Kurt Karjalainen is the owner and president of Premier Merchants Group, LLC — an ATM and bankcard ISR headquartered in Kearney, Neb. Premier has deployed and processes for more than 1,600 ATMs in 24 states. Under Karjalainen’s leadership, Premier’s ATM transaction count has grown by over 400% over the last six years. Karjalainen spearheaded the Wholesale ATM Program, which provides a customized ATM program for over 20 broadline food distributors nationwide. Premier jointly operates the program with Payment Alliance International (PAI).

Karjalainen was a partner and co-founder of Premier Distributing in 1999. He was instrumental in adding ATM and bankcard services to the company, which specialized in phone cards, check services, pay phones, and gift and loyalty cards. In 2008, Karjalainen co-founded Premier Merchants Group and became the company’s sole owner in 2010.

Karjalainen has served as a member of Payment Alliance International’s Market Advantage Committee and is a two-time winner of PAI’s prestigious Vanguard Award. Karjalainen has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Nebraska at Kearney where he was also a two-time All-American wrestler.

  • Education Bachelors degree in Economics University of Nebraska Kearney, NE
  • Outstanding Junior in the Field of Economics University of Nebraska Kearney, NE
  • Two time all American in Wrestling University of Nebraska Kearney,
  • 1999 Partner and Co-founder of Premier Distributing ATM and Credit card processing products.
  • Bought out partners and become sole owner of Premier Distributing ATM and Bankcard assets Creating Premier Merchants Group, LLC
  • Created Food Wholesale partnership program with 20+ Wholesale companies Nations wide with Payment Alliance International, Inc. (PAI)
  • Member of PAI’s MARKET ADVANTAGE COMITY
  • 2 TIME WINNER OF PAI’S VANGUARD AWARD as well as winning numerous awards for fastest growth number of ATM’s purchased and the largest increase in transactions year over year.

The current owner of Premier Merchants Group an Independent ATM deployer doing business in 24 States with more than 1,600 ATM’s.