Payment processing is a fast-paced, dynamic business that offers unlimited opportunities for agents and ISOs to build a business with robust recurring revenue. Selling credit card processing today is less about price and more about solutions. As an agent, finding the right ISO to work with is crucial to building a great portfolio. This article is intended to help you evaluate which ISO program best fits your needs.
Did you know that industry statistics report that 80% of merchant accounts are opened by Independent Sales Organizations? With retail banks capturing only 20% of merchant accounts today, the market for independent agents to sell credit card processing has never been better. However, there are challenges. Companies such as Square and Stripe have been disruptive to the payment ecosystem. For agents, it isn’t hip to be Square, but with the right offering, you can compete and win.
Where to Start as an Agent
The role of an agent is to sell processing services, various software/hardware solutions, and create a bridge between merchants and payment processors. There’s plenty of revenue opportunities for agents. With nearly all businesses accepting electronic payments, the size of the market is enormous. E-commerce is a rapidly expanding vertical as more and more companies sell online. This is why it is vitally important to take the time to find the right ISO partnership. If the ISO does not have deep expertise in card not present CNP (e-commerce), card present CP (brick-and-mortar), and business to business B2B, your ability to compete in all areas of commerce is compromised.
What should you look for as an agent? There are many factors to consider beyond commissions. Having a dedicated agent support team so that you can stay focused on selling with confidence while your back-office team handles the details is critical. This back-office team should also be experienced in customer service and retention because happy merchants increase your earning potential. If you are a new sales agent, you will want to find an ISO with a strong training program. If you are an experienced merchant sales agent, having access to a broad range of products will help you open more doors and close more deals.
The best ISOs will offer you the ability to:
- • Book any merchant account from low-risk to e-commerce to high-risk
- • Sell e-commerce, B2B, and brick-and-mortar merchants
- • Solve points of pain by providing a broad range of products that benefit merchants
- • Compete on price
- • Retain merchants through relationship building
In the end, finding a company that values customer relationships, trust, and integrity leads an agent to maintain continuous residuals and ultimately, a prosperous career.
Paid Advertising vs Established Reputation
When evaluating ISOs, realize that if the site lists the best ISOs, this is a paid advertisement website. These types of websites showcase multiple businesses in a list format. They’re ranked by annual revenue, number of employees, etc. Unfortunately, these websites provide no insight into the credibility, ethics, and relationships of the ISO. To find the right ISO relationship, you need to take the time to research and vet. It is also advisable to attend regional trade shows to learn more and meet one on one with ISOs. You will also learn more about the products and technology that are driving payments by attending the lectures and visiting exhibitors.
Regional credit card processing shows include:
- • https://www.westernstatesacquirers.net/
- • http://www.southeastacquirers.com/
- • http://www.northeastacquirers.com/
- • https://www.midwestacquirers.com/
How to Evaluate the Best ISO Agent Program
If you’re an agent looking to develop a partnership with an ISO, it’s important to evaluate not only how they can best serve you, but how they’ll treat your merchants after closing. Retention matters. This is why it is important to consider more than commission splits when you are evaluating ISO partnerships. For example, ISO A may offer a higher split than ISO B, but if ISO A nickels and dimes their merchants with junk fees, or they don’t answer their calls, your net commissions will be significantly less because you will not retain that merchant.
A good way to find reputable ISOs include:
- • Attending regional conferences (listed above). This is how an agent can find ISOs that are invested in the industry as well as network with services outside of processing that add value and additional commissions.
- • Reading industry publications such as The Green Sheet, ISO & Agent, and other trade magazines. ISOs advertise in these publications and thought leaders such as Mike Ackerman, President of DigiPay Solutions, frequently contribute valuable articles about how agents can be more successful. Mike Ackerman has spent his career building some of the most successful agent/ISO programs.
It is also important to remember that experience and relationships matter when it comes to ISOs. Finding an ISO with owners who are well established and respected shows they’ve spent time building strategic and long-lasting partnerships. In high-risk merchant processing, this matters a great deal. Commission splits in high-risk should be secondary because 0% of 0 equals 0. If the ISO can’t book the deal, then it doesn’t matter what the split is.
A good starting point to find out whether an ISO is offering the best agent program for you is to ask:
- • What are your expectations of my sales performance?
- • What kind of training and back-office support do you offer?
- • Do you offer turn-key branding?
- • What is my commission and residual rate per merchant?
- • How frequently does your company payout?
- • What kind of support do you offer me and my merchants?
- • What other products and services can you provide?
Why Agents Choose DigiPay
DigiPay has a team of payment experts dedicated to helping your business thrive. We offer the best price and products for agents to sell e-commerce, brick-and-mortar, and B2B merchants. Our state-of-the-art payment solutions and award winning proprietary fraud prevention platform Tranzlytics is a door opener and game changer. Our convergence of services allows you to focus on running your business optimally as we look out for you and your customers. Our tag line “thinking ahead so you aren’t left behind” is not a catchy phrase, it is the ethos of our company.
DigiPay is also an established and respected brand that is recognized throughout the payment ecosystem as a company that operates with integrity, honesty, and enthusiasm. We do business very differently and it shows in the way we partner with your business. As an agent branding under DigiPay you will have the credibility and cache our brand is known for.
Agent Programs We Provide:
- • Easy Application and Electronic Apps for Merchants
- • Domestic and off-shore banks
- • The ability to book every deal, including hard to place high-risk deals
- • In-house underwriting and risk management monitoring
- • Cost plus pricing
- • Omni channel payments aligned with business objectives
- • Free Training & Marketing Collateral
- • Mirrored Marketing Website
- • DigiPay powered by Tranzlytics branding
- • Affiliate and Partner programs
Want to learn more about Mike Ackerman? Read his articles in The Green Sheet, and ISO & Agent, or arrange a visit at our ocean front HQ in Carlsbad, CA.