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How to Start a Merchant Services Brokerage
Monday, January 23 2023

If you are a merchant or business owner, then you know that one of the most important aspects of your business is accepting payments. While it is a part of business that is often taken for granted and assumed as being operational, choosing a merchant services partnership and accepting payments is not quite the walk in the part that it is usually thought to be. In fact, it is a somewhat complicated process that involves a lot of different parties and requires business owners to make several very important decisions. While choosing a merchant services partner might seem trivial, it actually has a large impact on the future of the business and can even play a large part in the profit margin that a merchant is able to achieve.


When you are going through the process of finding a merchant services partner to help you, it’s best to find a merchant services sales partner that can help you navigate this complicated topic and pair you with a merchant services provider that fits your needs and is considered trustworthy by the merchant services industry. With an experienced and helpful partner by your side, you’ll be able to find the payment solution that fits your needs and elevate your business to the next level.


What businesses need a merchant account?

The answer to this question is very simple. If you want to be able to accept credit card payments for your goods and services, you need a merchant account. Almost every business in existence needs a merchant account so that they can accept payments in the most effortless and convenient way possible. Merchant accounts are typically provided by banks that partner with processors in order to process these credit payments.


Basically, a business cannot function without a merchant account, unless they somehow can operate on just accepting cash. As this is not a viable solution for most businesses, every business that hopes to remain competitive and gain market share should have a merchant account.


Some businesses point out the fact that merchant accounts also come with fees, and that is a valid point. However, accepting cash only in your store or business affects you in heavier ways that merchant fees ever could. The credit card is the fastest path to the purchase and if you are a business that wants to see growth and revenue, then getting a merchant account is essential.


What exactly is a merchant account and how much does it cost?

Now that we have established that everyone needs a merchant, you probably want to know about the downside, what it involves, and what it’s going to cost your business. A merchant account is an account with a merchant services company that allows a company to accept credit and debit card payments. It often also includes POS solutions to help facilitate payments of any kind.


To obtain a merchant account, a business must go through a thorough application process that often involves providing important information such as past processing information, bank statements, tax information, credit checks, and more. This very thorough process ensures that you can be trusted with a merchant account and your industry is suitable for accepting credit and debit payments.


Getting this service for your business is a great achievement and will unlock unlimited possibilities for growing your revenue, but it never comes without a cost. Getting a merchant account is often free, but using it is most certainly not. Merchant accounts often take anywhere from 1-4% as a transaction fee off of every transaction. This is how the operations are funded. While many look at this as a large expense, it is actually a low expense when you consider what having a merchant account enables you to do.


When searching for a merchant account provider, the rate is one thing that you’ll want to pay attention to and work with your merchant account services brokerage to find the best solution at the best rate for you.


About merchant services brokers

While you have almost definitely heard of merchant services providers, there’s a slightly lesser chance that you have heard of merchant services brokers. Merchant services brokers are not as well known, but they are every bit as important in the process of helping you to find a great merchant services partner.


The role of a merchant services broker is to be your partner throughout the process of finding merchant services to fit your needs. It can often be overwhelming and confusing trying to find a merchant services partner, and to help with that you can enlist the help of a merchant services broker.


With a merchant services broker, much of the work of finding a merchant services provider is eliminated for the owner of the business. Simply tell the merchant services broker what you are looking for in a merchant services partner and they will hand-pick options that work for you and present them to you in an easy-to-digest manner.


By using a merchant services broker, the process of selecting a merchant services provider is made much easier and you may be able to save your business thousands of dollars in the long run by finding a partner that not only meets your needs, but is also affordable.


How can a merchant services broker help you?

There are various areas that a merchant services broker can help your business to be a more efficient and effective organization. When you think of merchant services, you might only be thinking of credit card processing. However, there’s a lot more that goes into the process of choosing a merchant services provider and many aspects to consider. Here are the areas that a merchant services broker can help you with when it comes to picking out merchant services providers:


  • Credit Card Terminals
  • POS Systems
  • Virtual Terminals
  • Mobile Payments
  • Payment Gateways
  • Electronic Check Processing (ACH Payments)


There are a lot of considerations to keep in mind when you are picking out payment providers for your business, so when you need to go through that process, you should partner with a merchant services broker that has a great understanding of each of these symptoms and knows what makes for a good partnership between businesses and merchant services providers.


Should you consider a third-party service?

Over the past few years, several third-party merchant services and payment processors have risen up and started to offer businesses direct access to payment processing. This might seem like an easier process, but there are many considerations to keep in mind when you decide to go this route. The benefits of working with a merchant services provider and traditional broker are almost always more plentiful than the benefits of using a third-party service.


One of the most relevant struggles that businesses go through when they are trying to obtain merchant services for their business is the fact that many banks and merchant services companies are not willing to provide brand new merchants with processing accounts. This could leave many businesses out in the cold, but if you have a reliable merchant services broker, that doesn’t have to be the case. Many brokers already have strong and trusted relationships with the banks that provide these services, so they are able to provide you with a competitive edge when it comes to applying for a merchant services account. With a third-party provider, you don’t have anyone advocating for you or passing on their trusted status to your business when applying.


Another major factor that holds merchants back from selecting a third-party provider is the lack of accessibility to funds. Yes, funds typically settle within a couple days just like any other provider, but they settle to a merchant account within your third-party application. You will then have to withdraw the funds from your third-party merchant service account into your own bank account. Sounds simple, but what you might not know is that many of these third-party services impose a maximum withdrawal limit which heavily interferes with your cash flow and ability to expand your business. With so much cash being held up in your third-party account, any small crisis that requires cash to fix could severely damage your business.


Becoming a merchant services broker

The role of a merchant services broker is to work closely with businesses to find them the right merchant processing services solution for them. This means meeting with business leadership and determining exactly what their needs are, identifying pain points, and other information that will help lead a broker to the right option when it comes to processing services.


In addition, merchant services brokers continue to collaborate with merchants to optimize their payments process and take full advantage of what their selected solution has to offer. This intensive job is also rewarding and can be lucrative under the right circumstances. Regardless, a merchant services broker will always be essential for businesses that want to truly get the most out of the merchant services that they have deployed and gain a competitive edge in their industry.

Need Assistance?

If you have questions, would like more information, or if you are ready to get started, please click the button below to leave your name and contact information.

Need Assistance?

If you have questions, would like more information, or if you are ready to get started, please click the button below to leave your name and contact information.

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    Merchant related products and services are referred to North American Bancard. North American Bancard is a registered ISO of Wells Fargo Bank N.A., Walnut Creek CA, of BMO Harris N.A., Chicage, IL and The Bancorp, Philadelphia, PA.