Friday, May 29 2020
One of the first things you are going to need to consider when you start your journey in the credit card processing business is what merchant services ISO program you are going to work with. Whether you are planning to become a merchant services agent or an ISO yourself working under a larger company, it's important to examine all of your options. If you're not cautious, you might find yourself signing up for a bad deal or even getting scammed out of your residuals.
So which is the best program to sign up with? Well, the short answer is that there is no “best” program for everyone. Each ISO is different, and so is each sales agent. Everyone has different goals, and so it's important to find a company that will be a good fit.
However, a lot of agents are seeing success working with North American Bancard. They offer some great commissions and residuals, and are a great choice if you're a beginner in this field. North American Bancard agent program has a diverse amount of products and services that you can offer to many kinds of businesses, so you don't have to worry about turning away merchants just because they work in a certain industry or are considered “high risk.”
North American Bancard agent program is one of the best in the country and has relationships with many different processing banks, which allows them to be versatile with the kinds of businesses that they accept.
Is Your Merchant High-Risk? No Problem! - Competition is a great thing for customers in a free market, but it certainly reduces profit margins for providers. One way that credit card processors can stand to increase their profits is to expand their range of customers and get into the so-called “high-risk” arena. Indeed, working with overseas customers or customers who run businesses in tobacco, alcohol, or adult industries can be a bit riskier, but the revenue can also be substantially higher. Many times, merchants who are seeking a high-risk account have already been rejected when applying for normal merchant accounts, and they will be more than happy to work with you. Signing up with North American Bancard, you don't have to turn away merchants in this extremely lucrative niche!
How Much Can I Make? - North American Bancard offers residuals and splits that are similar to what you might encounter if you approach a large ISO directly. The draw here, though, is that North American Bancard allows you to work with many different processors, and greatly simplifies the processes of becoming a merchant services agent. You won't have to sign up with a dozen different merchant services ISO programs just to have a decent amount of options.
Here are some of the great advantages of using North American Bancard's program:
Contact North American Bancard today and get started!
Download PDF: Best Credit Card Processing Company to Work For
Wednesday, May 27 2020
Most successful merchant services agents are very dedicated to what they do. If you take this line of work seriously, you probably make it a priority to deliver the best customer service possible to your merchants. You may even be the type who makes himself available 7 days a week in order to serve his clients during busy times or even emergencies. If you are really making an effort to give the merchants what they need, then you should be fairly compensated for it, period. Is your payment processor giving you all of your money?
As terrible as it sounds, it's possible that you may get shortchanged by your processor. Even some people that I know who have been in the industry for awhile don't know with 100% certainty if they are getting the residuals that their contracts state that they should. After all, these documents can be complicated, and it's just so easy for a company to nickel and dime you without your realizing.
I had this sinking feeling that something like that might have been happening it me. I was pretty sure that if it had, I wouldn't readily notice it—I was too busy working on singing up clients and giving them the best possible customer service. I didn't consider it part of my job to spend my time making sure that my credit card processors were doing theirs.
Do you suspect that your own residuals are coming in short? Do you think that you're being paid less than what you actually made? This can certainly happen, and here are some common signs:
Are any of these factors true about your residuals? If so, then it's possible that you are not getting all of the money that is owned to you. This can be hugely detrimental to your business, especially when you're first starting out, because you really need every penny you can get to help you expand. You don't want a payment processor that is engaging in unfair business practices and trying to leech money away from you.
Because of this, it is extremely important that you have all of the details about your payment laid out before you sign up with a processor. Make sure you know exactly how they calculate your residuals, so that there is no guesswork. Just as your clients have the right to know what you are going to charge them for your merchant services, you have the right to know exactly what your payment processor will charge you. After all, payment processing fees are going to be one of the larger costs of your business, so you need to take this into consideration beforehand.
In order to make sure that you are getting what you truly deserve in terms of residuals, take a look at this checklist and make sure that everything is right:
If your payment processor loves to play the mysterious role and keeps you in the dark about all the details—for example, by not offering a break-down in their reports and only giving you general details—then maybe you should start shopping around for another company to work with. Honest companies typically make it a point to be transparent, and you should know that a shady processor that tries to hide details from you isn't your only choice in this business.
These days, I work with a company that truly honors transparency, and I can always expect them to give me an accurate report that stays true to the original contract. After spending nearly two decades working with different processors with varying results, I stopped allowing this kind of vagueness in reporting to be acceptable to me, and I'm very glad I did.
If you find yourself frustrated in a similar way by the statements that you receive, then maybe it's time that you raise your standards as well. Remember that there are tons of options out there, and that you don't need to stay with a processor that doesn't respect the agreement that you signed or that makes tons of mistakes when calculating your share.
So, have you ever experienced an inaccuracy in your statement? What did you do to fix it? Let me know your story, especially if your experience might be of value to others.
merchant services commission, credit card processing residual income, merchant services residual income, how much can i make selling merchant services
Wednesday, May 27 2020
If you are ready to dive into the world of becoming a credit card processing ISO, then you are probably on the prowl for the best credit card processing ISO program. The merchant processing industry is a lucrative one, but only when the ISO chooses the right partner to operate under. The credit card processing program that you choose to operate under can have a big impact on your earnings, quality of business, range of potential clients, payout frequency, and many other parts of your business that should be considered essential. This short guide will give you the information that you need to select the best credit card processing ISO program in the industry and will even give you a bit of information about who we feel has the best credit card processing ISO program and why.
It is important to pick out the best credit card processing ISO program because the program that you choose will have some very drastic effects on the income that you are able to earn and other aspects of your business. If you want to set your business up for success in merchant processing, then choosing the ISO program that you are going to be operating under is a highly essential part of that process.
Each ISO program attempts to achieve relatively the same thing, but with different benefits and results that attract different types of clients and merchants. You should never assume that all credit card processing ISO programs are the same and have the same benefits, rates, payouts, and other incentives to get you to use their ISO program. Carefully screen the specifications of each program to actually find the program that is right for you.
When it comes to finding the best credit card processing ISO program in the industry, the truth is that there is no one answer that fits the needs of everyone. Each ISO program is different with their pay structures, marketing tools, and other resources that they give you to succeed in merchant services. So, the answer likely won’t be the same for everyone and will instead depend on what industry you’re in.
However, that’s not to say that some programs don’t rise above the rest. There are certainly programs out there that have displayed excellence time and time again, giving themselves an excellent reputation when it comes to payments, resources, and the other benefits that a particular program is able to offer.
While one program doesn’t usually fit all sizes, you can increase your chances of having success as an ISO by picking out a program that has repeatedly exceeded expectations and set the gold standard when it comes to credit card processing ISO programs.
When you are in the process of selecting a credit card processing ISO program, there are some select features that you should be examining to ensure you find the right program for you. Here are some of the features that you should look for when screening potential ISO programs for your ISO to partner with and offer merchant services.
When you partner with an ISO program, you definitely want to make sure that they pay accurately and that they pay on time. Closing sales as an ISO won’t help you unless you are actually being paid your residuals and commissions that are due to you. Make sure that the company that you work with has a reputation for paying on time.
A very important factor that you should take into consideration when selecting an ISO program to work with is what the residual rate is. These rates range from 50%-75% and are the backbone of your business. Earning residuals is often passive after the initial setup, so be sure that you are getting as big of a share of them as possible before moving forward.
When you partner with an ISO program, you want to be sure that the program you select has the tools and resources to make you more successful in merchant services. This includes the access that they give you to their marketing materials, initiatives, promotions, and literature that you can use to sway clients into signing on with your ISO.
If you’re looking to partner with the best in the business, then you can’t do much better than the Shaw Merchant Group. The Shaw Merchant Group has continuously proven their excellence and the quality of their ISO program. This ISO program has many benefits including high residual rates, prompt and accurate payments, and the ability to help market your services and provide you with the resources you need to close more sales. Choose Shaw Merchant Group if you want to set up your ISO for success now and in the future.
Wednesday, May 27 2020
If you are a first-time or small business owner, then you may have heard of flat-rate credit card processing. Every business needs a provider for credit card processing, as it is one of the most important aspects of any business--the ability to accept payments. However, choosing a provider and a fee structure can be a challenge that takes time, energy, and research. If you’re going to succeed, then you need to be familiar with every type of processing service and why they might be suitable for you. One of the most popular services purchased by small businesses when it comes to credit card pressing is flat-rate credit card processing.
Flat-rate credit card processing has many benefits, but it's not the right situation for every business. This brief analysis of flat-rate credit card processing will give you some insight that helps you decide whether flat-rate credit card processing is the right option for you, or if it's a bad choice for your specific business.
Credit card processing isn’t always the easiest concept or industry to understand
As a business owner, you are already aware of some of the struggles that you can experience when trying to determine a credit card processing provider. It is one of the most difficult things to do as a business owner, especially if you are trying to estimate the cost of accepting credit cards using a merchant services provider. Determining these costs can be difficult, which is why some business owners are drawn to a flat-rate processing model where the pricing is easier to understand.
However, these decisions depend on so many factors that it becomes a time-consuming task to determine which pricing model is best for you. To make it easier, this article will serve as a knowledge base and guide to helping you understand the factors that go into this decision and what concepts you need to understand.
Definition of flat-rate credit card processing
The first important concept of credit card processing to know is what exactly flat-rate credit card processing is. If you’re going to determine if it is the right choice for you, then knowing what it entails is the first and most important step. With an understanding of what flat-rate credit card processing is, you’ll be well on your way to understanding it at a deep enough level to decide whether it is the right choice for you.
Credit card processing isn’t free. It costs the merchant a fee to implement and accept payment processing solutions. The variable here is what the cost is. Just like in any purchase, there are varying costs from different providers. Though consumers don’t consider it, it is the reality of being a business owner. In addition to trying to find the lowest fee, merchants also face the possibility that credit card processing fees will vary within the credit processing provider that they choose.
One of the most significant and common reasons for credit card processing fees to fluctuate is the various fees charged by Visa, Mastercard, and other suppliers for using the card. In addition, there are fees charged by the issuing bank for the transaction and there are a couple more mouths to feed along the way. There are hundreds of services that are involved in this process and each one takes a different sized bite. For this reason, credit card processing fees can often fluctuate and have business owners confused about what they are actually paying to process credit card transactions.
To simplify things and make it easier for the merchant to understand, credit card processing companies have begun to offer flat-rate credit card processing fees. With flat-rate credit card processing fees, merchants are more able to predict exactly what the cost of accepting credit cards will be and forecast that into their profits and margin calculations. It comes with many benefits, but it’s not right for every business.
Benefits of Flat-Price Processing
As you can imagine, there are many benefits to flat-rate processing and that is why it is so commonly used by businesses that are seeking simplicity in their processing arrangements. When you have flat-price processing, there are a few aspects to love about your credit card processing agreement.
The first benefit of using flat-rate credit card processing is being able to have a predictable credit card processing fee each month. With predictability in the rates that you are charged to process credit card transactions, you can not only plan your expenses better, but you can also price goods and services better to provide you with a more consistent margin.
When you know what your processing rate is going to be, the need to fluctuate your item pricing will disappear. You can plan ahead and be sure of what you are going to be charged to process credit card transactions.
When you have a flat-rate processing plan, another benefit that you will be entitled to is the flexibility that comes with these processing plans. With flat-rate credit card processing plans, you often don’t have to get locked into long-term commitments that hinder your flexibility and make it difficult to plan ahead. For small businesses looking for short-term credit card processing or to lessen the long-term overhead for their business, this is the ideal situation.
Flexibility is also a benefit to any business that might be considered high-risk or in general need of agility due to possible changes in the business model, revenue, and other aspects affecting their business.
When you work with a flat-rate credit card processing contract, one of the most important benefits is the simplicity of the contract. As we touched on earlier, traditional credit card processing agreements will often feature clauses, charges, and fees that you don't even have access to seeing the details on. For this reason, in those arrangements, you can never tell exactly what your credit card processing fee will end up being.
However, with a flat-rate processing plan, you can always understand what the fees are and exactly how they impact your business. You can plan to include enough margin for your processing fees and make it easier to understand the implications of your credit card processing agreement.
Who is a good candidate for flat-rate processing?
If you are considering flat-rate processing for your business, you probably want to know a bit more information about who is a good candidate for flat-rate processing and which businesses should pursue flat-rate processing for their processing needs. It is very easy to identify merchants that are good fits for flat-rate processing because of the straightforward nature of flat-rate processing.
Startups are the ideal businesses for flat-rate processing because they usually need to have less overhead and a shorter contract. Startups are often young and unstable, so having a processor that is flexible in the terms is ideal. Startups also typically have a lower volume of transactions. Many credit card processing companies have solutions that are specifically geared towards the needs of startups and young companies.
Small and local businesses are another frequent customer of flat-rate processing solutions. This is because small and local businesses typically have a much lower volume of transactions than larger companies and they are unable to attain better rates. In addition, small businesses are slightly more unstable and higher risk than other companies and don’t have the leverage to get favorable contracts with other processing solutions.
Businesses that are higher risk industries also tend to use flat-rate processing because they are subject to riskier transactions that could lead to increased fees by processing companies. If they are able to get an account with a flat-rate processor, then high-risk businesses typically take that opportunity because it is a favorable situation for them.
Doing better than flat-rate processing
For some, flat-rate processing simply isn’t a great option. This leaves many wondering if it’s possible to get a better deal than flat-rate processing. It’s true, there are some downsides to flat-rate processing and that is the reason that some choose to pursue other options. It is possible to get a better deal than flat-rate processing has to offer, but there are certain conditions that you have to meet.
The first condition that you have to meet if you want to get a better deal on your processing than what flat-rate processing has to offer is that you have to be able to do a high volume of transactions. The higher the volume, the better deal you are going to get on your processing.
Another condition that you will have to meet if you are going to get a better rate than what most flat-rate processing solutions have to offer is you will most likely have to sign a longer-term contract for your processing needs. This means less flexibility, but it is possible that you will get a better rate, though it will be dynamic and subject to change.
If you are a business that cannot get flat-rate processing or you do a high volume of transactions for an established and long-lasting business, then you can possibly get a better deal by going with a solution other than flat-rate processing.
Tuesday, May 26 2020
Over time, working in the payment processing business and the Point of Sale business as a merchant services agent has slowly melded into one, thanks to customer demand for an all-in-one solution, and you may find yourself needing to offer this option to your own customers. POS terminals are easier to use these days than they were in the past, and most of your clients are going to be well familiar with the benefits that a good POS delivers over an old-fashioned cash register. If you give your clients the option of a POS solution, you'll be able to serve a more diverse range of customers, and even some very high volume accounts that will net you a decent profit in transaction fees. A merchant services ISO worth its salt will in turn have great free terminal offers that agents can pass on to the end users for no upfront cost.
Since the providers of more of these terminals can essentially lock customers to one specific processor, it is hard to sell to merchants if you can't offer your own POS solution. This gives the merchants a way out without having to pay the upfront costs of getting a neutral terminal. You can basically eliminate a huge factor in a merchant's hesitation to switch over to your service.
POS Benefits and Customer Loyalty – POS systems do so much more than just take people's money; they are an important part of keeping track of the business's logistical concerns, and the business owner likely uses its processes on a daily basis. For example, a POS will handle credit cards, but it can also handle employee time clocks, sales reports, inventory tracking, and other important analytics. Since a POS can be so important and simplify so many daily actions, business owners will be more hesitant to switch to other providers once you have them “hooked” on your particular POS and its familiar interface. The last thing that business owners are looking to do is fix something that isn't broken, so they are likely to stay with you over the long-term. This makes for a much more consistent portfolio.
High Profit – Most merchants that are high volume, such as large restaurants and retail companies, must have a POS for all of its functions. Higher volume means more transaction fees, which means more profit for you. It would be harder to get these accounts if you could not offer your clients a POS solution.
Better Margins – Sure, if your a merchant services ISO or agent pitching lower rates to a merchant makes sense, and it may indeed convince them, but you'll have much more leverage if you throw a POS into the deal. You can also get away with charging more in fees this way because you're not focusing so much on competing at the price level.
Bonuses – Depending on the merchant services company that you're working with, you may also receive a bonus for every terminal that you provide to a merchant, even if you offered it to them for free.
Making Yourself the Better Option – When someone is a business owner, they want their life solutions to be as simple and easy as possible because they don't have time to mess around with the technology that they need to get the job done. Because of this, merchants are almost always going to prefer an all-in-one POS solution over just a simple credit card machine if they can get it for around the same price. By offering a POS, you are instantly making yourself a better option from other sales agents who are stuck in the past and aren't offering complete POS options.
Setting Yourself Up for the Future – The future is trending towards full POS options for most merchants as costs continue to plummet. If you give your merchants a POS now, you are effectively insuring yourself against obsolescence. Your clients will be less likely to be seduced by other sales agent in the future, since they will have everything that they need for quite some time.
POS Training – It might seem difficult to get started selling merchant accounts and POS systems to your clients if you never have before, or if you consider yourself to be technophobic. Luckily, we offer training to get you up to speed. Just let us teach you, and you will know exactly what you're doing faster than you probably thought possible. All of our courses—which you can take in person or online—are free, by the way.
The Basics of POS – Our first training course is an online one that you can take at your own pace, and that will show you the basics of how to sell merchant services and POS systems to your merchants. You will learn the ins and outs of the software and the hardware, as well as all of the back-end features that your clients will enjoy. You will also learn all about the benefits of POS systems over traditional credit card terminals, and you'll acquire plenty of material that you can use when you're persuading merchants to switch to your services.
Webinars – When you are done with the basic course and are ready to get started selling, this doesn't suddenly mean that your education is done. Just as technology changes, your knowledge about these terminals will have to evolve as well, so you would do well to learn as much as you can about these terminals. It will help you understand them better and offer good customer support. Join us regularly and we will give you all the latest updates on what you need to know. Become a merchant services agent and POS expert with us!
Certification – If you feel that you want to expand your credentials even more, you can become certified with us. Visit our training center in person, and you can join our certification program. It involves a four-day class where you learn all about the different POS sub-types that we produce for merchants, and it will give you a very deep understanding of the products that you're selling. From there, you will become extremely prepared to sell merchant accounts and POS systems to any kind of merchant and will be able to give professional-level demos to your clients. Optionally, you can become certified to install your own POS systems at your merchant's location.
A True Merchant Service Company – We don't just offer POS systems; we offer just about any sort of solution that a merchant will ever need. From our free POS terminals, to our stand-alone credit card machines, to our free cash register, we have exactly what you're looking for to suit the specific needs of your specific clients. Our terminals are technologically advanced and ergonomic, and are extremely competitive in terms of functionality.
Profitable Fee Schedule – You are in the business to make a profit, so you're going to want a Schedule A that will allow you to make the kind of money you need. Our Schedule A is quite competitive and we offer many other benefits to working with us. For example, you can receive very handsome sign-up bonuses through us, as well as a 75% residual split. We allow you to build custom solutions for your clients as well, so that you can be sure that you are giving them the best deal and that you are more likely to close. We offer lucrative buyouts to help you raise the capital that you need when you are growing, as well as ISO private label opportunities.
Get in touch with us today if you want to learn more about becoming a Credit Card Processing ISO or Agent!
Tuesday, May 26 2020
If you’ve been considering becoming a merchant services agent for a credit card processing company, you probably already realize that it can be a very lucrative career path. Even better, it’s the kind of work that allows you to make your own decisions and get out of the stuffy office to meet people face to face. As a sales agent, you’re basically your own boss and you act as the middle man between the credit card company and the client.
Does this sound like something you could get into? If so, then you’re at the start of an exciting and profitable path. However, as with any other kind of work, there’s always a learning curve, especially if you want to be the kind of agent that clients seek out again and again. In other words, there are certain traits that successful merchant services sales agents have that help them rise above the rest (and make more money).
Have a Plan
The first thing that you can do for yourself in any endeavor is to have a plan. When you’re a sales agent, you’re basically running a business like any other, though this can require a period of adjustment for those who are transitioning from the lifestyle of an employee.
The fact that you have your own business is both a blessing and a responsibility. Yes, you have more freedom, but having a plan and carrying out every aspect of it becomes much more essential when you have no one else to turn to. Your credit card processor will certainly help you, but the direction that you want to take things is up to you.
What do you need to plan, specifically? Well, the most important thing you will need to decide ahead of time is how you will approach your market. Where will your revenue come from? Will you target people online? Will you do cold calling? Will you perform outreach to businesses in person?
Whatever the plan, choose one or just a few approaches to focus on. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Plan your focus and work your plan until you start getting some results (or not) and then pivot to another focus accordingly.
The point of the plan is to give you some sort of direction, so that you’re never lost in that no-man’s land of wondering what you should do next.
Leverage Your Social Network
Since finding a credit card processor can be an important step for a business owner, they often rely on referrals when they choose an agent to work with. Knowing this, make sure that you’re on everyone’s radar.
etwork and get to know people. Find people to spread the word about the services that you’re offering. You might even offer people pay for the referrals that they send you. It may sound a little weird at first, but it’s not that different from what you’re doing yourself relative to the credit card processing company. Either way, you probably won’t have trouble getting referrals from past clients for free if you’ve made them happy.
Just make yourself known in the community. Offer to help even when there’s no clear benefit for your upfront, and soon enough you will find merchants getting into contact with you. Trust is an extremely important element that cannot be underestimated, and you cultivate that through your connections and through offering people genuine value.
Pick the Right Partner
The decision of which merchant services ISO program to choose to work with is something that you should consider carefully. Not all credit card processors are created equal. Some might not offer very good customer service, or they might not have a good variety of plans and options, or they may simply not be willing to take on the type of clients that you want to serve.
You have to take many different factors into account. First and foremost, take a look at what the company has to offer your end users. Do they have free terminal plans? Are their fees exorbitant or fair? Play with the interface of the POS systems that they offer if you can. Are they easy to use? Do they use modern software and hardware that is lightweight and secure, or are they stuck in the last century? Try to find an ISO that offers equipment that is more or less future-proof, at least for the next few years. Look for a company that values change and is willing to adapt to the industry.
Get to know some merchants and merchant services agents who use the processor and get some feedback. Is the customer service good? Are they responsive and attentive? If you choose a partner that will be prone to abandon you, this can be a huge pain in the neck if something goes wrong, needless to say. Your merchants will be looking to you to keep their transaction systems running smoothly, and you need a partner who will be on your side.
Another thing to be clear on right away is whether or not they are willing to serve your future clients. The fact of the matter is that a lot of merchant services ISO’s will not work with businesses that they deem “high risk,” or businesses that tend to be subject to a lot of charge backs and fraud. Stolen credit cards and other issues are a sad reality of the economy, and in some industries these problems are more common, such as in ecommerce. A merchant services ISO may also refuse to work with a business that deals in “vice,” such as alcohol, tobacco, adult entertainment, and other similar kinds of markets. If you plan on working with clients in such industries, you need a partner who will support you.
If everything else checks out, you will have to go over your contract and fee schedule. Just as you don’t want the fees to be too high overall to avoid gouging your clients, you also want a fair cut of the fees for yourself. Make sure that your merchant services agent program will give you generous options for residuals and bonuses. At the same time, also keep your eyes peeled for any deals that seem way too good to be true. If you can fathom how the ISO is making money because it’s offering sales agents ridiculously good incentives, something is fishy. This is why it’s important to do your research thoroughly before signing up with a partner.
There are a few important things to watch out for in your contract, or else you may endanger your income. Make sure that there are no exclusivity clauses. If your merchant services ISO wants to force you into a exclusive relationship with them, find another one to work with. There is no reason that you should be able to work with more than one partner, and the freedom of being able to switch if one of them becomes irrelevant will make a huge difference for your business.
Something else to watch out for in the fine print are any quota requirements. If your partner requires you to open X amount of new accounts per month, or else you lose your residuals (even if your past clients are still with the company), then run far away. Find a partner company that allows you to rightfully own your residuals. This means that you keep them for the life of the account, regardless of any new accounts you open, and you should also be able to sell your residuals if you would rather have a lump sum.
Finally, find a company that will help train you on all of the equipment and software that they offer, and that will help you read all of the forms that you’ll be working with. You need to really know what you’re doing to be a success in this business—but we’ll talk more at length about that below:
Actually Know What You’re Doing
When it comes to any field—from credit card processing to underwater basket weaving—the number one thing that will make you successful is to serve your customers well. In fact, in a lot of ways, this is the only thing that really matters to your bottom line. Your clients have a problem, and you have to solve it well enough that they’re happy with what you gave them.
The only way that you can do that, though, is by knowing what you’re doing. Make sure to take advantage of all of the training materials that your credit card processor offers. Read the literature and even go to industry conferences and workshops if you can. You will learn huge amounts of information by listening to people who have already been playing the game for a long while.
When it comes to your income, it’s also important to know what you’re doing. Don’t just assume that your credit card processor is paying you what they owe. Learn to read your merchant statement and go through all of the details every month. If you’re confused, your ISO should help you. You can also recruit the help of more experienced sales agents.
Be Completely Honest
Trust is important in business. It’s what will keep people coming back. It is what will make people hesitate switching to your competitor. The only way to earn and keep people’s trust long term is to cultivate a reputation for honesty. This cannot be bought and you cannot use advertising tactics to get this. You can only earn it by being completely transparent and honest.
Don’t hide the bigger picture from your clients. Tell them exactly what is going on, exactly how much they are going to pay, and exactly what they can expect with the packages that you’re selling them. Teach them everything that they are willing to learn and show them as much as you can about the equipment and software that you’re giving them.
When a client feels that they can trust you, and they see that you went above and beyond what was expected, you have a loyal customer for life. Considering the potential value of long-term residuals in this business, the difference between being honest and trying to turn someone into a sucker for short term gains could be hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Being a merchant services agent can be a great way to earn a piece of the very large credit card processing pie. The industry will only be growing larger in the next few years, and more opportunity will present itself to those who are highly motivated. Having said that, this is a very competitive field, and you will greatly improve your odds of success by following the guidelines above.
The credit card processing industry is like any other business, and your focus should be first and foremost with the customer. Pick the right merchant services agent program, use your social network, and make sure that you’re honest and that you know what you’re doing. After that, the rest should follow.
Tuesday, May 26 2020
No matter how lucrative the business, a merchant may find himself lacking liquid capital when he needs it the most. Fast-growing businesses need a way to pay for large upfront costs, and sometimes they might not be able to secure a traditional loan fast enough. Rather than waiting to save the money or struggling to find an investor through the usual avenues, merchants can also seek a merchant cash advance from their credit card processor. In fact, not only can this be a great solution for merchants, but it can be an incredibly lucrative opportunity for merchant cash advance sales agents and merchant cash advance ISO's.
If you're an agent who wants to increase your revenue substantially, you should probably consider looking into merchant cash advances. At the very least, look for a partner company that offers a good merchant cash advance ISO program as an option for your clients—you may find that they are more in demand than you might have initially thought.
How can merchant cash advances make you money, though? Well, first, let's a explore a few aspects of these deals and how they work:
What is a Merchant Cash Advance?
In short, this is when a credit card processing company buys a percentage of the merchant's future credit card sales, giving them cash up front. It's essentially a loan that is guaranteed by the future sales, and there's no need for collateral because the processor automatically repays itself every day. Perhaps you have experienced something similar as a consumer, where you guaranteed a short-term cash advance with a post-dated personal check. This works in a similar way, except with the promise of a portion of the merchant's revenue.
The merchants can then use this liquid capital in a number of ways, just as they would with any other loan. For example, they may purchase equipment to make their business more efficient, use the money to open new physical locations, update their technology, buy more inventory if they anticipate a spike in demand, or attempt to expand their business through marketing efforts. Generally, it's a good sign when your client intends to use the money to grow.
These cash advances are easier to acquire than normal business loans on the merchant's side, and they are somewhat less risky on the credit card processor's end, since they will automatically retrieve the funds from the merchant's sales that they process. So long as the merchant stays in business, default is unlikely. Usually the loan is repaid in full in less than a year.
How Will this Make You Money?
When you find a partner company that has a good merchant cash advance ISO program, you'll greatly increase the service that you can provide to your client. That alone is great, but just as with any deals that you help create between the end client and the processor, you will receive a commission based on what the processor makes.
Even better, if you choose a good program, you will often also have the choice of funding part of the deal on your own, which means that you will have a much greater share of the profit. Partnering with a company that has this kind of merchant cash advance program is therefore a great choice if you are ready to start investing your own money very heavily. If you find that your pool of merchants is limited or you simply don't want to concentrate on acquiring a huge volume of clients to increase your monthly income, you can raise your revenue per client by offering cash advances as a service to them.
The good news is that these days, taking advantage of this opportunity is as easy as partnering with Shaw Merchant Group. SMG can help boost your businesses' revenue by offering extremely competitive rates and deals that will help your merchants get the funding that they need.
What Happens When Your Merchant Gets a Cash Advance?
The process for offering a merchant cash advance to your client is rather simple. As soon as you are signed up with a program, such as the one offered by Shaw Merchant Group, you can make a deal with the merchant.
The merchant will agree to sell a certain amount of future sales to the processor (equal to the amount of the advance, plus interest), and they will receive all of the cash upfront. From there, the processor will either take a percentage of each of the sales automatically, or else they will take a certain amount every day from the merchant's bank account. This is very convenient for the merchant, since there's no extra paperwork to do every month and the payments happen silently. When the amount (plus interest) has been repaid, then the processor will stop automatically deducting this money and things will go back to how they were before the merchant cash advance.
Depending on how you arranged the deal, you will receive commission for this upfront. However, if you put your own money into the equation, you will receive interest from the payments in accordance with how much you invested. By the way, you can also receive commission for the portion of the loan that you did not fund, just as you normally would. This is part of what makes these kinds of deals very lucrative for merchant services sales agents and ISO's.
When you work with Shaw Merchant Group, you can choose to invest some of your money or none of it at all, so it really is up to you how much risk you would like to take. Since you work closely with your clients and understand their individual situations, you probably have a good idea of where you would like to put your money to work and which clients represent a better investment.
As you can see, offering merchant cash advances as a merchant cash advance ISO is a good move once you have some basic experience in the credit card processing business. Get in touch with Shaw Merchant Group and we can help you design a great solution for your clients that will help them to reach their goals faster.
Download PDF: Merchant Cash Advance ISO and Agent Program Details
Tuesday, May 26 2020
Have you already analyzed all of your costs and you're ready to come to the merchant with your offer? Have you been wondering how to present it in the best way possible? It's important to keep a few guidelines in mind when you are making the presentation:
1. Assume that the “yes” was already said. The point of your presentation is to show the merchant all the details, not to make a close. Why? They are listening to you, so they are probably already sold. Make that assumption, and you'll be less prone to pushy sales tactics that will turn them off. After all, why wouldn't they buy from you if you're giving them the best deal?
2. While you are going over the fees with the merchant, keep things simple. They really don't need to know all the dirty details, and honestly they probably don't care and will just get confused. Point to some of the main critical items and discuss those, but don't get long-winded unless they ask. When comparing yourself to your competitors, by the way, it will seem suspicious and dishonest to the merchant if you don't throw in one or two negative things about your plan—just make it obvious that the good things overwhelm them.
3. Show your merchant their long-term savings. Avoid focusing on what they will save per month, and instead bring up the big picture, such as what they will save in a year or two years. These big numbers are not only more impressive, they are also the ones that matter to their business ultimately.
Explain your reasoning step by step as well, and how much you think they will save over the lifetime of the account. Bring up examples of what they could in turn invest that money in instead of credit card processing fees. Make the savings very concrete.
Finally, when you close, ask if they have any questions. This puts the ball in their court and makes them feel like there is transparency and obviousness in the interaction. If they have no questions, it also lets you know that you have done what you need to do.
4. Now you're ready to get to the paperwork. This is one of the most critical periods in the presentation, since you are changing modes and making the deal into a reality. Because of this, you need to use something that won't intimidate the prospect. If you very obviously ruffle around for paperwork and contracts and the like, the merchant could start to over-think things because the situation is getting “official.” Instead, make a smooth, quick transition to the paperwork. In fact, have the paperwork already out (under the cost analysis material that you were presenting), and you don't have to worry about this transition at all.
Once you quickly have laid out the paperwork, start immediately helping them to work through it. Ask some simple questions, like what the official name of their business is, what their legal name is, their address, and other details that make it obvious what you are doing. If they have a problem or object to your moving forward, don't worry, they will voice it! Otherwise, go until they say “no.”
5. Where you are more likely to meet resistance, of course, is when you have to input private information. Obviously, you don't know the merchant's bank account number or their SSN, and they probably don't want you to know it, either. In this case, give the merchant a pen and slide the paper towards them. Clearly indicate the section and have them fill it out, and always look away while they are writing the numbers. Don't make a show of it—just check your phone or something, or have some other polite excuse to not look at them until they are done. This private information is “inside” material, and people feel intimidated when “outsiders” get too close, so make it obvious that you're giving them space, or they may become hesitant, which is the last thing that you need.
6. Remember the follow up. When you successfully get them to sign, that's not the end of the story. You shouldn't suddenly abandon them just because you got what you wanted. Tell them that you're happy to work with them and ask them if they have any other questions. Stay with them for a bit to reassure them that their decision was the right one.
Monday, May 25 2020
When you're in the payment processing industry, you need relationships that you can count on and partners who can open doors to the right opportunities. If you run a growing business in merchant services, North American Bancard wants to be that reliable partner for you. Whether you are a sales agent, a small ISO, or are simply looking to get started in the industry, North American Bancard can help you reach for the stars. We are a broker with solid relationships throughout this industry, and we work with some of the best processing firms in the business. North American Bancard has helped countless sales agents and ISOs connect with the right merchants and build the kind of enterprises that make huge residuals for years to come.
For us, our number one priority is the customer and thier needs. We believe that a truly lucrative long-term business can only be achieved after carefully studying what the customer wants and providing the kind of solutions that will last well into the future. This is why North American Bancard offers a diverse collection of customizable solutions that you can bring to your clients in order to give them the exact kind of service that they need. This is also why NAB takes pride in living on the bleeding edge of the field and embracing new technology as it finds its way into the industry. In our view, this is the only way to guarantee a high retention rate among customers, and long-term passive income for ourselves and our sales agents. North American Bancard holds that seeing the bigger picture and serving a diverse amount of clients is the best approach to take.
North American Bancard has worked with many different sides of the industry, including merchant services ISOs, bankcard processors, merchant processing banks, electronic payment platforms, check processing companies, e-commerce, gift card processors, ATM distributors, as well as added-value product providers. We can use our strong connections in this industry to make your business reach its full potential and become the kind of success that you envisioned it to be.
With North American Bancard, you have experts on your side who can deliver results and give you advice. No matter what sort of solution you need to provide to your merchants, North American Bancard has a plan for you to make your vision a reality. Whether you are new or you have found yourself growing faster than you previously expected, get into contact with North American Bancard to find out what you can do to move forward. We offer merchant services ISO programs for those who are ready to take the next step, and merchant services sales agent recruitment programs for those who are looking to expand their business past a one-man operation. If you are an agent yourself who is looking for a challenge and a good ISO to work with, we can help you, too.
When you are fighting to reach your goals in the tough world of merchant services, you need a company who knows what they are doing. Let us help you grow faster than you ever thought possible!
Monday, May 25 2020
Merchant services sales such as POS systems and credit card processing are an invaluable part of any retail business, and as such the job of a merchant service company is critical. The role that the sales agents of these companies play is just as important, as they are the intermediaries that make all of these deals work. If you are a merchant services agent, you are going to need a merchant services partner that is on your side, or else you are not setting yourself up for success, and you are bound to disappoint your customers as well.
As a sales agent, you're running a business, so it's actually your responsibility to make sure that you have everything that you need to get the job done. Part of that responsibility encompasses choosing a merchant services agent program that you would be proud to be partners with. In business, relationships are everything, and you need to choose the kind of relationship that will benefit all parties involved, or else it won't be sustainable. Because of this, it is important to “shop around” and make sure that you have carefully examined the terms that you will be working with.
Not all companies will be worth it because they may be trying to get you to push a shoddy product or to try to sell way above market price, so you must choose carefully. There are a few key things that you should keep an eye out for that will indicate a promising choice, and ideally the company that you choose as your partner should exhibit all of these traits and provide you with all of these resources. Let's take a look at them closely to get a better idea of what your business will require:
1) A Win-Win Partnership - Of course, a business (even yours) will always act in its own self-interest, so agreements will often be skewed at least slightly in the favor of the merchant service company that you're working with. The point is to carefully review the terms and make sure that they are at least fair before you go ahead and sign up. It may seem like overkill, but you might even want to hire a specialized lawyer to look over the paperwork if you feel like you might miss something or if you're not totally sure what you're getting into. At any rate, make sure you have an exact idea of what the terms are before you get started or it may come back to haunt you later. As “the little guy,” you have a lot more to lose when things go wrong.
Here are a few things you're going to want to keep in mind when you're looking over your agreement:
- You shouldn't be liable for your merchant's losses or chargebacks. Make sure that this is stated plainly in black and white. You shouldn't have to bear any of the risk of the merchants and should be held blameless in the event of losses. You also shouldn't have to pay for any chargebacks that the merchant experiences.
- Your revenue sharing model should be balanced. This is especially true when it comes to your residuals. Make sure that you have a fair amount coming to you for every sale. You do all of the heavy lifting to get the lead, so you deserve a cut of the profits for as long as that customer pays.
- Don't let them force you into exclusivity. Don't allow yourself to be seduced by a single company because you never know how things are going to turn out, especially if you're new to the business. Relationships can fall apart, or you might notice better deals with new companies as you work. Never paint yourself into a corner and sign any kind of exclusivity agreement.
- Make sure that you get what you're entitled to, even after a contract ends. Part of what makes merchant services so lucrative is that you will have access to residual income streams even long after your initial sale. As the merchant services agent who established that lead, you are entitled to the residuals from the merchants that you have sold to. It doesn't matter if your contract with the merchant services company expires or is severed in some other way, you must be able to still receive that income for the life of the merchant's account. More importantly, you should be able to sell these residual streams as well, or secure loans against them.
- Make sure that you can move your merchants to another processor in the event that you are not paid. Normally, payment processors aren't going to want you to take the leads you gave them and then switch them to another processor, but you may have to do this to protect your asset.
This may take some negotiation, but you're going to want to establish that if the merchant services company fails to pay you your residuals from a given merchant, that you can switch the merchant to another service provider. This is not a completely exhaustive list, which is why you will want to check with a lawyer if you can. Speaking of lawyers, make sure that your contract specifies that you can recover attorney's fees in the even of a lawsuit.
2) A Price Structure That Works - Selling merchant services is a line of work with a huge potential for both active and passive income. As you might expect, this means that you're certainly not the only sales agent out there and that you have tons of competition. Though it is always best to not attempt to compete on price, and to focus on value creation for your customer, you won't get very far if your prices are too high.
Try to negotiate to get the best deal with the payment processor or else you are going to have a hard time selling your wares. The fees for your merchant can really add up, so make sure that you are passing on the savings. In the long run, the better deal your clients get, the better your residuals are likely to be. Remember that you are helping your merchants to stay in business.
Perform your due diligence and make all the calculations before you determine if a deal is worth it or not.
3) Multiple Payment Processors - Your merchant service partner ideally should allow your merchant to use many different payment processing services. The more options, the better, because there's nothing worse than losing a potential lead simply because they want to use their current processor. Whatever POS system that you are selling, it should be flexible and allow for many different processors and payment methods.
4) Good Customer Service - Customers are the heart of your business, and without them, you can't hope to thrive. Ideally, since so much of your business is based on residuals, you want to acquire customers that you can serve over the long-term. One of the things that will absolutely kill customer retention is bad technical support and customer service. You may be doing the best you can to solve your client's problems, but if the merchant services company can't hold up their end of the bargain when it comes to customer support, it is like you have wasted all of your efforts.
Makes sure to ask lots of questions before you sign a contract and do plenty of research about the company, because you are ultimately putting your valuable merchant connections into their hands. Take a few of these factors into consideration:
- The size of their customer support department. What kind of investment, in terms of labor, do they make in the realm of customer support? If you or your clients call to fix some technical issues, how long will you have to wait before you can talk to a human being?
- The quality of the customer support. Are the people on the other end of the line well-trained? Do they actually successful solve your clients' problems in a timely manner, or do they seem under-trained and clueless? Do novel problems that don't follow their script make them confused?
- The hours of their customer support lines. Do their customer support call centers have decent hours? Ideally, they would be available around the clock, though this isn't always realistic, of course. Another thing you will want to consider is what happens if a client calls and it is after-hours.
- Whether they do out-calls. Is the merchant service company willing to send tech support technicians out to your merchant's location? Many times, this can actually be faster and easier for your merchant than their having sit there on the line with a remote technician, especially if the problem is hardware-related.
- What is the training like? What kind of help does the merchant service provider give to your client to get them up and running? Do they offer training material? Do representatives from the company go on-site to show them?
- Are you informed about customer service issues or kept in the dark? At the very least, you should get a call or some form of notification when your merchant is having technical trouble. Even better, it would be great if they provide you with a way to remotely access all of your client's trouble tickets.
Remember all of these factors when you are choosing a good merchant services ISO/agent program. It can mean a lot when it comes to customer retention. The thing is, it may be hard to determine some of these things—like, for example, the exact quality of their customer service team—until you are actively working with them. This is why it is so important to never sign an exclusivity deal with any one company when you are first starting out, as there are always going to be a few unknowns that you can't quite fathom until you're out there helping your merchants to succeed.
5) Upsells That Actually Provide Value - A large percentage of the income that you will be making will come in the form of upells because it's simply easier to sell to an existing customer than it is to sell to a potential one. This is a classic example of the “foot in the door” technique, and you will find that you will be using it a lot.
Upselling can be a great source of income for you, but what about your customer? These are going to be long-term relationships for you, so you don't want to rip your clients off by selling them useless services that they don't need. This is why you want your partner to offer genuinely high-quality products that you can upsell to your clients. For example, if you sold a POS system to a merchant, and you learn from your regular communications with him that he is in need of liquid cash, you might be able to make a decent profit if your merchant services partner also allows you to sell short-term merchant loans.
6) Free Terminal Deals - Sometimes clients aren't going to want to pay for hardware upfront, especially if they are going to be paying a substantial monthly fee. A similar evolution has happened in other subscription-based electronics industries, such as the cell phone industry, where the customer receives the hardware for free or at a huge discount, but pays a service fee for its use. Nowadays, the POS industry is leaning in this direction, so don't be surprised if your clients don't expect to pay anything upfront.
In order to cater to this demand, make sure that your merchant services ISO offers a free terminal deal, even if they have other options that require paying for hardware. As time goes on, you may find that there will be more and more of an expectation in the market for free terminals, so be prepared. If the merchant services offer all-inclusive package deals that will get the client started for absolutely no upfront cost, that is even better. If your potential client basically has nothing to lose, then the sale is much more likely to happen. A lot of the time, paying upfront for a equipment isn;t really worth it unless there is some major advantage to it, such as greater flexibility and not having to be tied to a specific merchant service provider.
7) Decent Analytics - In our age of technological progress, there's really no excuse for a merchant service to not provide you with analytics on the back-end. This will allow you to manage your business and examine where the money is coming and going. You might have access to a few different kinds of information, including your merchant's sales activity, their history of tech support calls, and maybe even information about your own residuals or the activities of agents who are working under you.
When it comes to any business at all, you can perform the trial and error that you need to perfect your sales strategy much better once you have access to a decent level of analytics. Ask about this before you decide on a merchant service company. Even if you don't plan to make heavy use of these tools (though you should) it at least shows that your partner is technologically advanced and that they are ready to meet the challenges of the future head-on.
8) Good Training Material - There's no point in your client even purchasing a POS if he isn't going to know how to use it. Examine your merchant service provider's training and information material. You want to do this before you get started selling because 1) you need to familiarize yourself with how the system works if you are going to sell it anyway and 2) you need to decide if the information material is actually decent.
A good service provider will offer more than manuals, too. You want online resources, and some sort of training program, especially one that involves representatives from the company coming out to the field and showing your client exactly what they need to do. As with providing good customer service, a decent training program of some kind is critical. If your client feels that the system is too difficult or cryptic to use, he is bound to drop you sooner or later, and that is a stream of residuals that you will lose out on.
It just makes good business sense to make sure that your client is on board and that there are no problems from the beginning. Play the long-term game by making sure your merchant has everything that he needs.
9) Leasing - Though, as mentioned before, you will probably find that more and more of your clients will expect a free terminal, since the industry is trending in this direction, some clients will still want to lease equipment for various reasons. Perhaps they are interested in something more high-end, for example. Maybe they want a terminal system that is not tied to a specific merchant service, so that they have the flexibility to switch if they feel the need, but this means that they must buy the hardware themselves.
Even when a client wants to pay for the equipment, though, he might not have to pay upfront. Having a fair leasing plan means that the client can afford the terminal even if he doesn't have as much capital to spend upfront. This kind of flexibility is key in accommodating all kinds of merchants, and you want to look for a merchant service provider that offers this kind of option just in case.
As with any other kind of sale, you should receive a percentage of the monthly payments that your merchant makes on the equipment. Make sure that this is part of the agreement before you sign up.
10) Help Analyzing Statements - Reading statements and coming up with just the right pricing for your client can be complicated. This can be a headache even for people who have been working as merchant services agents for awhile, so you can imagine how confusing analyzing all of this unfamiliar financial information can be for someone who is totally new to the business. Make sure that your merchant service company is willing to help you on this front, and that they will provide you with statement analysis services if you should find that you need them.
Getting into merchant service sales is a great choice if you're looking for a challenging and rewarding career where you can legitimately help customers while making a decent income for yourself. There are few lines of work that allow this level of residual income and revenue sharing, and there are many directions that you can take in this business.
The first factor that you should keep in mind, though, since it affects so many other things, is your choice of partner company in this endeavor. They should be willing to give you a fair cut of the deals, should be willing to negotiate with you on the details, and they should provide good customer service to your merchants that will allow you to retain them as customers for a long time to come. The key here is to find a company with which you can forge a long-term relationship that works for both of you.
Not all merchant service providers are created equal. First and foremost, you will want one with integrity—this is the trait that really encompasses all of the others. A company without integrity is not one that you will be able to work with in the long-term because you will never be able to create trust. Make sure to perform your due diligence an research the reputation of every merchant service that you're considering working with, but a good place to start might be with North American Bancard. They are a solid company to work with and have a great reputation of helping their merchant services agents every step of the way. Of course, you don't have to take our word for it—always ask for recommendations and look at reviews before you make that first critical partnership decision.