of our core mission here at Ethix and raising money for schools is a Community Partnership program that we are very excited about.

Most schools are already raising money from parents or their local community to save academic, athletic, artistic and after school programs that not covered by the ever declining education budgets.  Ethix is a powerful new tool in your efforts to give your kids a well rounded and comprehensive education that will help them imagine the future that they deserve.

We work with PTA and other school groups to assist you in introducing Ethix to business owners, be they parents or merchants in your local community.  We handle all aspects of the conversion of these businesses to the Ethix Program  and start sending your group the 25% donation monthly.  That is cash, residual income that you can rely on and put to work supporting your kids and your community.

Read more about the Ethix Community Partnership and drop us a line if you think this program will work for you.

Ethix Merchants Stand Out as Social Impact Champions!

Allison Cebulla of HumanKind

We like to think that Ethix is a different kind of company, but what is also true is that our merchants are different kinds of companies too.  This is Alison Cebulla of HumanKind Fair Trade.  She was one of the very first merchants to sign up with Ethix and that was just one small part of the work she is doing to build community, give back and do the right thing.  Check out this article on her work in The Tribune

Ethix Non-Profit Partnership Goes to Work for Sexually Exploited Youth


Ethix is a big fan of MISSSEY.  An Oakland based non-profit serving sexually exploited youth.  We supported them in their Christmas campaign to gather gifts for young girls who are being rehabilitated after being sexually exploited on the streets of Oakland, California.  This week I had the opportunity to meet with Nola Brantley who co-founded the organization with Emily Hamman.  This is one of the things I love about working with Ethix.  Nola was excited to learn about how Ethix works with non-profits to support them in developing reliable residual income from their existing community of supporters.  Katie McCobb, one of our Bay Area Ethix Community Reps, will be supporting MISSSEY in an outreach to their network to encourage business owners to switch to Ethix and designate MISSSEY as the recipient of their monthly donations.  Katie already volunteers for the organization and is passionate about supporting their work.

We will keep you in the loop on how this project progresses and be sure and let us know if you have a business and are interested in supporting MISSSEY or any organization you are passionate about.

Ethix Wins SF Bay Area Social Enterprise Alliance Pitch Night

SEA Pitch NightOn Tuesday of last week I received an email letting me know that Ethix had been selected to present at the Social Enterprise Alliance Pitch Night in San Francisco.  I had been eagerly awaiting the news as it had been some time since I had completed the lengthy application to be included in this event.   I was excited and started to think about what I wanted to say about our company.

Social Enterprise Alliance is “An alliance of leaders across sectors advancing social enterprise to benefit communities.”  This is very much in our wheel house here at Ethix and I was looking forward to the opportunity to get feedback and insight from this audience.  Thursday came around and I headed over the bridge from our Oakland office and into the city.  On arriving, I was welcomed by Antonio Aguilera, President of the SEASF Board and Jan Cohen, a veteran social entrepreneur and SEA Board Member who spoke with myself and the other pitchers about how to make an effective presentation on our young companies.  We picked numbers to determine the order of our pitches and settled in with a packed house to commence the contest.

I pitched second of five and was inspired by everything I heard that night.  It is really amazing to be a part of the Bay Area’s vibrant community of changemakers.  At the end of the evening the audience was asked to vote.  Ethix and Yellow Leaf Hammocks came out in a dead tie for first place in the first vote.  It was very exciting.  In the run off vote, Ethix took the day!

This has been such a powerful validation for myself and my amazing team of partners who are working to build this company.  We know that we are doing something powerful through re purposing a much maligned model in financial services to make it work for communities but it is really meaningful to share that and have it validated by an organization like Social Enterprise Alliance.  I feel very appreciative of the opportunity and pretty psyched about the results.